31 March - 4 April 2022
|Date||31 March - 4 April 2022|
Registrations are now closed for the April 2022 challenge. You can register your interest in taking on the event in the future, here.
From flat desert floor scattered with ancient fossils, to perfect wind-blown sand-dunes, this trek is diverse and demanding. The vast desert is a truly beautiful place to discover while the incredible star-strewn night skies are unforgettable. Accompanied by Berber guides and a caravan of camels, our remote night-camps with camp-fires and Berber singing are a real highlight of the trip!
What's included when you take on Sahara?
- Return flights from London.
- All accommodation and transfers.
- Trek leader, local guides and doctor.
- An Alzheimer's representative to offer encouragement and support.
- All meals.
- A friendly team to support you every step of the way with fundraising tips and ideas.
- Bespoke training plans put together by our professional training coaches.
- A celebration meal and medal on finishing the trek!
Download the kit list which you can tick off when packing for the trek. We also have some top tips on how to find the best kit for you and an exclusive discount for Cotswold Outdoors.
There are two ways of funding your place on this trip. For both options we require a non-refundable registration fee of £99.
Sponsorship option 1
You commit to raising a minimum sponsorship of £1,800 per person. £1,440 of this amount (80%) must be sent to us ten weeks prior to the trip and out of this we pay the balance of your trip costs. The rest of your fundraising should be sent in within six weeks of your return.
Self-funding option 2
You may prefer to cover all of the trip costs yourself. If you wish to do this then ten weeks prior to the trip you will be required to have:
Sent us the balance of your trip costs of £900
Sent us £720 (80%) of your sponsorship
The rest of your fundraising should be sent in within six weeks of your return.
What else will I need to pay for?
Fuel supplement levied by airline (approx. £80pp)
Personal expenses for souvenirs etc
Tips for local guides (£30-£40)
Any optional sightseeing
Fundraising for Sahara
Registration Fee: £99
Fundraising Target: £1800
Your fundraising target covers your trip costs, and means we still have plenty of money left to help us get closer to a world without dementia.
If you need some inspiration, just visit our fundraising zone.
If the trip cannot go ahead in October due to Covid-19, we will postpone the trek to a new date and offer you the choice of being transferred to the new date or a full refund. We are very hopeful that it will go ahead as planned in the Autumn.
We can take between 20 and 60 trekkers on this trip, but would expect a group size of 40-60.
This trekking challenge is all about endurance fitness rather than speed and it is certainly not a race. Try to train with your day-pack on your back and get used to drinking and carrying water during your training. Sticking to our training plan will really pay off. Although the desert is fairly flat, the heat will have an impact on your fitness levels and your endurance, and the loose sand on parts of the trek can be tiring to walk over. You will be up early in the mornings and trekking for approximately 6-8 hours each day so good fitness is very important. Distances are misleading in this type of terrain, and it’s more useful when training to think about the hours you need to walk for! This trek is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance.
You will need to be 18 prior to the departure of the trip. If you are over 65, the only additional requirement is that you provide a medical certificate from your doctor confirming that you are fit and healthy to participate in the challenge.
In order to cover the cost of your place, you will need to individually raise the target. We do encourage teams to sign up, but each individual team member will be required to hit the overall target.
Before the trip
We will support you with both challenges of raising your sponsorship money and your training. We provide fundraising support, sponsor forms and publicity tips.
Our training plan will help you achieve the level of fitness you'll need and we'll keep in touch regularly to hear how you are getting on. We also organise a pre-event information session which is a great opportunity to find out more about the challenge, meet fellow participants and share tips on fundraising and training.
On the trip
A member of our team will trek with you, be there to answer any questions and help with any issues that may arise. You will be travelling with a UK mountain leader, experienced guides and support staff, and a UK doctor will be with you throughout the journey. Your luggage will be transported each day by our caravan of camels as you trek, so you therefore cannot access your main packs during the day and will need to make sure that you carry a day-pack containing extra layers, waterproof, sun-cream, hat, camera, water and so on.
The days are usually clear and sunny and temperatures can exceed 35°C. The sun can be powerful so sun-cream, SPF lip salve and a sun hat are essential. You’ll be able to buy a traditional shamla (desert scarf) on your way to the start of your trek. It is cooler in the mornings and evenings, there may even be frost on the tents and it can rain in this part of the desert.
You will need to ensure that you have the vaccinations required for this trip prior to travel. You can find some guidance and information on the Fit for Travel NHS website. Always consult your local GP or travel clinic for the latest health advice, as they are aware of any updates in World Health Travel requirements.
You will be trekking over stony, firm desert floor and loose soft sand dunes, through remote desert and the occasional small oasis. Try to train on a variety of terrain to get your legs used to the challenge of uneven ground. Trekking poles are recommended and you're encouraged to train with them. You will trek approximately 24 miles overall, although distances can vary over time because of the natural movement of the dunes. It’s much more useful when training to think about the hours that you will be walking for, rather than the distance. The heat adds to the challenge!
Please bring your luggage in a soft bag or rucksack.
Your main luggage limit on the plane is 20kg with a 5kg allowance for hand luggage. Do travel lightly and take only small bottles of toiletries. If you stick to the kit list you will manage this with no problems and don’t forget that suitcases are not suitable – soft rucksacks only (with no wheels on) so they are suitable to be loaded onto the camels.
As part of your booking conditions, it is compulsory that you ensure you have adequate travel insurance to cover you for trekking.
You must let the tour operator have your insurance details by at least eight weeks before the departure date. Do also make sure you declare any pre-existing conditions otherwise your insurance company will not pay up should you need to make a claim.
At the start and end of the trek you'll stay in a hotel with en suite facilities, on a twin-share basis. If you are travelling alone, you will be paired up with someone of the same sex and similar age.
Whilst on the trek itself you’ll be sleeping in tents on the same twin share basis. We highly recommend sleeping under the incredible star-strewn night skies for at least one night – there’s nothing quite like it!
The local crew produce freshly-cooked and plentiful food as it is important that you make sure you are eating well for the long days of trekking. Breakfast is usually porridge, bread, jam, honey, cheese, tea and coffee. For lunch you will have bread, salads, cheese, olives, fish, vegetables and fruit. Dinners typically start with soup, followed by couscous or tagine with chicken and vegetables, and tinned fruit or other desserts. There will also be biscuits and dried fruit (typically dates or figs), and plenty of mint tea.
Being vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free or having other dietary requirements is usually not a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect the variety you would have at home as in some regions certain foods are hard to access.
Bring enough snacks to keep you going each day - around 3 - 4 tasty treats a day. We recommend a combination of slow and fast release snacks such as cereal bars (e.g. Tracker), flapjacks, salted nuts and packets of sweets.
If you live abroad or would like to make your own flight arrangements please let us know upon registering for the trip. There is the option to extend your stay in Morocco and we offer a 2 day trip extension to Marrakesh. For more information, contact the team upon registration.