TRIP REVIEW: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and Build a Farm Along the Way

We read the news and we learn what’s wrong with the world. I honestly couldn’t care less. Yes, there is war, there is starvation and death. People cheat, organizations lie and the international economy is in need of a stimulus package from God. Now you know everything you need to know about our global shortcomings. Let’s do something to help. There is an ancient Greek proverb that says, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” With the amazing amount of interconnectivity and social complexity these days, it’s easy to view Earth as one, big society and I think it’s time we began planting a couple more trees. It’s organizations like Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy that are making it easier for us do so.

It started with a passionate New York Times correspondent with an extremely manly name, Paul von Zielbauer. After making a career out of reporting on topics such as the Iraq war, the privatization of prison medical care, state government and more, Paul founded Roadmonkey. Driven by a desire to “give motivated people the chance to dive deep into a foreign culture and work hard for people in need,” Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy was born in 2008. The term “adventure philanthropy” now stands as the keystone to Roadmonkey’s philosophy. What is so unique about this organization is that the volunteers are given a chance to help those in need, but they are also getting to explore and get off of the beaten path at the same time.

Roadmonkey’s take on philanthropy is evident in their upcoming Tanzania trip. First off, let’s point out that only 6% of Tanzanians living in rural areas have access to modern electricity services. These people live off of the land and any help offered would probably be appreciated. Participants will fly out to Tanzania and lend a hand in building an organic farm for one of the local communities. A pretty standard, run-of-the-mill volunteer trip, right? Oh, I forgot to mention that the volunteers will also be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. The trip starts off with a seven-day trek up and down the mountain, don’t forget to bring your tent. The Participants will literally learn about the country from the ground up, so when it comes time to contribute to the community they will actually have a stake in what is being built. They will have experienced the culture, experienced the people and they will know that they are actually making a change.

There is only one roadblock for this Roadmonkey trip and it’s a particularly common one as well. Money. The best deal is to sign up for the trip with 8-10 other people, which cuts the price down to $5499 per person, not including airfare. No small chunk of change. This limits the trip to the privileged or to those with rigorous budget control. For those of you who are looking to volunteer international without planting your wallet in the community garden, this trip might not be for you. However, if you have the time and the money and are looking to add some spice to your life while bringing change to those less fortunate than you, look no further.

Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy is breaking down the border between volunteer work and adventure. If you can afford it, this company will send you all over the world and you can be sure of a good time. For those of you who are enticed by the opportunity, but can’t afford it, check back with for more trip reviews.


Kino Crooke spent the last three years juggling school and travel. He most recently spent the last two months traveling across Spain before moving to New York to work with CATALYST.