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Choosing Physical Challenges for Charity

After you've chosen to go on a gap year, and after you've chosen to travel and do something to raise money for charity, picking what do to in order to raise the sponsorship cash can be pretty difficult. There's so much to do!

Free-diving with sharks is too scary but too easy, so what about trekking along the Great Wall of China? Anyone can do that, it's not really a challenge, or is it? Alpha have compiled a brief list of some of the most physically challenging charity activities you can do on your gap year:

Inca Trail Trek, Peru

Kill two birds with one stone and complete the physically demanding Inca Trail trek for the chance to raise funds for charity and simultaneously see the ancient world wonder of Machu Picchu (somewhere which is no doubt on your bucket list). The Inca Trail trek is meant to be one of the top ten trekking routes in the world, and one of the most popular charity challenges. The challenge starts in the Inca capital of Cusco, deep in the Andes Mountains before leading on to the amazing Sun Gate and then onto the fascinating ruins of Machu Picchu. If you're lucky you'll get to see the sun rising or setting above the last signs of Inca civilisation here, a truly incredible sight to behold.

Kilimanjaro Trek, Tanzania

Kili, as it is affectionately known by climbers is one of the highest free-standing mountains in the world. The seemingly impossibly-snow-capped mountains tower over the flat African plans below. This is a tough trek that takes participants through the dense rainforest, dry moorland and scree until you reach Uhuru Peak, the highest point. The view from the top is reward enough.

Cuban Revolution cycle

From the exotic Cuban capital of Havana, this challenge takes you over 350km over a period of five days to the city of Trinidad on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, passing villages, orchards and plantations in the mean time.

Mighty Zambezi Trek and Rafting Challenge, Africa

This unique challenge offers the traveller a unique and exhilarating experience where they will be expected to paddle over 100 kilometres down one of the roughest rivers in Africa- the Zambezi. Sweltering heat, blistered hands, high humidity and really harsh conditions, participants will paddle traditional wooden canoes and inflatable kayaks on the upper river towards Victoria Falls, dodging rapids known as 'the Terminator' and native wildlife such as crocodiles and some of the most aggressive animals in Africa- the hippos!

Sahara Desert trek

The Sahara is the world's most famous desert, stretching for over 4,800 kilometres from the African west coast all the way to the east. This charity challenges asks the participant to trek for ten days over 100km through this constantly-changing landscape. Local Berbers act as guides as they trek through this remote and spectacular environment, sleeping soundly under the desert's starry curtain. A trek highlight is the Chegaga Dunes - the largest dunes to be found in the Sahara, but the Atlas mountains provide the perfect backdrop to this particular adventure.

Whether you end up trekking to Everest base camp or hitting the Zambezi rapids, it's essential to remember to include travel insurance on your travel checklist. Should anything happen, travel insurance can help you out in emergency situations, providing you with cover for lost, damaged or stolen possessions and emergency medical expenses cover.

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