Why not go on an adventure with a difference this year – and raise money for your favourite charity at the same time? There are hundreds of events to choose from but here is a selection at home and abroad

This 12-day trip will take you far from Ethiopia’s tourist trails, through beautiful lowland valleys, dramatic highlands and Amhara villages, culminating in the tough but rewarding climb up Ethiopia’s highest peak, Ras Dejen (4,620m) – the fourth highest peak in Africa. The route down involves a 900m descent of the near-vertical Devil’s staircase to reach Lamo, one of the most beautiful locations in the Simiens. As well as taking in stunning scenery you’ll pass through the Ambiko wildlife sanctuary, home to endangered species such as the Simien Wolf and the Gelada Baboon swim in rivers and meet local villagers. The cost includes flights and transfers, accommodation, food and back-up support.

Test your endurance on this 40-mile walk and 30-mile bike ride along the Great Glen Way, from one side of Scotland to the other. Starting at Inverness the route follows tow paths, an old railway, the shores of lochs (including Loch Ness) and winds along woodland tracks to finish in Fort William. Pick-up and drop-off in Inverness, free camping on the Friday and Saturday night and a barbecue reception on the Sunday are included.

Discover Lawrence of Arabia country on horseback on this five-day trek on Arab horses. Starting at Karazah you’ll ride through Wadi Rum and across the desert to the 2000-year-old city of Petra, hewn out of sandstone cliffs. The route passes through beautiful wadis and coloured canyons, taking in Byzantine ruins and you’ll camp out under the stars. At Petra, you will be joined by fellow Marie Curie supporters arriving by bike or on foot to celebrate your achievements.

This year is the fifth anniversary of this annual event. The epic 2,500km ride will be an ultimate challenge for motorbike fans. Over 10 days you’ll take part in six race circuits including Anderstorp where Barry Sheene won his final Grand Prix. The journey will take you along open roads and coastal routes, past beautiful Danish and Swedish lakes and legendary race tracks. Overnight stays include Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Berlin.

This challenging trek starts off in the cloud forests of the Talamanca mountains and ends at the Pacific coast, with a day to explore the mangroves and white sand beaches at Ballena Marine National Park. Over five days, expert local guides will lead you through farmland and rainforest that are home to a variety of mammals and birds including howler monkeys, parrots, hawks and butterflies. Accommodation is in hotels, village lodges and a

campsite.

Lycra up for this three-day 300km cycle between two of Europe’s cultural capitals. Day one will take you from busy London through historic Surrey countryside to the coast, where you’ll board the ferry to Dieppe. On day two you’ll ride past sleepy Normandy villages to Gournay en Bray. The final day will bring you to the outskirts of Paris for the finishing leg through the Bois de Boulogne park to the Eiffel Tower. Then put your legs up on the Eurostar back to London.

Lake Malawi in southeastern Africa provides the backdrop for the majority of this cycling adventure. Bordered by Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania and just west of the Indian Ocean, Malawi has a reputation for the friendliness of its people and the beauty of its landscapes. On scheduled rest days you will have the opportunity to stay at Mvuu Camp where you can take a safari to see elephants, hippos and crocodiles.

Test your fitness to the limit on this multi-stage Amazon jungle race, spending nights in a hammock at camps along the shores of the Tapajos river. Participants must be self-sufficient and carry their own provisions through the humid, exotic terrain (water is provided at checkpoints along the way). You’ll receive jungle training and medical checks and will then cover between 16km and 32km a day, including one non-stop overnight stage. Choose between four days (100km) or seven days (200km).

This nine-day trip will cover 350km in five days’ cycling through lush Caribbean countryside. Setting off from the Bay of Pigs the route passes through Cienfuiegos, then follows the Caribbean coastline all the way to the Unesco heritage town of Trinidad. From there you’ll cycle through pine and eucalyptus forests to the remote National Park of Topes de Collantes and the Escambray mountains. The final leg takes you into Santa Clara, the first major place to be liberated from Batista’s Army in December 1958. Find out more on 16 Jan at The Children’s Trust from 2-4pm.

The Carpathians are one of the last strongholds for the European brown bear. This trek takes you through the heart of their native habitat, walking up to 50km a day through beautiful alpine scenery, with ascents of 500-600m. Your destination is the newly built WSPA-funded bear sanctuary near Zarnesti, home to rescued brown bears. There’ll also be time for a stop at Bran (better known as Dracula’s) Castle.

This article was published on at 15.13 GMT on Tuesday 5 January 2010.

Read the article on Guardian Unlimited

10 charity challenges for 2010

Why not go on an adventure with a difference this year – and raise money for your favourite charity at the same time? There are hundreds of events to choose from but here is a selection at home and abroad

This 12-day trip will take you far from Ethiopia’s tourist trails, through beautiful lowland valleys, dramatic highlands and Amhara villages, culminating in the tough but rewarding climb up Ethiopia’s highest peak, Ras Dejen (4,620m) – the fourth highest peak in Africa. The route down involves a 900m descent of the near-vertical Devil’s staircase to reach Lamo, one of the most beautiful locations in the Simiens. As well as taking in stunning scenery you’ll pass through the Ambiko wildlife sanctuary, home to endangered species such as the Simien Wolf and the Gelada Baboon swim in rivers and meet local villagers. The cost includes flights and transfers, accommodation, food and back-up support.

Test your endurance on this 40-mile walk and 30-mile bike ride along the Great Glen Way, from one side of Scotland to the other. Starting at Inverness the route follows tow paths, an old railway, the shores of lochs (including Loch Ness) and winds along woodland tracks to finish in Fort William. Pick-up and drop-off in Inverness, free camping on the Friday and Saturday night and a barbecue reception on the Sunday are included.

Discover Lawrence of Arabia country on horseback on this five-day trek on Arab horses. Starting at Karazah you’ll ride through Wadi Rum and across the desert to the 2000-year-old city of Petra, hewn out of sandstone cliffs. The route passes through beautiful wadis and coloured canyons, taking in Byzantine ruins and you’ll camp out under the stars. At Petra, you will be joined by fellow Marie Curie supporters arriving by bike or on foot to celebrate your achievements.

This year is the fifth anniversary of this annual event. The epic 2,500km ride will be an ultimate challenge for motorbike fans. Over 10 days you’ll take part in six race circuits including Anderstorp where Barry Sheene won his final Grand Prix. The journey will take you along open roads and coastal routes, past beautiful Danish and Swedish lakes and legendary race tracks. Overnight stays include Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Berlin.

This challenging trek starts off in the cloud forests of the Talamanca mountains and ends at the Pacific coast, with a day to explore the mangroves and white sand beaches at Ballena Marine National Park. Over five days, expert local guides will lead you through farmland and rainforest that are home to a variety of mammals and birds including howler monkeys, parrots, hawks and butterflies. Accommodation is in hotels, village lodges and a

campsite.

Lycra up for this three-day 300km cycle between two of Europe’s cultural capitals. Day one will take you from busy London through historic Surrey countryside to the coast, where you’ll board the ferry to Dieppe. On day two you’ll ride past sleepy Normandy villages to Gournay en Bray. The final day will bring you to the outskirts of Paris for the finishing leg through the Bois de Boulogne park to the Eiffel Tower. Then put your legs up on the Eurostar back to London.

Lake Malawi in southeastern Africa provides the backdrop for the majority of this cycling adventure. Bordered by Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania and just west of the Indian Ocean, Malawi has a reputation for the friendliness of its people and the beauty of its landscapes. On scheduled rest days you will have the opportunity to stay at Mvuu Camp where you can take a safari to see elephants, hippos and crocodiles.

Test your fitness to the limit on this multi-stage Amazon jungle race, spending nights in a hammock at camps along the shores of the Tapajos river. Participants must be self-sufficient and carry their own provisions through the humid, exotic terrain (water is provided at checkpoints along the way). You’ll receive jungle training and medical checks and will then cover between 16km and 32km a day, including one non-stop overnight stage. Choose between four days (100km) or seven days (200km).

This nine-day trip will cover 350km in five days’ cycling through lush Caribbean countryside. Setting off from the Bay of Pigs the route passes through Cienfuiegos, then follows the Caribbean coastline all the way to the Unesco heritage town of Trinidad. From there you’ll cycle through pine and eucalyptus forests to the remote National Park of Topes de Collantes and the Escambray mountains. The final leg takes you into Santa Clara, the first major place to be liberated from Batista’s Army in December 1958. Find out more on 16 Jan at The Children’s Trust from 2-4pm.

The Carpathians are one of the last strongholds for the European brown bear. This trek takes you through the heart of their native habitat, walking up to 50km a day through beautiful alpine scenery, with ascents of 500-600m. Your destination is the newly built WSPA-funded bear sanctuary near Zarnesti, home to rescued brown bears. There’ll also be time for a stop at Bran (better known as Dracula’s) Castle.

This article was published on at 15.13 GMT on Tuesday 5 January 2010.

Read the article on Guardian Unlimited

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