Sat 24 Nov - Fri 30 Nov 2018

In aid of Sense

Sense

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

Extend your stay in Dubai

Luggage allowance and Valuables

Alcohol

Leadership

Responsible tourism

Typical Day

Accomodation

Food

Clothing and Equipment

Toilets

Phone and Wifi

Safety

Training

Training Weekends

Level of Difficulty

The Oman Mountain Trek is graded as tough. The trekking route has been designed exclusively for Charity Challenge and offers an incredible 'off the beaten path' experience away from other tourist routes. During your Oman Mountain Trek you will be:

  • Trekking in a very remote mountainous desert environment, following ancient footpaths that are rarely used.
  • Negotiating very demanding, rough and rocky terrain.
  • In small sections we trek away from recognised footpaths.
  • Trekking approximately 12km per day, and ascending over 3000m in total (the maximum height we reach is 1,800m).
  • Suffering exhausting temperatures during the day and cold at night.
  • Camping each night with basic facilities.

Money

Currency: The Omani monetary unit is the Rial. However the United Arab Emirates Dirham is also widely accepted.  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 Oman. Credit card receipts from stores and restaurants will be priced in Rials although you will be billed in the currency of your own country with the official exchange rate having been taken into consideration. .

 

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 Omani 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.

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 the UAE or Oman. However, passports must be valid for at least six months. Tourists will be admitted for a stay of up to 30 days with a stamp in your passport.

Vaccinations

Please check for the latest vaccination advice for Oman here:
http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx

If you have further questions then please contact your nearest Travel Clinic.

Charity Challenge cannot provide medical advice for any of our challenges.

Flights

Flights depart London Heathrow and arrive in Dubai on the same day. Flight time is approximately 7 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 20-40 people. We will be able to run this challenge for 16-19 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) unless you would like to pay this yourself.

Climate

The climate is hot. From October through till March high temperatures will be above 30oC with the lowest not dropping below 20oC. Expect to be very hot and sticky.

At night temperatures drop considerably, especially in the mountains, where temperatures can drop below 10oC at night.

Terrain

The terrain on this trek is what makes it so spectacularly and simultanously such a challenge.

The limestone rocky is extremely hard and tough underfoot and the terrain is undulating through the mountains.

The route of this trek follows ancient footpaths that link abandoned villages. Some of these paths are still walked by locals, whilst others have not been walked in hundreds of years. The knowledge of these paths have been passed from generation to generation. In places the paths are rough and rocky making the trek tough to undertake.

The unique, remoteness of this trek means that there are also small sections of the route that take us away from recognised footpaths and these sections are especially challenging.

Extend your stay in Dubai

Dubai offers you the perfect opprtunity to extend your stay a few days and really unwind and celebrate the achievement of the previous few days.

If you would like to extend your trip then we can change your return flight date to suit your itinerary.

Please contact our flights team at flights@charitychallenge.com and let them know about your request as soon as possible.

Please note: One occasions we may not be able to extend your return flight. The earlier you let us know your request then the greater the chance of us being able to meet your request.

We are not able to book any hotels in Dubai for your extension.

Luggage allowance and Valuables

As no formal clothes are needed whilst trekking, luggage should be kept to the absolute minimum – details of what to pack are provided in your Kit List. Your rucksack / soft bag (suitcases are not appropriate) must not exceed 20kgs in weight. On your outward journey, please wear your hiking boots, and carry a spare change of clothing in your hand luggage. Please ensure you take your sleeping bag and basic trekking & toiletry items on the plane as hand luggage.

While 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. Your passport and money should be kept on you at all times.

Alcohol

Alcohol is only available in the Golden Tulip Hotel at the end of the challenge.

It is illegal to bring any alcohol into Oman from the UAE. Please refrain from doing this as Charity Challenge cannot be held responsible if you are not granted entry at the Omani border.

Leadership

We employ a number of first aid qualified expedition leaders, all of whom speak English. They will ultimately be responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group. The itinerary is there as a guide and may change for a variety of reasons – unusual weather patterns, the strength of the group, and so on. While we will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary, we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that may occur. In all such circumstances, your expedition leader will have the final say.

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

You will be woken early each morning at approx. 6:30am, and given a basic but hearty breakfast. After breakfast you will pack up with the help of all the challenge leaders and begin the first trek of the day for about 3 hours. A long and early lunch will be taken to avoid trekking during the hottest part of the day. We set off to walk again for another 3 hours (approx.) and then we establish camp late afternoon for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

Accomodation

You will sleep in shared tents with 1 or 2 other people, which will be supplied to you. These tents are large and spacious 6 man tents. At the the end of the trek, you will be staying in a hotel in order to relax and recover this is in Dibba Karsha. Accommodation in the hotel is on a twin share basis. If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with, please let Charity Challenge know in advance.

Food

Each morning you will be provided with a very filling breakfast of eggs and bread and cheeses along with teas and coffees. Lunch will be a packed lunch, while dinner will vary between Western, Omani fare. Food will always be ample and will provide heaps of energy. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.

Clothing and Equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, well-worn in boots will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some really good quality walking socks.

The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this.

Other essentials are technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. We would recommend that you consider lightweight long sleeve tops and trousers, as opposed to t-shirts and shorts, as this provides bettwer protection from the sun.

Walking poles are also recommended, as a preventative as well as for anyone with any pre-existing leg injuries or niggles.

You will need to carry all of your drinking water for the day and so you must come with water bottles and drinking bladders that allow you to carry a minimum of 3 litres.

As this is the desert environment then a wide brimmed sun hat, sunglasses and sun cream are also vital.

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.

Toilets

There will be a toilet tent and water supplied for washing. Please keep in mind that water is life in the desert & should therefore be preserved.

Phone and Wifi

You will have a good phone reception while in Dibba at the beginning and end of the trek. On trekking days, there will be some phone signal at some points.

Wifi is only available in the Golden Tulip Hotel at the end of the challenge.

Safety

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 Oman Mountain Trek Challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • Trekking in the heat of Oman is a major challenge in itself so make sure you are well hydrated throughout. It is compulsory that you have the capacity to carry at least 3 litres of water with you.
  • Blisters are very common during this challenge due to the heat of the terrain and the rocks underfoot. Compeed blister plasters and zinc oxide tape are essential.
  • The terrain can be very rough and rocky so please make sure that you have suitable boots, not trainers, and make sure that you are comfortable walking on loose, rocky terrain.

Training

A good level of fitness is definitely required. Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be able to complete the challenge, as long as they train regularly over a period of at least three months leading up to it. Don’t forget that the temperature and climate will be different from the UK, and that you will be exercising constantly for a number of days.

The most challenging aspect of this challenge is the terrain. Please make sure that your training includes walking over rough and rocky terrain that can be loose in places. the hills of the Lake District, Snowdonia, Wales or the Peak District are perfect for this type of terrain.

In your Charity Challenge account you will find more comprehensive Fitness Training Notes. You can also look to join one of our training weekends.

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.

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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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