Get to grips with foreign terrain on jungle, desert or mountain treks, get on horseback or travel by river
Most destinations offer students the chance to complete a substantial main trekking phase. Importantly, the team chooses the level of challenge and interest provided by each trek to match their own objectives. There are usually several levels to choose from in each destination, with some treks offering support ranging from guides, porters and mules to catering teams. There are also opportunities to trek through different terrains such as jungle, desert and at high altitude. Physical fitness and mental stamina are tested in this phase, so it is important that everyone takes fitness training seriously before setting off on expedition. This phase aims to build teamwork and leadership in the face of challenging physical activity and unfamiliar environments.
How does the Trekking phase work?
Types of trekking
From a range of options, the team chooses a trek, taking into consideration:
- The level of physical challenge they want from the main trek.
- The amount of support on the trek, e.g. porters, mules, guides, cooks.
- The terrain of the main trek, e.g. mountains, jungle, flat plains, gorges, peaks/summits.
- The duration of the trek.
Typical main trek duration: 5-7 days
There are a huge variety of school treks to choose from and each destination has its own unique offering.
Below are some of the different types of treks on offer on our destinations:
If you fancy the challenge of ascending above 3,000 metres, or even attempting to summit a peak, we have a range of challenging treks taking you up to high altitude. Here, good communication and teamwork is essential as you move at a slow and determined pace to make sure everyone gets the best possible chance of making it through this tough environment. The panoramic views of the landscape and sense of team accomplishments at altitude are well worth the effort.
Sights, sounds and smells bombard your senses on the immersive adventure of a jungle trek. It feels surreal to stand amidst all the noises of nature and see a habitat so packed with plant and insect life. We have a variety of treks ranging from just sampling a rainforest environment through to fully immersive trekking experiences where you learn survival skills and how to put up and sleep in your own hammocks. This is a unique opportunity to experience a very different world.
Longer or shorter treks
If substantial trekking is not your main focus, why not try a destination like Madagascar where you can do a series of small, shorter treks? However, if trekking is your main objective then why not embrace one of our longer treks where you will set off with a full support crew, including guides, porters and a cook team to tackle up to 14-days in the remote landscapes of the Indian Himalayas. Either way, you still need to consider whether you want to do a journey from A to B, a circular route or smaller treks coming back to a hub each night.
If you’d like to get in the saddle and learn a new skill, we have a few opportunities for you to try your hand at horse trekking. We don’t recommend spending more than a few days on horseback, as saddles in our destinations probably aren’t as comfortable as they are here. That said, it’s a pretty unique way to travel through some stunning scenery, all viewed from a higher perch. If you are keen, we’d recommend you try and get in the saddle before you head out – best to be prepared!
For those who want to spend more time on the water, we have designed a few unique river journeys. You travel either on a cargo boat or physically paddle on the water to reach your next destination. If a remote river journey sounds exciting, consider Venezuela where you travel for up to 3-days in motorised canoes, then 2-days on foot to reach the tribes of the Yekwana people. Alternatively, check out our Rest and Relaxation section to see a brief sample of the water activities we offer, from white water rafting, to boat cruises and kayaking.
If you are ready to embrace the physically demanding challenges of a high-altitude trek, head into the Himalayan mountains in India where you can trek for 5-14 days at over 5,000m. India
If doing part of your journey on horseback appeals, then try trekking over the Drakensburg Mountains from South Africa into Lesotho. South Africa & Lesotho
If the sights and sounds of the jungle excite you and you’re ready to sleep under the canopy in a hammock, head to Chiang Dao. Thailand
In 2012, 216 students reached the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Known as the roof of Africa, the highest peak of the African continent reaches 5,895m.
Making sure students are well prepared and safe
Our 24-hour Operations Centre is on hand around the clock to offer unrivalled support to all of our expedition teams. Every group is accompanied by a trained and experienced World Challenge Expedition Leader, who makes sure the expedition runs smoothly and safely, supported by one of our In-Country Agents – a local expert.
All teams receive a World Challenge Fitness Assistance Pack, put together and verified by experts in the field. This includes guidance on how to get fit and exercise plans to fit your needs and timings. There’s also some compulsory testing that we use to identify any Challengers that may need a specific action plan.