Fri 07 Sep - Sat 15 Sep 2018

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Money

Visa

Vaccinations

Flights

Insurance

Group Size

Climate

Terrain

Luggage allowance and valuables

Responsible Tourism

Typical day

Accommodation

Food & Drink

Clothing and equipment

Toilets

Phone and WiFi

Safety advice for Amazon Survivor Challenge

Emergencies

Training general

Training weekends

Level of Difficulty

The Amazon Survivor challenge is graded as “Extreme” due to the remoteness of the locations and the extremely basic facilities encountered. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind. You will need to be extremely flexible if participating in this challenge and don’t expect things to go like clockwork! This trek will challenge you physically and mentally and it will push you completely out of your comfort zone. You could tell your supporters that during the Amazon Survivor Challenge you will be:

 

 

  • Trekking in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest with high temperatures and humidity.
  •  Sleeping in Hammocks in the middle of the Amazon Jungle
  •  Fishing for your own dinner.
  • Facing extremely basic facilities, no showers, and no proper toilets for six days.

Money

Currency: The Brazilian monetary unit is the Real (plural, Reais). There are 100 Centavos to the real (R$). Sterling is less easy to change, so if you plan to bring cash in small denominations it is better to buy US dollar or Euros. For up to date currency exchange, go to: http://www.xe.com.

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Credit Cards: Most major international credit cards are accepted in Brazil. Credit card receipts from stores and restaurants will be priced in Reais although you will be billed in the currency of your own country with the official exchange rate having been taken into consideration. Credit card fraud can be a problem in Brazil and you should always ensure you retain your copy of the transaction slip.

 

Travellers Cheques

Travellers’ cheques are not widely accepted outside major cities so cash should also be taken.  The best option is to use credit / debit cards at ATM machines.

 

ATMs: There is an extensive network of ATMs where visitors can use.  You should check with your bank before departure that your card can be used overseas and what the charges will be, as UK cash cards are not always accepted by Brazilian cash machines., It is wise to take sufficient funds in cash for periods away from the major cities.

How much to bring: You will not need large amounts of money during this trip, and other than at the start and end of the challenge, you will be in rural areas away from any foreign exchanges or banks. You will only need money for tips, additional food and drink, gifts and souvenirs. There are a wide range of things to spend money on including hammocks, gemstones, jewellery and so on.  An approximation would be around US$350 if you wanted to buy a few gifts.

Tipping: Tipping is personal and at your sole discretion. You should only tip if you feel that you have received good service. We recommend approximately  US$10 per person per challenge-day, and this should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge who will distribute it among the support team, including guides, assistant guides, cooks, and any others staff such as porters.

Visa

UK passport holders do not require a visa to enter Brazil. However, passports must be valid for at least six months and a return ticket and proof of sufficient funds may be requested on arrival – a bank statement with evidence of around $50 per day available and explaining that you are on an all inclusive tour to highlight why you do not need much money will be useful. Tourists will be admitted for a stay of up to 90 days, which is extendable, at the discretion of the Federal Police, for a further 90 days. Tourists are not permitted to work.

Vaccinations

A yellow fever certificate is required if within the three months prior to their arrival in Brazil, you have visited or been in transit through certain countries – please see http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx for details.  Please note that yellow fever vaccinations take approximately 10 days to become effective. Malaria precautions are essential in Amazon regions all year round. There is very little risk in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.  Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net. Also see Health notes. *Requirements change and these are only recommendations *.

Flights

Flights depart London and arrive in Manaus on the same day. Flight time via São Paulo and  Rio is approximately 15 hours including transit times. Your flight tickets will be issued to you upon departure at the airport. If you choose to book your own flights you must confirm with the Charity Challenge office before paying otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance).

 

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical arrangements (emergency, evacuation and repatriation), cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge. If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy, including protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

 

 

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main Q&As page.

Group Size

The group size is intended to be around 12-15 people. We will be able to run this challenge for 8-11 people by charging a small group supplement of £95 which will be added to your final balance invoice (self-funders) or charged to your charity (minimum sponsorship or flexi) unless you would like to pay this yourself.

Climate

The climate is tropical and humid. From May through till October you can consider it the dry season. However, there is always the chance of rain as you are in the rainforest. High temperatures will be above 30oC with the lowest not dropping below 25oC in the evening. Expect to be very hot and sticky, the joys of life in the jungle.

Terrain

The terrain is undulating through the jungle. The paths may be muddy making the trek tougher to undertake.

Luggage allowance and valuables

Try to keep luggage to an absolute minimum – details of what to pack are provided in your kit list. Your rucksack/holdall (suitcases are not appropriate) must not exceed the maximum weight limit of the airline you are flying with (usually 20kg, however do check this with the airline or contact our flights team if in doubt). Each trekking day, your personal kit will be transported to the next stop by a boat. You will have to carry your day pack for your daily needs such as sun cream, lunch, water, camera and lightweight waterproofs.

We will do everything to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions. The general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and work closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that our challenges benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. We ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, and following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection and respect, we aim to limit our impact on the natural environment. In addition to taking these practical steps to ensure that our challenges are sustainable, we also make a contribution each year to a number of local community projects, so as to give something back directly to the communities that we visit. Since 2000 we have donated almost £200,000 to such projects, supporting a range of initiatives, including schooling for children in Africa, shelter for street children in Brazil, and Orang-utan conservation in Indonesia. We recommend that any gifts brought over for children are given to the UK challenge leader and distributed where needed by them and our local Ground Agent. If you wish to do more, you should consider buying drinks, postcards and souvenirs from the local vendors. For many, it is their sole source of income. For more information, please visit our Responsible Tourism pages, where you will be able to view a list of the projects that we currently support.

Typical day

As described in the itinerary each day you will be waking up in the early morning to experience the incredible wildlife. Most days will begin around 4.30am - 5.00am. After your morning excursion, you will return to your campsite for breakfast and some rest. During the day you should carry only what is necessary in your daypack, as too much kit will weigh you down and make the journey tougher.

Accommodation

You will stay in a 3 star hotel in Manaus, on a twin share basis. Please let us know if you are travelling with a friend or someone you wish to share with.  

During the trek you will be sleeping in hammocks (with mosquito nets) which you will set up with the help of the local crew. The campsites are designated locations previously identified by the local team. You will experience proper jungle living with no access to electricity or mobile phone reception.

 

Food & Drink

During the day a typical packed lunch provided might consist of fruit juice, fresh fruit, sandwiches, etc. The evening meal at the campsite will be beef, chicken or fish, salad, rice, potatoes and vegetables. Depending on your fishing skills you may also be eating some of your catch at mealtimes!  Dinners will vary from day-to-day and so not all will include soft drinks.  Local drinks options include tropical fruit juices, beer and soft drinks (Guarana being as popular as Cola).

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof, well-worn in boots will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some really good quality walking socks. You don’t need a clean pair every day, but enough to make sure you have dry socks each morning. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers, and technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. Walking poles are also recommended, as a preventative as well as for anyone with any pre-existing leg injuries or niggles. Plus with being in a rainforest, it is often a challenge to keep kit dry. Make sure you pack your gear in dry sacks and potentially have a rain cover for your daypack. A full kit list for this challenge can be found in your Account Area once you book on this challenge. Plus you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoor Hire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Toilets

There will be a toilet tent set up at campsites with a small portable toilet. During the excursions, you will need to use the forest as you “natural toilet” keeping any toilet paper with you in “nappy bag” until you return to your campsite.

Phone and WiFi

Apart from when in Manaus, there will be no mobile phone and WIFI signal. There will be a satellite phone for emergencies only.

Safety advice for Amazon Survivor Challenge

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of its participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. In a nutshell, Our Challenge Safe brand formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the activity itself. Your welfare is paramount!

In terms of your Amazon Survivor Challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

 

  • Trekking in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest with high temperatures and humidity.
  • Sleeping in hammocks in the middle of the Amazon Jungle
  •  Fishing for your own dinner.
  • Facing extremely basic facilities, no showers, and no proper toilets for 6 days.

Emergencies

The event is not run as a race and there is always a large discrepancy in people’s walking abilities. This is allowed for. There will be a staff member at the back of the group at all times to ensure that you are not left behind and can take things at your own pace.

Training general

Training and fitness are definitely required. Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be OK ‘as long as they train regularly over a period of at least three months’ leading up to the expedition. Don’t forget that the temperature and the altitudes are different from the UK. While strength is important, endurance training should be your primary focus. Walking up hills and climbing stairs are both ways to condition your lower body. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training pace. Take a long hike (6-8 hours) several times with a weighted pack, up and down hills or on small mountains (weigh your pack with water containers and pour out the water before your descent to minimise knee stress). Also see Fitness Training Advice notes.

 

Training weekends

We offer superb training weekends across various locations in the UK, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. These training weekends not only help you become physically prepared for the challenge, but our experienced instructors and leaders will talk you through your clothing and equipment, camp craft, health and wellbeing, trekking skills (walking on different terrain/at altitude/at night/using walking poles), teamwork on expedition and many more themes designed to make you get the most out of your challenge. The weekends are great ways for you to get out into the mountains of the UK, while also meeting other Charity Challengers and sharing your experiences. To read more about our training weekends, including dates and prices, check out our dedicated page here. 

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We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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