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In aid of Barnardo's

Barnardo's

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.

Difficulty

Typical day

Safety

Responsible Tourism

Flights

Visa

Insurance

Vaccinations

Climate & Terrain

Training

Training weekends

Luggage and Valuables

Leadership

Group Size

Clothing & equipment

Accommodation & Toilets

Food & Drink

Money & tipping

Phone & Wi-Fi

Difficulty

This challenge has been rated as tough.  A “tough” trip should be undertaken by someone with previous experience and interest in the activity – whether cycling or trekking. It will usually involve camping, and will certainly be in a remote environment, where facilities are not what you would expect at home. A tough challenge will test you both physically and mentally. Both cycles and treks will be hilly, and training is essential to ensure you are well prepared. On a UK “tough” challenge, you should expect 10+ hours per day of exertion over demanding terrain.

The jungle treks can be difficult in the tropical climes with the humidity, heat and then the occasional downpour of rain.  Jungle living may not be for everyone with only your mosquito net between you and nature.

The mountain climb itself is tough with a steep ascent up to the rest house at 3270m and an early start to the summit at 4095m.  Whilst this is not the highest of mountains the altitude can cause people some issues, so take it slow and steady.

Typical day

This itinerary is varied and so there is no typical day.  However during the jungle trek days you will be trekking through the forest and interacting with your guides and the local communities.  When climbing the mountain you will have some early starts especially on the summit day when you will be starting at approx 01:30hrs. 

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.  In terms of your challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The weather conditions are hot and humid.
  • The terrain is uneven and undulating through trekking days.
  • You will be staying in shared accommodation (up to 4 people) with shared facilities.
  • Some nights you will be camping in the with no electricity.

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, a 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 Kota Kinabalu. The flying time is approx. 9-10 hours if flying non-stop or 14-16 hours if indirect and is via Kuala Lumpur.  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 FAQs page.

Visa

British nationals don’t need a visa to visit Malaysia. You will normally be given permission to stay for 3 months on arrival. Visas for longer stays or for non-tourist purposes must be obtained from the nearest Malaysian diplomatic mission before you travel.

The Malaysian authorities are running a vigorous campaign against illegal immigration. Don’t overstay your visa, or violate the terms of entry. Even if you overstay for just a few days, you can be fined, detained and deported.

If you’re travelling between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (sometimes known as Malaysian Borneo and comprising the states of Sabah and Sarawak) you will need to carry your passport.

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

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

UK health authorities have classified Malaysia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Government and private hospitals charge for all services; private care is expensive. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever occur all year round. There has been an increase in the number of cases of dengue fever, including in Kuala Lumpur. You should take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes

Climate & Terrain

Borneo has a tropical climate and has approx 80% humidity with temperatures averaging between 25-32 degrees Celsius.  March to October is the driest time to travel, however, it is not unusual to have a short but heavy downpour to freshen the air up.  As with all mountains the higher you go up the cooler it becomes with the temperature at the top average of 2 degrees Celsius.

In the rainforest, terrain can be undulating, with some steep ascents and descents and slippery underfoot as the leaves cover the forest floor with a number of river crossings.

The trail up the mountain starts off leafy and green but you do go above the tree line.  The summit section of the climb is on smoothed rock; in some parts, you are required to use a rope to guide yourself up to the mountain.

Please be aware that as with all mountains reaching the summit is weather dependent.  If the weather is deemed to be too bad by your guide you may not be allowed to progress to the summit.  This decision made on the ground at the time of your climb and is out of the hands of Charity Challenge.

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 and Valuables

The luggage allowance will depend on the airline we are using for your challenge, but in general, it will be one piece of checked baggage at 20kg.  Carry your passport with you and make sure you have a photocopy of your documents (travel insurance etc.) in case they get lost or damaged.

You will need to trek with a bag for the night spent at the jungle camp.  This does not need to be a big bag, but you will need to trek with your sleeping bag/liner and clothing for the evening.

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 guides and staff to assist them. The challenge leader will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group.

Group Size

This challenge will run with a group size of between 11-25 participants including your challenge leader and local guide.

Clothing & equipment

When trekking through the forest it is advisable to wear long trek trousers to avoid scratches as the trails can be overgrown.  The humidity is about 80% in Borneo and so it can feel very sweaty but you will soon get used to it.   The mountain climb will require a much different set of clothing especially as you get to the top.  So pack your swimmers and your woolly hat!  Please refer to the kit list separately to see what we recommend you take with you, it is also advised that as the religion is majority Muslim that you dress relatively conservatively.

Accommodation & Toilets

You will be staying in a mixture of local homestays, lodges and hotels.  The home stays are basic and run by families in the community in which you will be staying.  Typically each home stay will have a few rooms so you will be in several houses in close proximity to each other.  The jungle camp set up with a platform on which you sleep a thin mat is provided so you may want to bring an additional sleeping mat.  the roof of the platform is corrugated iron.  Hotels and Lodges will be comfortable.  The rest house Laban Rata is very basic and you may be lucky enough to secure a private room (depending on availability), otherwise it will be a dorm.

Food & Drink

Food and drink will be a mixture of traditional Malaysian dishes and western dishes.  When you are trekking up the mountain you will have a packed lunch prepared by our team.  If you have any dietary requirement please ensure you put this in your notes when booking.

Money & tipping

Currency

The currency in Malayisa is Ringgit (MYR).  There are ATMs in the airport and also in the city of Kota Kinabalu from which you can withdraw money prior to heading off to the homestay, jungle and mountain.  For your trip and we recommend taking approximately £100 worth for your challenge. This amount should allow enough money to get you by with the purchase of additional soft drinks and snacks, however if you wish to purchase additional items or souvenirs or any additional beverages then we would recommend organising more currency accordingly. Pre-organising currency with the Post Office will often give you the better exchange rates compared with exchanging currency at the airport.

Tipping policy  Tipping is not the norm here however the appreciation of service well delivered is always welcomed but it is at your descretion.  Here is a guide to tipping shoudl you wish if you did want to tip we would recommend:

  • Guides per day MYR 80-100
  • Driver per day MYR 10-15
  • Porters MYR2-10 per bag

Service charge is including in most bills although you can tip an additional 10% if you wish

Phone & Wi-Fi

Phone signal is limited in the village and there is none in the jungle.  Wi-Fi will be available is in hotels.

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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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