Sahara Wheelchair
trek4life Sahara Mental Health 2018 2018-02-22T19:09:16+00:00

Project Description

Morocco Sahara Desert, trek4life charity trek for Mental Health

Raising funds for charities supporting mental health for all ages

Join us on this superb adventure taking you deep into the Moroccan Sahara Desert and raise funds for mental health charities. Mental health problems can affect anyone at any age, and this challenge brings supporters together to raise awareness and much needed funds for the charities that change the lives of those that suffer.

Morocco Sahara Desert, trek4life charity trek for Mental Health
Sahara Challenge, Morocco
6 – 15 Oct 2018
Sahara Challenge, Morocco
6 – 15 Oct 2018

A 6 day tented trek into the vast, remote and hot Sahara Desert to witness the sun set from the 1900 feet high Erg Zaher, the largest dune in the region

Join us on this superb trekking adventure challenge taking you deep into the biggest desert in the world, the Sahara. As you journey across the rolling Sahara dunes, following routes used for centuries by Bedouins and camel caravans, you will be captivated by your extraordinary surroundings. Sahara Inspiration.

The route will allow you to fully experience this beautiful region as you traverse hamada, twisting wadi’s and untouched windblown sand dunes. Immersed in the Sahara desert way of life, you will encounter deserted villages and deep water wells frequented by nomads along the way.

The highlight of your trek is reached at the furthest point from civilisation. Hovering on the horizon you will have seen Erg Zaher for a couple of days before you reach it. You will climb this 1900 foot dune. It towers majestically over the Chigaga region. The sunset is seen from here and for most people, this is a moment to reflect on the purpose of your Sahara challenge and your amazing achievement. It is a stunning sight.

During the day we stop for leisurely lunches in the shade of the Saharan tamarisk trees. As the sun sets, we gather together to share a Moroccan feast, which is renown for its high quality.

At night we camp wild amongst the sand dunes, far away from the noise and lights of the nearest town. You will witness the Sahara’s peaceful night sky, glistening with far-away constellations, shooting stars and orbiting satellites.

The solitude and freedom of the Sahara can be life changing. The minimalist existence is both liberating and humbling as your everyday life back home feels a million miles away. By the time you finish, it will be hard to leave the desert behind. But with a rewarding sense of achievement, you will take home some very special memories.

Your Sahara journey starts and ends in the colourful and captivating city of Marrakech. There is time to explore the famous Djema El Fna, Marrakech’s main square and the endless maze of markets in the Medina. Your adventure starts before you even reach the Sahara, crossing the High Atlas Mountains via the Tichka Pass (2260m). It is the highest road pass in Morocco, driven en route to the overnight stop in Ouarzazate.

Highlights:

  • Wild camping under the stars amongst the magnificent dunes of Chigaga.
  • Experience the minimalist existence and solitude of nomadic Sahara desert life.
  • Suitable for experienced adventurers and those looking for their first challenge.
  • A wonderful 10 day adventure includes driving across the High Atlas Mountains.
  • Explore the ancient city of Marrakech – voted world’s best destination 2015.

See all trek4life challenges>>

A 6 day tented trek into the vast, remote and hot Sahara Desert to witness the sun set from the 1900 feet high Erg Zaher, the largest dune in the region

Join us on this superb trekking adventure challenge taking you deep into the biggest desert in the world, the Sahara. The route will allow you to fully experience this beautiful region as you traverse hamada, twisting wadi’s and untouched windblown sand dunes.

The highlight of the trek is reached at the furthest point from civilisation. Hovering on the horizon you will have seen Erg Zaher for a couple of days before you reach it. You will climb this 1900 foot dune. It towers majestically over the Chigaga region. The sunset is seen from here and for most people, this is a moment to reflect on the purpose of your Sahara challenge and your amazing achievement. It is a stunning sight.

Night camps are wild amongst the sand dunes, far away from the noise and lights of the nearest town. You will witness the Sahara’s peaceful night sky, glistening with far-away constellations, shooting stars and orbiting satellites.

The solitude and freedom of the Sahara can be life changing. The minimalist existence is both liberating and humbling and you will take home some priceless  memories.

Your Sahara journey starts and ends in the colourful and captivating city of Marrakech.

Highlights:

  • Wild camping under the stars amongst the magnificent dunes of Chigaga.
  • Experience the minimalist existence and solitude of nomadic Sahara desert life.
  • Suitable for experienced adventurers and those looking for their first challenge.
  • A wonderful 10 day adventure includes driving across the High Atlas Mountains.
  • Explore the ancient city of Marrakech – voted world’s best destination 2015.

See all trek4life challenges>>

Fundraising and Itinerary

Self Fund

Trip Cost £995

Deposit – £250 on booking
PLUS
Interim payment – £200
7-8 months prior to departure

PLUS
Final balance of £545 60 days prior to departure

Fundraise as much as you can; there is no time limit

Flexi Fund

Trip Cost £995

Deposit – £250 on booking
PLUS
Interim self payment – £200
7-8 months prior to departure

PLUS
Fundraise £1090 in sponsorship

Fundraising to be completed 10 weeks prior to departure

Minimum Spronsorship

Trip Cost £995

Deposit – £250 on booking
PLUS
Fundraise £1500 in sponsorship
(Min of £755 goes to the charity)

Interim payment paid by the charity*

Fundraising to be completed 10 weeks prior to departure

* The interim payment is made by the charity and is reliant on the fundraiser having sufficient funds in their fundraising account. The target dates for this (and the amounts required) will be shown on the Pledge form.

Fundraising Options Explained

Under this option, you pay the entire cost of your trip yourself, directly to us.
You then raise as much sponsorship as you can for your chosen charity. There is no pressure of a time or financial target.
The balance payment for your trip is due 60 days prior to your departure.

You pay us the deposit PLUS a 2nd personal contribution (some months later), which reduces the fundraising target.
You then commit to raising a minimum amount of sponsorship for your chosen charity. From that the remaining balance for your trip will be paid.
You will be asked to complete a Pledge Form with the charity. It sets out the target dates and any guidelines required; this is a requirement of your booking.
Your fundraising target must be met, and paid to the charity, a min of 10 weeks prior to your departure date. This enables them to pay the remaining balance for your trip with no financial risk to themselves.

You pay your deposit and then commit to raising a minimum amount of sponsorship for your chosen charity. From that sponsorship, the remaining balance for your trip will be paid.

The completion of a Pledge Form is required. It sets out the target dates and any guidelines required; this is a requirement of your booking.

Your chosen charity will support your fundraising throughout and all sponsorship money you raise must be paid to them upon receipt. Generally, the sponsorship target is set to ensure that a minimum of 50% of the money you raise is retained by the charity. All money raised above the target will also be retained by the charity. Your fundraising target must be met, and paid to the charity, a min of 10 weeks prior to your departure date. This enables them to pay the remaining balance for your trip with no financial risk to themselves.

Day 1. Depart UK, fly to Marrakech
For Land Only packages, your trip starts on arrival in Marrakech.

Fly from London on a direct flight to Marrakech. On arrival in Marrakech, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel/Riad. Once you have settled in, you will want to experience the famous Djemaa el Fna square. Your first experience of the square is one of a senses explosion; entertainers performing, a myriad of food stalls all lit up with the smells to accompany them, and the general melee of activity.

Day 2. Drive Marrakech to Ouarzazate
After breakfast, your journey down to the Desert begins. You will drive over High Atlas mountains, potentially experiencing snow at the higher altitudes demonstrating the vast difference between the country’s high and low points and stunning scenery. The 5hr journey will be broken with a rest stop as well as a visit to Ait Ben Haddou. This is the filming location for much of the blockbuster ‘Gladiator’ as well as ‘Game of Thrones’. Your overnight stop is in the desert town of Ouarzazate. Your hotel is a typically Moroccan. Enjoy a tagine and perhaps a glass of wine before you reach the miles of glorious sand that await you the following day. Total journey time 5 – 6 hrs, lunch en route. B

Day 3. Drive to M’Hamid, begin trekking
This 5hr drive takes you through the beautiful Draa Valley. The Draa river allows this valley to remain lush. After a picnic lunch, you will eventually reach M’Hamid, a Desert town and where the road literally ends. Here you will meet your support team, complete with camels and handlers and your trek begins. The first section is fairly short to introduce you to the terrain and also allow you to set up your tents for the first time. BLD

Day 4. Desert Trekking
For your first full day, you will trek further into the desert, experiencing what life there is (and there is more than you think) and the tranquillity that it can bring. Life is simple here.
With no ambient light and the desert to absorb all sound, the evenings and nights are just so dark and quiet. It is quite eerie even just to sit on a small dune overlooking the camp site and just look and listen. The stars are so bright and it is very easy to spot the orbiting satellites as they speed across the skies above you. BLD

Day 5. Sunset on Eric
As you trek deeper into the Desert you will experience deeper and more abundant dunes until you can see Erg Chigaga on the horizon. Camping tonight will be amidst the dunes close to “Eric”, as our clients fondly call it, and once camp is set up, you will climb this 300m (1000ft) dune to watch the sunset across the Sahara.
This is a moving and quite surreal experience for most people as the colours of the desert are highlighted by the setting sun. A time to reflect and truly experience the silence surrounding you. BLD

Day 6. Desert Trekking
Today you will continue your journey and by now you will be wondering how your Guide is navigating; it all looks so similar with no landmarks to speak of. Although your days are spent walking separately from your support crew,they will always be miraculously waiting for you when you arrive at your lunch or evening stop. BLD

Day 7. Desert Trekking
On your final full day of trekking you will start to leave the deeper dunes behind as the terrain changes to hamada or rocky, barren plateaus. You may encounter abandoned and derelict dwellings or even remote wells used by the Nomads as they traverse the desert. BL

Day 8. Final trek day, overnight Ouarzazate
This morning a short final trek will take you to meet your transport where you will say goodbye to your support crew and head back to Ouarzazate. Once in the hotel, you can relax and have that well earned shower! Then it’s time to get those clean clothes on and enjoy a celebration dinner. B

Day 9. Drive to Marrakech, overnight
After breakfast, it’s back towards Marrakech. We get you back as soon as we can leaving you plenty of time to get out into the Medina and experience the multitude of Souks. The bartering and market activity is something special. In the evening, enjoy a traditional meal in any one of many restaurants or try your chance by eating on one of the street stalls. B

Day 10. Depart for London
You will be transferred back to the airport for your flight to UK at the appropriate time. B

Note – B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner

What the Price Includes

  • International flights and airport transfers in Morocco
  • An experienced and qualified English speaking local guide
  • All land transfers involved in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as described in the itinerary
  • All meals on trek and B&B in hotels
  • Local porter assistance on trek (camels)
  • All necessary trek and National Park access permits

What the Price Does Not Include

  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Lunch & evening meals in Marrakech and en route to/from the desert (itinerary shows full meal plan)
  • Optional trips and sightseeing tours
  • Guide and Crew gratuities
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Challenge Information

>  Trip length – 10 days UK – UK.
>  Trek length – 6 days.
>  Biggest risk factor – the sun.
>  All meals and drinking water on trek, b’fasts in hotels.
>  Hotel accommodation in Marrakech and Ouarzazate, tents on trek.

Passport – Must be valid for the duration of your visit. Information source is the FCO Travel Advice Morocco.

Visa – No visa is required. You need to complete an immigration form on arrival.

Flight Tickets – Most airlines work on e-tickets now (the flight reference No (we supply) and your surname). There are no paper tickets. In the majority of cases, we check you in and supply your Boarding Passes by email. If you are required to check in yourself, we will inform you of the process.

Travel Insurance – Mandatory on our trips. We will ask for proof of cover. We do not sell travel insurance. Go to our Information webpage for our unbias advice and tips.

Min group size 3.

Once this number is reached, the trip is guaranteed to depart; the trip will not be cancelled.

You will be walking between 5 – 7 hours per day. Overall distance on this trek can vary between 60 – 100km depending on the group.

Temperatures can hit 40°C mid afternoon and as low as 0°C overnight, so they vary enormously. The difference between day and night temperatures can often make it feel chilly and most of the time, you will need layers in the morning before the sun warms the air up.

The walking surface varies between hard baked river bed (wadi), hamada (light sand with pebbles) and very deep soft sand. As a result, it can take its toll on your feet. In the deeper dunes it can be hard work but overall, this trek would be considered moderately challenging.

We recommend a reasonable level of fitness and adopt a regular training regime well before you depart.

After booking, you will be asked to complete an Emergency Details Form which will include your medical history. If we have any doubts about your ability to take part in the challenge, we may ask you to provide a letter of fitness from your GP, therefore we would recommend that if you have any concerns, you speak to your GP prior to booking.

In the UK, if you can walk for 5 – 6 hrs per day, on consecutive days, over undulating terrain (with normal rest stops), carrying a daysack weighing approx 6kg, then you should be perfectly capable of completing this trek.

Fitness Concerns? – Call us on 01529 488159 or 07725 943108

Food

  • B’fast is supplied in hotels, full board on trek including drinking water.
  • Breakfasts will consist of a variable buffet spread: cereals (including porridge), bread with various spreads (jam, nutella, etc..), cream cheeses, omelettes, hot drinks.
  • Lunches are prepared freshly by the camp chef and can be soups, bread, salads of varying type and fruit. Hot drinks.
  • Tea/coffee and biscuits served on arrival into camp each day.
  • Evening meals consists of 3 courses: soup, main course and desert.
    Starter – various soup with bread.
    Main course – traditional tagines of chicken, lots of vegetables, rices, lentils, pasta and similar hearty dishes. Catering for vegetarians presents no issues.
    Deserts – normally tinned fruit.
    Hot drinks.

Accommodation

  • Hotels, Marrakech and Ouarzazate – twin share, same sex basis.
  • On trek – tents, twin share basis, same sex.
  • Declared couples (ie married) will be paired together.
  • If there is an odd number, someone gets lucky with sole occupation at no additional cost.
  • Sole occupation cost – £120. This includes the 4 x hotel nights + a tent to yourself on trek.

Our default flights are London Gatwick (LGW) – Marrakech (RAK) but we may use other airports. We use direct flights if at all possible.

Included luggage allowance in the aircraft hold is a min of 20kg.

London not convenient?

Other regional non London airport options are possible. We appreciate the potential inconvenience of London if you live far away. Whilst using regional airports may attract supplements due to higher flight costs, that cost may be offset by the cost and time of travelling to London. Flights from regional airports are highly likely to be indirect (ie involve at least 1 stop). Please ask for advice.

China Great Wall, international flights

The advice here is given in good faith from trusted sources; we are not medical professionals. Check with your Medical Practice if you are up to date with the primary courses.

Vaccinations for Morocco:

  • Usually advised for Nepal: Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid.
  • Consider: Hepatitis B; Rabies.
  • Yellow Fever – No Yellow Fever certificate is required for Morocco.
  • Information source – http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/morocco.aspx
  • Malaria – Malaria not normally present unless the illness was contracted abroad.

FREE Vaccinations – the following are usually FREE on the NHS as they are considered the greatest risk if brought into the country:
Cholera, Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus and Hep A (be aware some of those are combined vaccinations).
Information source – http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1071.aspx?CategoryID=67

The others you are likely to have to pay for.

INCLUDED – All taxes and fuel supplements associated with international and domestic flights.

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Treat Yourself – Extend for 2 nights in Marrakech?

Just 2 additional nights post trip costs just £95 per person.

Try a relaxing Spa Hammam in a hotel, sip those cocktails by the pool or stroll the markets at leisure. Two extra nights post trek allows you to relax, unwind and take your time to treat yourself to whatever you fancy.

This includes:

  • 2 nights in a 3/4* Riad or hotel (with pool, bar, etc..)
  • Private transfer back to the airport

Prices are based on twin share, B&B basis.

We do not charge admin fees for using different return flights but we do need to know you are going to extend at the time of booking.

Classic Spa Hammam; so relaxing
Marrakech lights up at night; very atmospheric
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