Nuala and Catriona take on Tanzania trek

Catriona Smith. INNT 34-500CON
Catriona Smith. INNT 34-500CON

Two Newtownabbey women took part in an African adventure recently to raise funds for local children affected by cancer.

Nuala Marley and Catriona Smyth completed the gruelling Tanzanian Tribal Trek in support of the Cancer Fund for Children.

Nuala Marley. INNT 34-501CON

Nuala Marley. INNT 34-501CON

The charity provides vital support services, and therapeutic short breaks for local children affected by cancer, and their families.

Nuala and Catriona, who both work for Mallusk-based Henderson Wholesale, were part of a 16-strong group who travelled to Tanzania to explore volcanic craters, wild African plains and vast rugged mountains.

The Tribal Trek took the participants on an adventure through the Ngoro Ngoro National Park, the Empakaai volcano crater, and through Maasai villages.

A typical trekking day included up to seven hours of walking, often at high altitudes or over difficult terrain.

According to Nuala, the trekking experience was out of this world.

“It was amazing to see the Maasai culture and how differently they live,” she said. “Meeting and speaking with members of the Maasai tribe was an eye opening experience; they approach life so differently to us. I feel like this was a once in a lifetime experience. Even if I do manage to make it back to Tanzania again someday it is very unlikely that I will have this experience again.”

Both women successfully completed the trek and helped raise an incredible £24,000 to support local children affected by cancer. And they also came away with some wonderful memories.

“When we were transferring back to Arusha on the second last day in the safari jeeps an adult male giraffe jumped out onto the road in front of us and stopped, looked right at us then ran on. We were so close. This was just one of many experiences,” Catriona added.

Cancer Fund for Children is currently on the lookout for people to join its eight-day Rockies Trek in June 2016.

For more information contact Amanda Steele on 028 9080 5599 or email