Once upon a time, sitting in a bath of beans used to be enough to raise money for charity, but the bar has been well and truly raised with the advent of celebrity charity challenges – we all remember last year’s trip along the Zambezi and the Kilimanjaro climb. Well now it’s time for you to step up by bike riding, trekking and sledding your way to raising funds for charity.
Snow shoe across the Pyrenees
The wintersports activity of snowshoeing may make you look as if you’re wearing an old-school tennis racquet on your feet but, with a little bit of practice, it’s a very effective way to traverse the snowy landscapes. You can join a charity snowshoe trek across the mighty Pyrenees Mountains which form a natural border between Spain and France. The unspoiled landscapes are bewitching, especially as you navigate the areas usually out of reach during the winter. Particularly breathtaking are the national parks; including the Parc Natural de l’Alt Pirineu with its spellbinding Comials Waterfalls; the Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici which is rich in birdlife and the volcanic La Garrotxa Natural Park which is located on the Iberian Peninsula.
Trek and Kayak across Brazil
Last year the focus was on the great Zambezi rafting adventure for Comic Relief. The updated version is a kayaking challenge in Brazil, which also throws in plenty of unique trekking opportunities too. The fifth largest country in the world is the place to be in 2014, thanks to the World cup and impending Olympic in 2016. Covering nearly half of South America, Brazil is home to dense rainforests and of course the mighty Amazon River. You can opt to trek through the vast Atlantic rainforest which is home to endemic trees, intriguing flora and native fauna, such as monkeys, wild pigs and toucans. Tackling the mighty Amazon is a big ask so start off with a kayaking adventure in Brazil’s Costa Verde region, namely the Bay of Paraty which is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean. Follow the route to Saco do Mamangua as you meander past tropical forest, tiny islands and gorgeous 300 beaches. Don’t forget to include a stop off in Rio de Janeiro to see what the fuss is all about.
24 Peaks in 24 Hours in England
You could easily fit this charity trip into a weekend! Yes, that’s right; you’ll climb 24 peaks within a 24 hour period in the heart of England. One of the easily accessible travel challenges for charity takes place in picturesque Lake District region and the pinnacle is the peak of Scafell Pike which rises to 3,209 feet (978 meters). The days are long but the rewards are more than worth it. And best of all it’s a quick trip which can be completed at almost any time of the year (except the depths of winter and the height of summer). The YouTube video below shows the challenge which awaits...
Running in Rajasthan
If running is your sport of choice then why not consider a running challenge for charity? And to make it more interesting, swap your urban treadmill for a more glamorous location. You could try running the Great Wall of China, but that’s been on the menu for years, so why not try a new challenge – running in regal Rajasthan in India! Dubbed the Land of Kings’, the royal and largest state in India is typified by ancient forts, ornate palaces and buzzing cities. You’ll be challenged to run 100km through the semi-arid conditions, which lie on the cusp of the mighty Thar Desert. Take some time after your trip to admire the majestic Amber Fort in Jaipur, discover why Jodhpur is nicknamed the ‘The Blue City’ and spot rare tigers in the Ranthambore National Park.
Dog Sledding in Swedish Lapland
Fancy being at one with nature as your only mode of transport is a loyal team of huskies? Well you can enjoy a wintery adventure in Swedish Lapland as you navigate the serene landscape by mushing your obedient pack over the frozen surfaces. Majestic mountains and snow-topped forests await as the only sounds you’ll hear are you own team and the occasional fleeting reindeer or elk. Get up close to the native Sami people that have called Swedish Lapland home for centuries. And at just 150km north of the Arctic Circle, there is a very real possibility that you could glimpse the Aurora Borealis, aka the Northern Lights, in what the experts are predicting may well be the last time in our generation.
North Pole Adventure
If you’re a seasoned adventure traveller, you’ll appreciate the challenge on offer with a North Pole journey. This is a real once in a lifetime trip as you ski and sledge to the very top of the world. Become one of the very few to actually stand on the North Pole, a feat that was first achieved in 1948. It was thought for many years that Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson has reached the e North Pole first in 1909 but recent evidence suggests they were just short of the distance required. Skiing and sledging for several hours a day, you’ll need solid energy reserves, patience and your wits about you as situations can change in the blink of an eye. Snow storms are not uncommon and temperatures can reach a dizzyingly low of minus 45 degrees C!
Trek the Cambodian Jungle
From extreme cold to extreme heat, with this Cambodian jungle trek, where the heat and humidity can get pretty oppressive. Spend a few days acclimatising as you begin your trek across the hilly terrain which is smothered in tropical forests, punctuated with hidden caves, refreshing waterfalls and vast swamps. The jungles are swamps are home to various creatures such as tigers, elephants and crocodiles. Explore the traditional Cambodian villages and see day to day life before your eyes. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore both the city of Phnom Penh with its colonial-era heritage and of course the world-famous 12th century temple complex of Angkor Wat which is the biggest religious monument in the world. In fact you could easily spend many days trekking the surrounding jungle of Angkor Wat and still only see a fraction of the stunning temples and mysterious monuments.