Trekking through the desert in scorching heat with a heavy backpack does not sound like a walk in the park.

So spare a thought for Mandy Blande, who did just that to raise £2,000 for Penniwells Riding Stables for the disabled, in Edgwarebury Lane, Elstree.

The 53-year-old returned from her 100km trek through the Great Rift Valley, Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday.

During her feat, she did a five-hour climb up Mount Longonot, which she described as “one of the most difficult tasks I have ever done”.

The mum-of-two said: “When I reached the top of the mountain after what seemed like forever, I really did feel on top of the world. The photos say it all really.

“I also abseiled down a 100ft cliff and did a 26km walk without stopping, despite the sun being 30 degrees.

“The whole trip was just incredible and one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. It was really tough, hardly a walk in the park, but still amazing nonetheless.”

Ms Blande, who works at Bio Products in Elstree, first began volunteering at the stables, which helps people with physical and mental disabilities, four years ago.

During her trip, the Watford resident spent the evenings camping in Navaisha Park next to zebras, buffalos, warthogs, jackals and baboons and 23 other people. 

She added: “I had no shower during my trip so the first thing I did when I got home was have a hot bath.

“I would love to do the trip again in a couple of years.

“I am really proud with how much money I raised for Penniwells because I know that it will be put to good use.”