Chris Herbst writes:
Firstly I would like to introduce you to my fellow climbers, I honestly believe that reaching the summit without them would have been so much tougher. Thank you guys for supporting me and our cause, words cannot express my gratitude. From total strangers to great friends that I will never forget or let down in any way, you are amazing in your own special way.
Firstly you will see Shumba posing with our golden certificate. He is an honorary member of our team and in many ways the reason why we reached the summit.
Then we have Terrance or Terry or as I like to refer to him as the "Irish Lion" strong as an ox, a seasoned mountaineer who's advice and encouragement were invaluable to the team. His open honest and friendly personality really lifted our spirits in camp after a long tough day.
Struggled on the very first day, but through sheer determination and guts and by digging deep ( an attribute I strongly admire) she became as good as all of us, if not better as the journey to the summit progressed.
This girl proved that even a beautiful, dainty and fragile flower can be as tough as nails, toughing it out with the rest of us, got stuck in and done what needed to be done.
The charming and intelligent Aussie Med Student volunteering in Tanzania, who I believe will someday inspire many people to be the best that they can be.
Last but not least never complained about anything the entire journey, always willing to help, with anything from toothpaste , medication to batteries. Always to be the first one to raise her hand and say I can help.
So the climb, wow what a journey. Probably the most amazing experience I have ever had the privilege to be apart of, it will be something that I will remember and cherish for eternity.
Standing on the top of Africa was a truly emotional experience for all of us, for me personally, I was just overwhelmed by so many emotions, some really came through stronger than others. First among which was a great sense of personal achievement. Then I was overwhelmed by privilege, privileged because I can call this amazing, fantastic, beautiful and aw inspiring continent home. However, at the same time I had a deep sense of sadness, sadness because so many people see past the greatness of Africa and all they see is a giant shooting range, and the targets, the Icons of Africa, the animals that is the very embodiment of what Africa is and what defines us as African people.
Then there was a big explosion of anger burning deep inside of me, we know that it will be very difficult and highly unlikely, for the Rhino to bounce back and to once more become a self sustainable species again.
If things continue the way that they are at the moment, with this horrific, idiotic, cowardly, stupid ( I can go on all day) canned hunting industry, fueling the bone trade and strengthening and expanding the trade in animal parts, we are already seeing an increase in the poaching of our wild lions because of this. Well then, the mighty Lion the pride and the face of Africa will be gone within the next ten years.
If this happens you have to ask yourself the question what's next, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, the point is that these people will jump from species to species until everything is gone.
There is two questions I would like you to ask yourselves when you go to bed at night. Firstly, if one day your children, grand children, or even great grand kids comes to you and asks you where are all these amazing animals what happened to them, why can we only see them in books?. What are you going to say to them, would you be able stand up proudly and say I fought for them, or are you going to be honest and say, it was fun killing them so we killed them all, or are you going to just lie to them. Secondly I want you to ask yourselves, do we really want to be known as the generation that killed and destroyed everything, is that the legacy we want to leave behind. I know I don't what about YOU.
This is why Chris Herbst climbed Kilimanjaro.
Lions should not live their lions in prison.
This is how a lion should live its life. Free.