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Fri 06 Jul - Sat 14 Jul 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

A typical day

Safety

Responsible Tourism

Flights

Visa

Insurance

Vaccinations

Climate and terrain

Training

Training weekends

Luggage & Porters

Leadership

Group sizes

Clothing

Accommodation & toilets

Food & drink

Phone & Wi-Fi

Level of difficulty

The Kyrgyzstan trek challenge 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. You wil be trekkiing on average 6 hours per day, through mountainous terrain and camping in the gorges, whilst carrying all your kit. The maximum altitude you'll reach is 3860m on the Ala-Kol pass.

A typical day

A typical day will be spent trekking through mountainous terrain with your bags for an average of 6 hours a day before getting in to camp.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe 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 challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount.

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.

Flights

You will be flying from London Heathrow to Manas International Airport in Biskek with a transit in Moscow. The flying time is approx. 10-12 hours indirect. Your flight tickets will be issued to you upon departure at the airport.  If you choose to book your own flights please confirm with the Charity Challenge office first, otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance). For more general flights questions, please refer to our main Q&As page.

Visa

British nationals don’t need a visa to enter and stay for up to 60 days. If you stay in Kyrgyzstan for over 60 days without a valid visa, you’ll be liable for a fine. It’s not possible to get a visa in Kyrgyzstan if you originally entered the country without a visa. If you think you may spend more than 60 days in Kyrgyzstan, you should get a visa from a Kyrgyz Embassy before you travel or on arrival at the airport in Bishkek. The visa can be extended at a Kyrgyz Government office at 66, Razzakova Street in Bishkek.
Passport validity - Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into Kyrgyzstan and must have at least 1 full blank page if you are applying for a visa.

Please always check with the Foreign and Commonwealth travel advice page before travel as situations can change https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kyrgyzstan/entry-requirements

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.

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. Your GP may ask questions about the specific locations that you are visiting in Kyrgyzstan, and as such it may be useful to take a copy of your itinerary with you.

Climate and terrain

In July-August average daily temperature is 24˚C to 27˚C, the temperature at night cooling down to 10˚C to 15˚C.   This is typically the best time to trek in the mountain ranges as the days a long and clear but on the highest peaks will still be snow capped.  As with all mountains weather can be quite changeable so be prepared.

Training

Training and fitness 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. You will be trekking up and down thousands of steps so climb stairs as often and wherever you can! The trek takes place in a mountainous environment, so the best training advice is to get outdoors into some of the mountains of the UK to familiarise yourself with walking on rugged terrain, while carrying weight in your daypack. You need to be able to sustain around 4-7 hours of trekking for 5 continuous days, so if you can then replicating this over a weekend would be fantastic training. 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.

Luggage & Porters

The luggage allowance for Aeroflot is 23kg.  You will be trekking with all your kit including your tent which will be picked up in country.  So pack light and only take what you really need.  There may be opportunity to leave some kit that you do not wish to take with you on the trek with the ground handler, but this should not be too much.  You will need to pack efficiently. 

There is an option to hire a personal porter to carry your kit.  This will be an additional USD180 per person and they are limited to carrying 15kg. 

Leadership

There will be an English-speaking challenge leader who will be responsible for the logistics and co-ordination of your challenge. There will also be numerous local support staff to assist them. The challenge leader will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group.

Group sizes

Each group is intended to be a minimum opf 16 people in order for the challenge to run and a maximum of 20.  We will be able to run this challenge with 10-15 people but with a small group supplment of £75 whihc will be added to your final balance invoice (self funders) or charged to your charity (minimum or flexi sponsorship).

Clothing

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. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are a high quality gore-tex waterproof jacket and technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. Walking poles are also highly recommended, as the steps on this challenge are very tough on even the fittest knees, and descents can be tricky, however, we would recommend training with these prior to your trek. 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 Outdoorhire, Cotswold Outdoor and Cycle Surgery.

Accommodation & toilets

You will stay in local hotels for 3 of the nights in Kyrgyzstan and rooms will be allocated on a twin share basis.  Whilst trekking you will be sharing a 2 person tent which will be provided, staying in static campsites. 

If you wish to have a single room/tent this can be accommodated with a surcharge but please request this at the time of booking.

Toilets in the hotels are of a western style in camp you'll be using a short drop with a toilet tent for privacy.

Food & drink

Towns such as Bishkek will have a variety of cafes providing local foods and it is possible to find some more western dishes.  Whilst trekking, meals will be fairly basic.  Breakfast - porridge, eggs, cheese, biscuits with tea or coffee; lunch - sandwich, salad, dried fruit, snack bar; dinner - meat, vegatables and garnish.

All meals will be provided unless otherwise stated.  Alcoholic drinks are available in the towns but not on the trek

Phone & Wi-Fi

Most accommodation will have Wi-Fi available when you are camping and trekking there will be no signal.

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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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