Sat 20 Oct - Sun 28 Oct 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

Leadership

Climate

Ngorongoro Crater Safari

Terrain

Luggage allowance and valuables

Responsible Tourism

Typical day

What are the bikes like?

What if I can’t keep up?

Accommodation

Do we need to take our own sleeping bags and mats?

Food & Drink

Clothing and equipment

Toilets

Phone and WiFi

Safety advice

Emergencies

Training

Level of Difficulty

The Kilimanjaro to Ngorongoro Crater Bike Ride is graded as “tough”. This challenge is suitable for participants who want to get out of their comfort zone, and challenge themselves to a high level. A good level of training is strongly advised to take part in this challenge.
During your Kilimanjaro to Ngorongoro Crater Bike challenge you will be:

  • Cycling over 350kms across the African savannah
  • Tackling tricky terrain, dirt roads and immense heat
  • Meandering through Maasai villages and up hairpin roads
  • Looking out for lions, giraffes, elephants and rhino

 

Money

Currency: The Tanzanian shilling is a soft currency and you cannot obtain shillings before leaving the UK. US dollars are accepted in most places and should be used in country. Tanzanian Shillings cannot be exported, therefore should be reconverted against your currency declaration form.  

Exchange: The Bank of Tanzania performs all currency transfers; all other offers of currency exchange are illegal. There are also foreign exchange bureaus in most towns and cities where you can change cash or travellers’ cheques at the prevailing free market exchange rate. The best currency is the dollar (US). For up to date currency exchange, go to: http://www.xe.com/

Credit cards:  Major credit cards are sometimes accepted at larger hotels. Other than that their use is limited and are not generally accepted in restaurants, shops etc. Bring enough money and do not carry all your cash on you. Cash point machines, which allow the use of Visa & MasterCard etc with a PIN, can be found in Arusha and Marangu, but are rare in smaller towns.

Spending money: You will not need a large amount of money during this trip. Somewhere in the region of £220 in US dollars should be sufficient to cover presents, tips, drinks, and so on. Keep in mind that other than at the start and end of the challenge, you will be in remote camps away from any foreign exchanges or banks. We recommend that you carry cash, although credit cards will be accepted in the airports.

Tips: We recommend in the region of $130US for the team, and this should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge, who will distribute it among the support team. If you do want to give one member of staff an extra tip, please also leave this until the end and allocate over and above the recommended tipping amount. Make sure you have plenty of smaller dollar bills for tipping at lodges and for drinks/meals. If you are going on the safari we recommend $25 per person for your guide/driver and then a small amount for lodge staff.

Visa

Your full ten-year passport must have at least six months left to run from the end of the challenge. You will need a Single Entry Tourist Visa to enter Tanzania. 3 months prior to departure we will provide you with the necessary application form and details to apply. Allow two weeks to get the visa by post (it is strongly suggested that you also enclose a pre-paid special delivery envelope for the safe return of your passport with the visa). Alternatively you can obtain it, in person, at the Embassy. The visa is valid for three months and becomes valid from the date of issue so make sure you do not apply too early otherwise it will run out before you arrive in Tanzania. 

vaccinations

For up to date vaccination information please check the NHS ‘Fit for Travel’ website: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx. Although the Charity Challenge team are travel professionals, they are not medical experts and we would encourage you to visit your GP or travel nurse to discuss vaccination requirements.

Flights

You will be flying overnight from London to Kilimanjaro airport, this will either be via Nairobi or Addis Ababa depending on the group flights. 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 (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, 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 FAQs page.

Group Size

Each group is intended to be a minimum of 16 people in order to run and a maximum of approximately 30 people due to the wilderness environment in which the challenge takes place. We will be able to run this challenge for 10 to 15 people by charging a small group supplement of £75, which will be added to your final balance invoice (self funders) or charged to your charity (minimum sponsorship or flexi).

Leadership

We employ a number of first aid trained challenge leaders, all of whom speak English. They will ultimately be responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group. You will also have a great support team of drivers, mechanics, guides and assistant guides who will be there to keep you going throughout the long days of cycling.

Climate

You are cycling in the dry season. However, weather has been very unpredictable in East Africa in recent years, and it is always possible that it will rain, especially near to Ngorongoro. The temperatures will range from around 25c to 35c, and sun protection is absolutely key. We will start cycling as early as possible, and try to take our long lunch break in the middle of the day to avoid the hottest time.

Ngorongoro Crater Safari

This amazing bike ride finishes at the gates of the Ngorongoro Crater where you will have a chance to join a safari with everyone you've cycled here with!  Home to the 'Big 5', bring some bincoulars and a camera to make the most of it!

This is an optional safari which you can pay for in-country.  Please check for up-to-date prices, but it is currently (2017) US$165.

Terrain

You will be cycling on a mixture of tarmac roads and dirt tracks. The ‘off-road’ sections are not technical, but we would certainly recommend doing some training on tracks just to get accustomed to what this feels like. Some areas of the cycle will be very exposed and with extreme heat and humidity which will be a challenge in itself.  On the last two days, you wil be tackling some hairpin hills to really test your legs!  Please ensure you drink plenty of fluids and protect yourself from the sun. On the days where the roads are busier, we will keep the group closer together by using a front vehicle with banners to signal a cycling group, as well as the back vehicle. This is for your own safety, which is our highest priority. On the quiet trails the group can open out a little more!

Luggage allowance and valuables

As no formal clothes are needed, luggage should be kept to the absolute minimum – details of what to pack are provided in your kit list. Each day when you begin to ride, your personal kit will be transported to the next camp. You will only need to have a handle bar bag or bum bag with you during the day and you will be able to access your day pack at water and rest stops.

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

During the cycling days you will cycle for 5-8 hours. Depending on the weather and the day, rest/water stops will be set up every 10-20kms, where you can regroup and refill water as well as eating snacks and fruit to keep you going. Lunch will be taken either at a local restaurant, or as a packed lunch depending on the routing for the day. At a couple of places there is a swimming pool so you can have a relaxing dip that evening! Otherwise you will have time to have a rest in your tent/room before being briefed on the next day’s cycle and having dinner with the rest of the group.

What are the bikes like?

The bikes are good quality Trek 4300 hardtail mountain bikes and all of them have 18 or 21 speed gears. The bikes are sturdy and weigh approximately 15kgs. You can see images of the bikes on our itinerary, and all bikes have a water bottle holder. If you would like to bring your own gel seats or SPD pedals you can. Please let us know your height at the time of booking so that we can pre-book the appropriate bike for your challenge in advance.

What if I can’t keep up?

The event is not run as a race and there is always a large discrepancy in people’s cycling abilities. This is allowed for. As much as possible, we will try and ensure that the group does not spread out too much, however there will be a staff member and support vehicle 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. All crew will carry radios and communication between guides and drivers is key. If we find somebody is unable to cycle at all, then we can transport them from one location to the next.

Accommodation

You will be staying in a mix of lodges, camps and hotels throughout the challenge. The camps are fixed campsite with excellent toilet and washing facilities, and the excellent hotel at Lake Manyara is a hotel of 3* quality. All accommodation is on a twin-share basis. If you would like to share with someone on the challenge please make a note on your booking, or alternatively send an email to challenges@charitychallenge.com and we will organise this for you.

Do we need to take our own sleeping bags and mats?

You will need to take a decent sleeping bag with you, but sleeping mats will be provided.

Food & Drink

The food will be plentiful and very filling. Staples will mainly be potatoes and rice, served alongside meat (they eat goat in Tanzania), and lots of vegetables. There will not be the variety that you are used to in the UK, but the food is delicious and just right for a cycling challenge. If you have any dietary requirements please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure and we will do our utmost to accommodate them. If necessary we may ask you to bring some extra snacks as some dietary requirements are not yet widely understood outside of the UK and the USA!

There will be regular drink and snack stops along the way when you're riding.

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For your cycle challenge, padded cycling shorts and comfortable footwear are essential, and helmets are compulsory throughout. Training with your cycling shorts is definitely advised! You can bring equipment like clip-in pedals or a gel seat, if desired, in order to adapt your bike in country, and we would also recommend technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here and once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

It is policy that participants must wear a helmet – this is not provided on the challenge, so please do ensure that you take one to Tanzania with you. Be aware that cycling can be dangerous and accidents do happen – you must take responsibility for your own safety whilst riding.

Toilets

You will have clean toilets and good washing facilities on all campsites, lodges and hotels.  In the campsite on the second day, you will have portable private bucket showers.

Phone and WiFi

There is wi-fi at the lodges, but none at the campsites.  Phone signal is sporadic, but you should be able to get some throughout the whole trip, although it will come in and out of range.

There is no opportunity to recharge any electrical equipment during the cycle at the campsite, but if you want to bring a solar charger these work quite well to charge phones.  There are charge points in your rooms at the hotel and lodge.

Safety advice

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 bike challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The trails that you are on are all accessible by vehicle, and as such emergency evacuation to a hospital is possible but may take upwards of a few hours, depending on the location
  • Riding in the heat of Tanzania is a major challenge in itself so make sure you are well hydrated throughout.
  • This trip involves dirt tracks with lots of loose stones and rocks so concentration while riding through these areas is essential

Emergencies

Throughout the challenge, back-up support will be close by. If for any reason any injury should occur, a relief vehicle will be made available. Your leader will be first-aid trained, and in cases of emergency one of the vehicles will evacuate you immediately to the nearest hospital.

Training

Training is definitely required. It is important that you work specifically on your stamina, leg and joint strength, and balance in order to get as much out of the challenge as possible. Don’t forget that the temperature and climate is different to the UK and that you will be exercising constantly for a number of days – the heat and distance will be your biggest challenge.

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ATOL protected

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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