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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Written by  Jessica Pitman 27 March 2020

Understandably, the outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is raising a lot of questions about travel and the safety of specific places around the world. We get it and want to provide you with as much information as possible and provide support at this challenging and confusing time. It is important to us that you, our DA family, feel reassured and trust that when the time is right, we're here to take you on your next adventure. 

This is an unprecedented situation for all of us. Although Discover Adventure has dealt with many different circumstances in our 26 years of business, this is a new one for us. We know that everyone, at every level, is struggling with the impact of this pandemic. There is a lot of uncertainty in the air, and we're actively looking for, and seeking out, answers to the many questions we all have. 

With the barrage of daily rolling news, it is perhaps a little hard to decipher the facts. We are taking our information and advice from official sources (The UK Government and The World Health Organisation), and you can read more of this information further down this page. We are also lucky to have many contacts and links to organisations to help us to help you in these tough times (AITO and ABTA), and they are keeping us up-to-date with information about the travel industry and your rights. 

It's crucial to Discover Adventure, our employees, and for our local teams, as small businesses, that people begin to travel again when it is safe to do so. With this in mind, we ask you to strongly consider postponing your trips with us as we would love to take you on the adventure of the lifetime in the future. However, rest assured that we will cancel trips if we deem the risk is too high. We'll be reaching out as soon as things return to normal and once it's safe to live the adventure again. We're in this together.

 

Official information and sources

If you would like to understand more about the latest Government Travel Advice explicitly linked to the COVID-19 situation, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

The World Health Organisation publish a daily situation report and have a whole section of their website dedicated to Covid-19. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 

You can access the situation reports here: WHO situation reports 

It is worth noting that the WHO numbers tend to lag a little behind general news reports. However, we use this as our main reference point because these are verified figures.

 

FAQs Relating to COVID-19

On the 17th March 2020, the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all non-essential international travel, initially for a period of 30 days (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/travel-advice-foreign-secretary-statement-17-march-2020). This meant Discover Adventure cancelled all of our challenges due to depart before the end of April.

 

What happens if Discover Adventure Cancel my trip? 

If we cancel your trip, or if we cannot deliver a significant part of it, then you can choose from the following 2 options:

  • A transfer to a trip departing in 2021 
  • A transfer to another trip departing in 2020 

If we have to cancel your trip, we will contact you as soon as possible with as much advanced notice as possible. 

We want to avoid cancelling trips unless absolutely necessary: that is, unless travel advice from the FCO changes for your destination country, or unless the trip becomes operationally unviable due to safety or logistical concerns.  But please be assured, the safety of our customers will ALWAYS come first. If we have any doubts whatsoever about our trips and the associated risk, they will be cancelled. You will be informed if this impacts you. We want you to make the decision that is right for you

What if i am a participant on a bespoke charity challenge?

We are in constant contact with our charity partners and are providing updates as it is required. We would ask that any participant on a bespoke challenge contact the charity in the first instance, as they will be responsible for contacting their supporters regarding any change in challenge situation.    

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will aim to proactively contact our charity partners whose challenges are affected as quickly as we can. However, as these changes are affecting large numbers of customers, we are prioritising our imminent departures at the moment, but continue to monitor every destination we travel to.

If you are unable to contact your charity, continue to look at our updates and the advice from the Foreign Commonwealth Office for British people travelling abroad - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.

What happens if I choose to cancel my trip?

Discover Adventure will only cancel trips due to operational restrictions or safety concerns, or if the FCO advise against travel to your destination. We will let you know as soon as we can if we're due to cancel your challenge.

If you choose to cancel your trip with us, before we have made a decision about the trip, or if the trip is still going ahead as planned, our usual cancellation policy will apply. You may be able to claim costs on your travel insurance depending on the circumstances and the extent of your insurance coverage, but no refund or compensation can be claimed from Discover Adventure. You can read our Ts&Cs in full here.

What happens if someone in my group shows symptoms whilst on the trip, or the group gets infected?

If you or another member of your group displays symptoms of COVID-19 we will work with our leaders and local team to ensure that you and the rest of your group are safe. This would likely involve the affected participant being isolated from the group and transferred to a medical facility to receive the appropriate treatment, and if necessary the cancellation of the rest of the trip.

If you suspect you are ill on a challenge, or if you believe that you have come into contact with a known COVID-19 case, we advise the following steps: 

  • Stay indoors if possible and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu.
  • Call your DA leader to inform them of your unwellness.
  • Call your travel insurance company to discuss what you should do.
  • Follow local public health guidance (if available)

What happens if I am put into quarantine in my destination, and who will cover the cost of this?

Many travel insurers will not cover the costs of medical expenses incurred whilst choosing to travel in a country known to have a coronavirus risk. You must check your travel insurance policy to see whether you are covered - this may depend on when you purchased the policy.

We always recommend bringing a contingency fund for emergencies for circumstances such as this. The recommended amount is listed in your challenge FAQs and information.

Whilst we will do our best to assist you in coordinating with our team on the ground, medical facilities, and other partners, we cannot cover costs associated with being quarantined in-country.

What does my travel insurance cover if I become ill?

Every travel insurance policy is different. You must read your policy wording carefully, and contact your insurer if you have any questions or concerns. You should also travel with copies of your travel insurance documents. Whilst we take copies of your insurance as proof of coverage, the ultimate responsibility for having the correct and adequate coverage is your own.

We always recommend bringing a contingency fund for emergencies for circumstances. The recommended amount is listed in your challenge FAQs and information.

How is the spread and containment of COVID-19 being managed in my destination?

In all of our destination countries, we are working closely with our ground teams and are monitoring their operational responses to the coronavirus outbreak regularly. The key things to be aware of are: 

  • Our ground teams and leaders in all destinations are following and implementing all of the World Health Organization recommendations for infection prevention.
  • All staff and partners are closely monitoring multiple channels of official news, including the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), ABTA, AITO and the World Health Organisation.
  • Ground teams and leaders in all destinations are informed of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and the safety precautions required to prevent transmission of the disease. Staff and participants will be assisted in isolation and seeking medical attention where necessary.
  • Hand-washing and the use of alcohol-based handwashes are available for all participants throughout our trips, including implementing new hand-washing stations at campsites and equipping vehicles with hand sanitizer.
  • Delivering additional health briefings on coronavirus on arrival, and advising that any recent cases of illness must be reported to the DA Team. If our team have a special case reported by a participant, we will immediately contact health authorities and passengers will not be allowed to continue on the trip as a protective measure for other customers.
  • We increase the frequency of thorough cleaning and disinfectant procedures across transport, equipment, activities, dining and housekeeping in all locations.
  • All our drivers and ground staff are careful to avoid handshaking, hugging, touching their faces, eyes and nose, and are frequently washing their hands, and reporting any suspicion of illness for immediate action to be taken.
  • All our participants are advised that if they develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, to immediately seek medical advice, and we will assist with facilitating medical care as necessary.

Discover Adventure advise the following: 

  • NO handshakes, hugs or kisses
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • Wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) more often than usual and especially after using the toilet and before and after eating food– use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • The use of face masks is NOT recommended for the general public, as there is no evidence of benefit outside healthcare environments.

If you have any concerns at all, please contact the team in the office, and we can give you our honest view of the situation at present. 01722 718444 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brexit - Passport advice

Written by  Kim 05 February 2019
There has been some confusion and mixed-reporting in the press about passport validity and expiry dates in the event of a “No Deal Brexit”. In a time where there isn’t a lot of clarity, we wanted to clear this up for you;
  • Your passport expiry date will be the date it was issued plus 10 years, any extra months you may have had added to your passport in renewing early may not be counted.
  • You will need 6 valid months remaining on your passport for travel to the EU.
If you need any more information, please see the government advice here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit
Or you can call the team in the office. We will be directly contacting people that we believe this may impact in advance of their trips.
This only applies in the case of a “No Deal Brexit”.
 
For further information on travelling to Europe after 12th April 2019, please see the ABTA information sheet here.

Give the gift of adventure

Written by  Holly 12 December 2018
Looking to treat the adventurer in your life? Whether it's their birthday, you want to give them a big thumbs up for being awesome or maybe you want to inspire them to take the first step towards their DREAM adventure, we've got it covered! 

 

Discover Adventure now offer handy gift vouchers to make you the most epic present-giver ever! 

 

Simply choose the amount you wish to give and write a message, we'll do the rest. With a choice of having your gift voucher sent to the lucky recipient via email, sent to you to print off home and wrap however creatively you are feeling or we can even print your voucher off and post it to you [£3 admin fee].

 

FIND OUT MORE

 

saharan mini adventure discover adventure

 

Maybe you're looking for a £5 token gift to say thank you, persuading a friend to get trekking on the Marathon Walk London with you, or you're thinking of covering the reg fee of the Everest Base Camp Trek so the much-loved adventurer in your life can live the adventure of a lifetime, your gift can be as personal and as extravagant as you wish. 

 

An almighty gift in an instant, a breath-taking adventure at a click of a button. Are you ready to make someone's year totally unforgettable?

 

Give the gift of adventure.

 

BUY A GIFT VOUCHER

 

Marathon Walk London Discover Adventure

 

After extensive planning, Discover adventure is very excited to announce that our 2019 open challenge departure dates are now live and awaiting your bookings!

If you are looking to make 2019 extraordinary by meeting new friends, immersing yourself in new cultures, pushing yourself to your limits and raising money for a cause close to your heart this is your opportunity...

“Our Kilimanjaro trip was the adventure of a lifetime, with memories impossible to forget. Dr Phil brought so much joy with his passion for dancing with the porters and Vic kept the smiles on our faces. You don’t come back quite the same person you were when you left!” At Discover Adventure we want you to achieve your ambitions and we’re here for you from the get go! "- Kat, Mount Kilimanjaro Challenger - 2017

The launch of our 2019 trip dates comes ahead of the publication of our new 2018/19 brochure which will be landing on door-steps in January. The brochure will be full to the brim with great-iconic challenges such as Mount Kilimanjaro trek and the Great Wall of China Trek and will be home to a selection of brand new pioneering adventures to cater for those looking for something a little different for their next fundraising challenge experience. You can also look forward to insights and advice from our challenge experts, inspiration and top tips from previous participants, and guidance on how to choose your challenge!

Best of all we are now taking pre-requests for the 2018/19 brochures so if you want to be at the top of the mailing list then order it today!





Why book now for 2018/19?

From years of experience we strongly believe (and advise!) that by booking your challenges well in advance you put yourself in the best possible position to not only complete the challenge successfully but most importantly enjoy yourself! Take your time to build up your confidence, mentally and physically prepare and raise that all important sponsorship. We have tonnes of advice on our website and blog for you to look at to help you do the best that you possibly can in all areas, from how to prepare to tips on gaining your all-important fundraising sponsorship

We know you have it in you, and we are here for you every step on the way to support you from providing training guides, kit lists and tricks of the trade. Book now to begin you journey with plenty of time!

If you have any questions at all or just want to know more about how Discover Adventure operates worldwide charity challenges, please contact us

We've helped to plant 67,000 trees in Peru

Written by  Steph 03 February 2017

 Since 2007, the Vilcanota Project has succeeded in planting over 500,000 trees in the Cuzco area of Peru.

Discover Adventure has supported this project to re-plant trees in the Polylepis forests of the Vilcanota mountain range in Peru since 2010. The project is a collaborative effort involving 21 rural communities in the Lares watershed, near Cuzco, Peru. It was pioneered by Paul Cripps of Amazonas Explorer together with NGO ECOAN and organisation One Percent for the Planet, and it is a project we have passionately supported for many years through our own donations and that of many of our challengers.

These forests are home to a wide biodiversity of endemic species including the Royal Cinclodes, a critically endangered bird as well as the endangered White Browed Tit-Spinetail and Ash Breasted Tit-Tyrant. Aswell as carefully preserving the home of these birds, the forests are also critical to providing erosion control, provide essential microhabitats for a plethora of species and help to balance the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 

Sustainable & Responsible Travel: How we do it

Written by  Steph 16 January 2017

Discover Adventure have always been passionate about our planet; understanding the importance of exploring countries and educating people through the medium of adventure, as well as reinforcing the need to protect the land that we discover. We understand that encouraging others to experience the world involves flights, ferries and other sources of pollution and that’s why we are upping the stakes. We’ll be launching our sustainability mission very soon, which will include exciting ways in which we are combating our carbon footprint, as well as adopting more planet-friendly ways to live the adventure.


Since DA first began we have consistently considered local operators in the communities we visit to ensure we are contributing to local economies. We’ve fought to limit single-use plastic on trips around the globe, including partnering with Water-to-Go to get our participants a 15% discount on their travel water bottle. We’ve long donated to a range of causes, which have aided projects that benefit the locations we visit around the world. Looking after our planet is, and will always be, at the forefront of our travel plans, and as the importance of sustainability is more urgent than ever before, it is our mission to do everything we can to protect our planet. And we’re bringing you along for the ride. Watch this space!


Jonathan, Discover Adventure MD, says, ‘we are really thrilled to be working on so many forward-thinking projects to help enhance the sustainability of our challenges, changing the way we encourage people to travel with us and helping the people and land we come into contact with around the world. Even on a smaller scale, seeing what can be achieved right here in the UK at DA HQ. Responsible travel is central to DA’s identity and the team and business’ core beliefs, so we will not only continue, but work harder to reach new levels of sustainability. Now, more than ever, it is vital for the travel industry to do their bit in the fight for our planet and Discover Adventure are absolutely going to be a part of this.’

 

“Take only photos, leave only footprints”


We really believe that. We care and we know you do too but we know we aren’t perfect, and we imagine that you might not be either. But whether we’re thousands of miles apart or living next door, we together share this blue and green planet and we want to make sure that what we do whilst we are living on it, benefits future generations of all species for years to come - human, animal, plant or otherwise!

Gold at the British Travel Awards

Written by  Steph 24 November 2016

In 2015 we were very pleased to take home Silver, but this year, we fully embraced our 'Know No Limits' spirit to go for Gold! And thanks to all our customers and clients who voted we were both proud and humbled to walk away as winners of Best Small Escorted Adventure Travel Company at the prestigious 2016 British Travel Awards.

Jonathan Bryan, our Founder and Managing Director said of the award, ' Wow - what an endorsement. The British Travel Awards are fantastic in recognising companies across the travel British Travel Award Goldindustry and are one that I am pleased Discover Adventure is a part of. I am exceptionally proud of our team - both in the office and our wider team of crew and medics who work with us across the globe to deliver the trips of a lifetime for our customers. The fact we have won this award based on votes from our clients alone means a great deal to us and will continue to motivate us to provide the best adventure challenge experiences to all customers for many years to come. Thank you to everyone who has supported Discover Adventure!"

Together, we're re-building Nepal

Written by  Steph 08 April 2016

YOUR SUPPORT

Together, we have donated over £4,500 to our friends in Nepal. Following the devastating earthquakes that struck last April, Discover Adventure made a pledge to donate £150.00 for every booking made on one of our challenges based in Nepal.

Your desire to help and motivation to take on a challenge has helped to raise much needed funds that will now contribute to the purchase of raw materials required to rebuild homes in some of the affected districts.

Our donation will help to fund the raw materials for the rebuild of Nuwakot Bazaar. Nuwakot is set between the sub tropical lowlands and the upper regions of the Himalayas and was severly affected by the earthquake. More than 3000 homes were rendered un-inhabitable following the quake and as a result a huge rebuild effort has begun, spearheaded by Niraj Shrestha.

"The biggest failure in life is the failure to try”

How do you spend an hour of your spare time? Shopping, surfing the web and buried in Facebook? Walking the dog, meeting up with friends, doing the ironing or chilling in front of the TV? So many ways so spend an hour. So, how about donating an hour of your time?

I heard about the charity ‘Inspiring the Future’ on the BBC Breakfast news; I can’t remember exactly when but it peaked an interest in me about showing the next generation that there are options out there which are slightly different to the norm. The news piece was about promoting the initiative to a wider audience and about trying to recruit more women to sign up and take part.

We all live busy lives, trying to fill every minute with one thing or another. I too live a busy life, by choice, but not so busy that I can’t give up an hour of my time and go and chat with teenagers about what is out there for them. All the initiative asks for is one hour a year.

I registered on the website – www.inspiringthefuture.org – not expecting to be overwhelmed by requests to talk and no, I didn’t hear anything straight away. However, I was eventually invited to a school to talk as part of their careers day. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the day so I had to decline. That’s the beauty of this initiative, you are not obliged to say yes and as a volunteer, it must fit in with your schedule.

This summer I was contacted by All Saints School in Weymouth. They wanted someone to speak to their Year 11s, on their first day of their final year at school (pressure!) and to kick start the day with something a little different. Unfortunately I was away on a trip when Miss Hegarty’s request initially came through but we kept in contact. Then, towards the end of August, she contacted me again to say that her speaker had dropped and would I be able to step in – ‘Yes!’ I said.

Julio Ludago: Kilimanjaro World Record attempt

Written by  Steph 24 September 2015

You could say that you’re either one of two people in life; one who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro or one who has it firmly on their bucket list.

For those of you who have climbed this iconic Mountain with DA (or indeed have it booked in the diary for the coming months!) you will know how important the crew are to keeping you motivated, and our local crew are especially important in supplying boundless enthusiasm, motivation and songs to keep you going during those tough moments.

The climb to Uhuru Peak (5896m) will usually take you between 5 and 7 days and its no mean feat!

So, how about making it up AND back in under 7 hours? Impossible you say?

Not for Professional Mountaineer Julio Ludago.

Julio is one of our Ground Crew based in Tanzania with Ahsante Tours, who has worked with us for many years, supporting and encouraging many of you to Kilimanjaro’s summit.

He is now taking on his own personal challenge, by attempting a new World Record for the fastest ascent and descent of Africa’s highest mountain. The existing World Record is held by Swiss-Ecuadorian Mountaineer Karl Egloff who complete the challenge in a mere 6 hours and 42 minutes in August 2014.

This is the time Julio is preparing to beat.

Motivated by the desire to keep the record for the climb to the roof of Africa in Tanzania and by the mentality of ‘why not me?’ Julio will embark on this immense challenge on 27th September 2015 and we will be supporting him all the way – we hope you will too!

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