Our favourite overseas charity trek destinations
Choose your charity trek of a lifetime
So you really fancy doing your bit for charity and heading off on the trek of a lifetime? To help you choose, we've selected a few of our favourite treks to point you in the right direction.
Whatever trek you pick – you can guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy yourself, and forge great relationships with your fellow travellers, as well as raising a large amount for charity in the process. But still that leaves you with the choice of where to go. Here's some charity trek options...
Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp
For the ultimate challenge, trek to the base camp of the world’s highest mountain. Many charities offer this experience which takes in some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery imaginable. The challenges are normally taken at a relaxed pace, yet are strenuous and still require a good level of fitness to reach altitudes in excess of 5,000m – Everest being still a fair distance away, standing at 8,848m.
Trek the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall has to be seen to be believed, as it zig-zags its way along 6,000km of china. Treks along the biggest man-made wonder of the world take in some of the fascinating watch-towers and battlements as well as remote villages rarely visited by foreigners. Some expeditions even offer a chance to lend a hand repairing sections of the Great Wall, carrying the bricks which will be placed in the wall under the watchful eye of an expert. The treks are a real physical and mental challenge, giving an opportunity to experience the 'real' China.
Trek the Inca trail in Peru
This trek is a chance to immerse yourself in ancient Peruvian culture, taking in diverse scenery; tropical Andean rainforests, snow-capped mountain ranges of the Andes and the lost city of Machu Picchu. Anyone with a passion for history and a sense of adventure will love this. You sleep under the stars throughout the trek, before finally getting to your destination of the lost city of the Incas. The lost city has lain abandoned to the forest for 500 years until being re-discovered at the beginning of the 20th century.
Trek in Vietnam
Beautiful scenery, unspoiled hill villages surrounded by spectacular mountains lie in wait for trekkers, giving you a real chance to get away from it all. The treks provide a great opportunity to experience first-hand the everyday life and culture of the Thai and Muong people as you stay with them in their picturesque villages. You still have the opportunity to explore the surrounding rich forest, magnificent caves and dazzling rice terraces. The trekking can be varied and tough in parts, making for a rewarding challenge.
Climbing to the summit of Kilimanjaro (5,895m) – Africa’s highest mountain – is an extreme test of your physical and mental limits. The peak is permanently covered with snow, and the climb provides spectacular views for the successful trekker and a real sense of satisfaction on conquering the mighty peak. The expeditions are usually carefully planned to ensure that participants acclimatise as much as possible to the altitude. The final day’s climb is likely to be the toughest participants will experience, getting up around midnight to climb to the peak and then descend, but the 12-hour trek is totally worth it.
Trek in Kenya
Treks to Kenya provide a great opportunity to visit areas totally off the beaten track and really become a part of the natural surroundings. There are opportunities to absorb spectacular scenery; the Great Rift Valley or even climb some of the dormant volcanoes of Suswa and Longonot. On top of all this, the National Park has magnificent array of wildlife including giraffe, zebra, gazelle, cheetah and flamingo.
Trek in Cuba
A trek with a difference and as a reward for all your hard work you usually end on the beach relaxing in Trinidad. Most trips will start in Havana before heading to the northern foothills of the Sierra del Escambray Mountains. Trekking can be difficult, with up to eight hours a day spent going deep through the Cuban countryside. The effort is worth it though, with spectacular sights including limestone canyons, forested hillsides, coffee plantations, orange and mango orchards and crystal clear tropical waterfalls along the way.
Saharan desert trek
If you witnessed Michael Palin’s trek, then you will have some idea about the landscape that will confront you. The Sahara is the world's biggest desert, larger than the entire United States, yet there are many that wish to pit themselves against the unforgiving conditions. Trekking with the feel of the desert underfoot can be a strength sapping experience and temperatures can be stifling, yet the mesmerising landscapes and dramatic sand dunes make it an unbelievable experience.
The appeal of trekking here in ‘the land of fire and ice’ lies in its diversity of natural features: glaciers, bubbling hot springs, geysers, active volcanoes, snow-capped peaks, vast black deserts, rivers, waterfalls and green valleys. A trek will take in elements and give you a chance to relax in some soothing waters or even indulge in a spot of whale watching.
Argentina Trek Patagonia
Considered Argentina’s stunning Lake District, this is a trek through the snow-capped Andes and ancient forests, visiting crystal clear lakes, crashing waterfalls and spectacular glaciers. This is a chance to experience some of the most remote and wild scenery and immerse yourself in local culture by experiencing the local food and customs and if you want – the tango.