No departures found for 2018

Sun 21 Oct - Sat 27 Oct 2018

In aid of Balashram School

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

ESSENTIAL INFO

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Level of Difficulty

Visa

Money

Vaccinations

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Luggage allowance and valuables

Responsible Tourism

Should I take gifts or clothes for the locals?

Typical day

What happens if I fall ill, can’t keep up or there is an emergency?

Accommodation

Toilets

Food & Drink

Clothing and equipment

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

Phone and WiFi

Safety

Training

Booking Terms and Conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the Challenge Information and Frequently Asked Questions PDF here for more information.

Level of Difficulty

The Maasai Bush Trek is graded as “challenging”.  

You can tell your supporters that on your Maasai Bush Trek you will be:

  • Trekking at least 6-7 hours per day
  • Battling the heat in the Rift Valley and Crater Highlands.  
  • Sleeping in a tent for 5 nights

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. Three months prior to departure we will provide you with the necessary information to apply for your visa. Alternatively, you may be able to obtain it, in person, at the Embassy. Please confirm with your local Tanzanian 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.

Money

Currency: The Tanzania shilling is a soft currency and you cannot obtain shillings before leaving the UK and many other countries. 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 US dollar. 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.

ATMs: You will have no access to ATMs the days you will be trekking but once back in Arusha you are able to withdraw cash if needed. 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. Please bring US dollars with you especially in smaller denominations. 

Spending money: You will not need to carry a large amount of money during this trip, and other than at the start and end of the trek, you will be in the bush away from any foreign exchanges or banks. There will be a bush bar (cash payments only) during the trek and again in the lodges there will be bars and shops. We recommend that you take a sufficient amount of cash. Somewhere in the region of £200 in US dollars should be enough to cover presents, tips, and drinks. Please note that there is no opportunity to obtain Tanzanian shillings before the start of the trek. You will be able to make purchases in dollars so you should bring low denominations. If you want Tanzanian shillings you will be able to exchange money and cash travellers cheques at the end of the trek at the lodge for tips and final gifts.

Tips: Tipping is personal and at your sole discretion. You should only tip if you feel that you have received good service. We recommend approx. US$70 for the entire trip which should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge, who will distribute it among the support team. In the event that a particular member of staff gives you extra service you might leave him spare trekking gear at the end. 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 $1 dollar bills for tipping.

Vaccinations

We strongly recommend protection from malaria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A, and typhoid. Please check the latest advice regarding whether you will need a yellow fever certificates as this often changes. Vaccines sometimes advised: tuberculosis, meningococcal meningitis, hepatitis B, rabies, and cholera. 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 recommendations only* For further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice please contact your local healthcare provider or see www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

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. 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. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book, we will send you a disclaimer which you must complete and return.

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main Frequently Asked Questions PDF here.

Group Size

The group needs to be a minimum of 25 people in order to run and a maximum of 35 people due to the wilderness environment in which the challenge takes place. We will be able to run this challenge for 20 to 24 people by charging a small group supplement of £50 per person which will be added to your final balance invoice. We will notify you 12 weeks before departure if this is necessary. 

Leadership

We employ a number of qualified challenge leaders, all of whom speak fluent English, and will have a UK challenge leader and qualified doctor joining us on this trip. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group. The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to 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 challenge leader will have the final say.

Climate

October is the dry season meaning you get the traditional bush experience. However, weather has been very unpredictable in East Africa in recent years, and it is remotely possible that it will rain, especially near to Ngorongoro in October. The temperatures can range from around 32c rising to 38c at noon, and can get quite chilly after sunset so bring a warm light windproof jacket for evening wear. 

Terrain

This trek takes place in the wild African bush – home to several Maasai communities. Terrain will be dry and bumpy
varying along the way.

Luggage allowance and valuables

Luggage should be kept to the absolute minimum – details of what to pack are provided in your Kit List. You will need to carry a daypack during the day while the luggage vehicle will carry your main rucksack. Your daypack should be about 35-litre capacity. NB: You should take a soft-sided bag or rucksack as hard suitcases are too unwieldy. Your main pack should be 70-80 litres capacity. On your outward journey, please wear your trekking gear, hiking boots, and carry a spare change of clothing in your hand luggage. No formal clothes are needed.

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. The camps will be watched over by Maasai guards at night.

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.

Should I take gifts or clothes for the locals?

It is a nice gesture to give the local children small gifts, but we actively discourage the giving of sweets or money, however small, because this encourages begging. It is better to bring pencils and notebooks for the schools in the villages you will be passing through. Please give any gifts or donations to the tour leader as they will know who to distribute it to. We will be investing money into a local community project to help improve local living conditions.

Typical day

During the trek you will be walking for up to 8-10 hours a day. Depending on the weather and the day, rest/water stops will be set up regularly, where you can regroup, rest and relax while drinking water and eating your snacks. Lunch will be a packed lunch stopping in a reasonable spot. You will get to your campsite in the afternoon where you can relax, have a drink and eat your dinner.

What happens if I fall ill, can’t keep up or there is an emergency?

The event is not run as a race and there is always a large discrepancy in people’s walking ability. 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. In the event of illness, we have a qualified doctor travelling with us and first aid supplies. In the case of an emergency, one of our backup vehicles will take you to the nearest clinic. We are always in contact with the backup vehicles by radio and with the Arusha office. Quality medical services are available in Arusha.

Accommodation

Camping throughout the trek is in two person tents and twin share in the hotel. There will be toilet and shower tents, an awning for restaurant and a small bush bar selling drinks and bottled water. Maasai warriors will guard and guide your group in partnership with your own support crew of qualified guides, camp team and drivers. At the end of the trek, you will be staying in more comfortable accommodation at the Planet Lodge hotel in Arusha. If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with, please let Charity Challenge know in advance.

If you are arriving before 21 October, we recommend booking accommodation at Planet Lodge, as this is where the bus transfer will depart from to commence our challenge. To guarantee a room, we suggest booking directly with the hotel as soon as you have registered for the challenge. Please let the hotel know you are part of the TTC/Charity Challenge group.

Toilets

We arrange basic long drop toilets in the camps. Your camp team will provide washing bowls of warm water as you arrive at camp at the end of the day’s trekking, and there will be shower tents with canvas bush showers specially set up at most of the camping places. Please be aware that sometimes local water can be in short supply – if this is so at the time of your visit, we will not provide daily showers, we shall offer on certain days only showers for half the group. The other half will receive bowls of water for washing. The following day the procedure will be reversed. Please take plenty of wet wipes and anti-bacterial hand gel with you. There are no toilets on the trek route during the day, so you must make sure you bury all waste, and carry out wet wipes.

Food & Drink

There will be a hot breakfast (porridge, eggs, toast, tea and coffee) to start the day, a packed lunch in the bush, and a filling hot meal in the evening (soup, followed by rice, potato or pasta and sauce, and usually fruit for dessert.) Food will be vegetarian (no onions, garlic or chilli) with dairy on the side. We will provide drinking water which has been purified throughout the challenge. 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, waterproof, well-worn in boots are strongly recommended, 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 gore-tex 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. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here.

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

Yes, you will need to bring a light sleeping bag. A sleeping bag liner, which can be used in place of your sleeping bag if you get too hot, is also advisable. You are also advised to bring a foam sleeping mat – there may be mats provided; however, for your comfort you should bring your own – two mats will work better than one! Do not bring Thermarests or any inflatable mats because of the thorns. Also see Kit List.

Phone and WiFi

There is wi-fi at the hotel at the end, but not on the trek.  Phone signal is available, but intermittent.

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

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 Maasai Bush Trek, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • You will be trekking through the African Bush up to a maximum of 26kms per day
  • Terrain can be sandy and rocky
  • Basic toilet and shower facilities

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 may be different from what you are used to, and that you will be exercising constantly for a number of days.

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

Booking Terms and Conditions

Booking Terms and Conditions can be reviewed here.

Back to top

BELIEVE >> ACHIEVE >> INSPIRE

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

Charity Challenge

Developed by Mercury1. Site design by Huddle Creative

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube Blog
charitychallenge:mercury1:status:ok
Version details
Version: 2.22.0
Build: 5687e542365a-RR
Time: 2018-09-19 12:44
Session expired

Your session has timed out after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Please click OK to continue.

Share this page

Link to share:

https://www.charitychallenge.com/expedition/info/2771/Balashram-Maasai-Bush-Trek

Share link via:

Done