Sunderland adventurers head for Africa

The team after a practice walk

The team after a practice walk

A GROUP of intrepid Sunderland adventurers are heading to Africa, for what promises to be the most challenging trip of their lives.

Staff from the Bridges shopping centre, the city’s Business Improvement District, 1879 Events Management and Gentoo along with Asiana restaurant owner, Ian Wong will all take part in a gruelling trek up Kilimanjaro next year.

The group will also be joined by friends of some of the team, with 13 people in all heading out in June 2017 to take on the most challenging and remote route up the mountain.

Along with those members who are taking part as a personal challenge, some of the team will also be raising funds for a variety of charities including Northumberland-based Development Direct Global Partnerships.

The charity builds links between schools in the North East and Africa, developing educational and health group links between the two.

Bridges centre director, Andy Bradley and Gemma Dishman, marketing and communications manager of Sunderland BID are part of the team, having got a taste for the county after taking part in a fund raising cycle ride across Kenya earlier this year.

The team will be taking the Lemosho route to Kilimanjaro, which is longer and so less popular than those chosen by many people, but will give the participants the opportunity to see stunning natural landscapes.

The trip will take 14 days, starting with a trek through the rain forest before beginning the climb, with the trekkers also likely to see animals ranging from buffalos to elephants during the trip.

The final ascent to the Uhuru Peak will begin at midnight on day eight, with the team facing a possible 13 hours climb to the summit.

“This is definitely the challenge of a lifetime for everyone and it’s not going to be easy,” said Andy.

“But the rewards will be the chance to see some breath-taking landscapes and to visit places that very few people have been to before, before scaling one of the world’s highest peaks.

“It will be something I’m sure everyone involved will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Anyone wanting to find out more about the various charities being supported or how they can help is asked to contact Andy Bradley at

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