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Last Updated: Monday September 21 2009 09:32 GMT

I climbed Africa's highest mountains

Press Packer Jack

Press Packer Jack who is a Scout climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Mount Meru in Africa.

Here's his story.


"It all started when I climbed some hills in Yorkshire with a friend, and we asked my mum if we'd climbed a mountain. She said no but one day we could do one.

It was really tricky finding someone to take me because I'm young, but mum sorted it out when the people in Tanzania National Park said I could do it.

We decided, well my mum did, that we should use the climbs in Africa to raise money to help others.

Good cause

I decided I wanted raise money for the air ambulance because they do really cool stuff and help kids who are ill.

They helped a young kid called Sebastian who was like me, except I was healthier than him.

It's really sad because he died and he had dreams and so do I.

I thought that if I did all that walking up the mountains then people could do the giving, and we could make some money to help the ambulance help other kids.

Difficult climb

Press Packer Jack gets into the tuk tuk
Jack and the porter

Mum told me all the bad things that can happen on the mountains, like you can't breathe properly when you are high up, you get headaches that hurt and you feel sick.

I had to tell her if I felt like that because I don't usually say if I am ill.

You have to sleep in tents and it's very cold, with no electricity and no games to play or TV. You cannot just go home on the mountains.

But the good stuff was I got to climb higher than the air ambulance could fly and I could wave down to it off the mountain.

Mount Meru

On Mount Meru we took a ranger with us who had a rifle to shoot the Cape Buffalo if they charged us. The buffalo are very wild and everyone is afraid of them.

One morning there was a big herd of buffalo above us and they were making lots of noise and could see us.

The ranger threw stones at them and luckily they all galloped down and off our trail.

Elephant threat

I didn't like our last day because we were threatened by an elephant. The porters were scared and moved ahead of us.

The elephant had been sticking his tusks into the banks where we were walking and digging out the soil, and he was standing pulling the branches and crashing the trees.

Our tour guide whispered not to scream if the elephant roared, but to drop our backpacks so it charges the bags first, and then to run zig zag down the track.

I don't like elephants much now... We were there ages.

Getting down

Jack on a camel
Jack sitting on a camel

It was tricky skidding down the mountain and when the other climbers saw me they started to climb up and the guides were all singing and clapping because they were pleased for me.

My mum took longer to come down, and it was dark when she got there so I gave her a big hug.

Have a go

When I was back I got to speak on the radio and told them I was proud of myself and for kids not to worry if they can't learn at school.

They can do other things, and raise money and do something good for themselves."

Jack, 10, Berkshire, England


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