The flights will be with one of three low cost carriers, departing only from a London based airport. You will need to organise your own travel to and from the airport. We look to depart early morning, with an early morning arrival into Morocco. The flight details will be published closer to the challenge.
If you are looking to organise your own flights, or perhaps you wish to stay on in Morocco before or after the challenge you can book our ‘Land Only’ package and organise your own flights. It will be your responsibility to meet our team at Marrakech airport to then join our transfers across the Atlas mountains to the camp.
You will have your own tent for the 3 nights of camping, if you are signing up as a couple or two friends you can choose to share your tent together – and use the spare for your luggage.
The 2 nights in a hotel is booked on a twin share basis – if you are signing up as a couple or two people you can elect to share together when you register. If you are signing up as an individual you will be placed with someone your own sex, and similar in age. In advance you will be given the opportunity to meet via our Facebook group. You can choose to upgrade to a single room for the 2 nights for an additional £150.
No – you will need to source your own travel insurance policy which will cover you for the challenge. Travel insurance is compulsory and we will require the details of your policy in advance of departure.
Your booking is protected, meaning that if the trip has to be cancelled (for example as a result of Covid-19) then you will be given the option of either a refund, or to transfer your place onto the following event.
British Citizens do NOT need a visa for Morocco, but you do need a valid passport (valid for 3 months beyond your stay). If you are NOT a British Citizen please check the visa / passport requirements by visiting the website of your embassy in Morocco.
Currently there are restrictions in place for British Citizens travelling to Morocco, however we are confident that these will be lifted by October 2021.
Fitness & Training
There’s no denying it – this is a tough challenge by anyone’s standards – particularly if you opt for the 50 km Ultra on the 2nd day of the challenge. It will be physically and emotionally demanding! You will have to combat fatigue and tiring limbs as you battle through the challenge!
On top the two marathons in two days – you’ll also be up against rocky terrain and the heat!
You will need to prepare – and should read the training advice issued carefully. The more comfortable you are with walking long distances for sustained periods the more comfortable you will be on the challenge.
A training plan will be issued in the participant’s area of the website to assist in your preparation for the event and we organise regular training walks to get you fitness levels up, as well as to give you the experience you require which will really help you to complete the challenge!
The Saharan Challenge is a a tough event and training is essential for everyone. Preparation is key and will aid your enjoyment of the challenge whilst ensuring that your body is up to the rigors of the event.
It is very important for all competitors to train properly and build up endurance and resilience thresholds, alongside your base fitness. This will enable you to cope with the distance and provide you with the ability to recover between stages during the challenge.
You will have access to an event specific training guide to aid with your training and preparation, it can be found on the Challenge App.
Whilst October is a cooler time to visit Morocco than at the height of summer, you can still expect temperatures of between 30-35 degrees during the day along the challenge. Often this is clear blue skies, and strong sun so we highly recommend that your training incorporates longer distances during the summer months, on hot days. This is especially important to ensure you’ve trained in the shoes and clothes you plan on wearing during the challenge.
A runner is anyone who plans to finish each day (if on a marathon distance) within 4-6 hours, it is important that you distinguish yourself as either a walker or jogger on the challenge – as runners set off after the walkers, catch them up, and then overtake.
Yes – although as of yet every year we’ve run this challenge each participant has completed each day within the time limit. These will be enforced from the lunch stops onwards on both days. You are expected to walk at a minimum pace of 4km per hour – and therefore complete the first day within about 12 hours, including rest stops & lunch. There will be support vehicles and coaches on hand through the event should anyone need them!
We expect that the 2021 Saharan Challenge will have between 150-200 challengers – meaning that on the route you will never be alone, and there will be lots of new people to make friends with! One of the great aspects of this trip is the sense of adventure and camaraderie between challengers and friends for life are made!
Food and drink is fully included in your challenge! Approximately every 12-13 km there are manned checkpoints and replenishment stops where water, fruits and snacks are provided!
The event catering will be mixed, varied, delicious and plentiful, with calorific intake a priority. Both Western and local foods will be available.
The challenge will be supported by UK doctors in case of any emergencies, safety support vehicles should you need to be moved forward or collected along the route. We also have a team of UK podiatrists to help with all tired and weary feet!
The trail will be marked with pink flags / markers where it’s required. You will be required to walk in groups of 3 or more at all times, and we will have guides along the trail who you can walk with if you wish.
- Dining tents & seating areas
- Medical area & podiatrists
- Drinking water at all times
- Hot drinks & refreshments
- Warm showers, hand washing stations & toilets!
- Charging facilities (for phones)
- Event Management team on hand throughout
Yes – each day of 26 miles is broken down as per the below schedule (distances can vary slightly):
- 6 miles – morning rest stop
- 12 miles – lunch stop
- 18 miles – afternoon rest stop
All rest stops, and the lunch stops are manned by our Event Management Team, and local Moroccan guides and our Medical teams. There will be shaded seating areas with toilets, hand washing stations – we will also be serving refreshments, water refill and snacks/ or lunch.
Payments & Fundraising
If you’ve chosen the Self Funding option you will be invoiced the final balance 12 weeks before your trip, the full balance to be paid to us 10 weeks before the trip.
If you’ve chosen either the Charity Sponsorship target, or the Mixed Fundraising option you will have to raise a minimum of 80% 12 weeks prior to the challenge, with the remaining 20% target due to be with your charity no later than 4 weeks after.
If you are unable to reach these targets, or you are concerned about reaching them we suggest speaking to your charity. Failure to reach your target
You can ‘elect’ any charity to fundraise for how when you register onto the challenge – we will contact your chosen charity and ask if they are happy to accept you as a fundraiser. If so – they will be in touch with you shortly, if not (as some can’t budget for these events) then we will get back in touch with you and let you know so you can choose another charity.