School Expeditions

Acclimatisation Phase

Get used to your new environment with practical tasks and short introductory treks

The acclimatisation phase makes up the first part of your expedition. Many destinations offer short introductory treks so you can ease your way into the expedition and prepare for the physical challenges ahead. You may want to carry your rucksack to get used to exertion in a new climate before starting the more physical trekking or project phases. It’s also a chance for the students to take control and start to get to grips with team roles such as leader, accountant and member of the cooking team.

How does the Acclimatisation phase work?

Spend some time at the start of your expedition finding your feet in your destination. Completing tasks such as buying a local mobile, exchanging money and confirming bookings, helps you adjust to your surroundings. The aim of this phase is to get used to the new culture and climate you find yourself in and to start to work through the itinerary as a team.

Types of acclimatisation

This will depend on the country you are visiting and the duration of your expedition. Often an acclimatisation phase is not required on expeditions of two weeks or less.


Typically, teams complete a short trek to ease into the physical exertion and teamwork required later in the expedition. This may be a shorter version of your main trek or could take place in a different area. Depending on the number of options available you can decide:
  • The level of acclimatisation trek, e.g. gentle or more challenging.
  • The duration of the trek, e.g. day treks or overnight journeys.
Typical acclimatisation trek: 1-3 days

Cooking Preparation Day 

Your acclimatisation (e.g. in Kenya) may consist of a food shopping spree and cooking lesson. A Kenyan chef (mpishi in Swahili) takes you to a local market and shows you the wide range of ingredients available. You will also be told their Swahili names and fair prices to pay for them. After your shopping spree, you take the ingredients back to camp, where you are shown how to use them to create delicious, filling and affordable meals. 
Top Tip: Make the most of this phase, as the sensible use of local ingredients can really help you make savings on your food budget.
Get out of the vehicle and go on an acclimatisation trek through Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya.
Step back in time walking through the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru.
Leh sits 3,505m above sea level in the Himalayas, India. Day treks here allow you to get used to the altitude in preparation for your main trek. 
Another fantastic trip that kept us busy throughout. The project worked well and there was lots for us to do and the accommodation was great. The highlight was white water rafting, the providers were amazing; as teachers this was the part we were most apprehensive about but there was no need as the safety procedures in place were excellent. R&R was spent in paradise, and then back to KL for more shopping. Looking back we packed a lot into 2 weeks and all have returned with stories to tell.
School Leader, HOLMER GREEN
Malaysia 2013

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.

Why go on a school trip when you can go on a World Challenge?

"The structure of a World Challenge expedition is a winning formula. The way the students are engaged and involved from the outset gives them true ownership of their experience... It is an experience like no other!"
School Leader, DENBIGH SCHOOL, Tanzania (Mt Kilimanjaro) 2014
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