IndiaHiking Challenge


India Hiking Challenge

Join us

Join Team Macmillan for a stunning trek through the friendly villages and tea plantations of South India.

Registration fee: £350

Minimum sponsorship required: £3,700

This vibrant challenge takes us through the fragrant cardamom, coffee and tea plantations in the Kerala region of South India. You'll climb spectacular ridges and mountains, see colonial hill stations, breathtaking views and experience the rich culture and local history of this ancient region.

By taking part in this amazing challenge every step you take will help ensure no one has to face cancer alone.

This event is available of the Team Macmillan App!

If you have signed up to hike your way to victory, the Team Macmillan app brings together everything you need to make the most out of your event. Features include:

  • Find the key information for your event
  • Countdown to the event day
  • Interactive map to help you plan your event day
  • Add the date to your calendar
  • Contact the Macmillan event team
  • Social media updates
  • Training calculators
  • Personal trainer advice
  • Strava group links
  • Download your training guides
  • Track and promote your JustGiving page with custom messages

Available for iOS and Android.

When does the trip take place?

The trip will take place 11 – 22 November 2016.


What do I have to do to take part?

Sign up online by clicking the 'Sign up today' button above.

You’ll need to pay a £350 registration fee, raise a minimum of £3,700 for this event and have at least £1,400 of this raised four months prior to the trek. Your total sponsorship amount must be with us within one month of the event taking place.


How much will it cost Macmillan?

Macmillan will transfer your registration fee of £350 plus your initial £1,400 of sponsorship to our tour operator, Discover Adventure, for the costs of your participation.


How does Macmillan benefit?

At least 60% of the £3,700 minimum sponsorship will be treated as a donation to Macmillan, and if you raise over £3,700 then 100% of the surplus will benefit the charity.

Macmillan is proud to have one of the best cost to income ratios in the charity sector, meaning more of the money you raise is spent on our vital services and not on trip costs.


What if I can't raise the minimum sponsorship?

We’ll provide you with a fundraising pack full of ideas on how to reach your target. You’ll also have the support of the Hiking Team as well as our extensive network of fundraisers throughout the UK.

If you don’t manage to raise £1,400 four months prior to departure, you’ll either have to forfeit your place on the challenge, make up the shortfall yourself or transfer your application to a later event to give yourself more time to raise enough funds.

If by one month after the event you have not raised the full £3,500 we will work with you to ensure you do raise this minimum amount. Whether that’s by advising on collections, providing ideas and materials for fundraising events, or by setting up a standing order for you to make a monthly contribution to pay off the outstanding amount. It is imperative that everyone who takes part reaches the minimum amount of £3,700 to ensure that 60% of what you raise goes on funding Macmillan’s vital services.


Who organises the trip?

This trip is conceived and operated by Discover Adventure Ltd, ATOL 5636, whose booking conditions apply.


What’s included?

  • Return flight: London-Kochi-London.
  • All accommodation.
  • All food except for two meals towards the end of the trip.
  • Full support with local guides, cooks, Discover Adventure leaders and doctors.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support representative.

What’s not included?

  • Insurance: our tour operator, Discover Adventure, offers insurance specifically created to cover you for the challenge you’ll be taking on.
  • Two meals.
  • India Entry Visa costing around £32 depending on the service you opt for.
  • A discretionary tip for the local crew who look after us.
  • We also recommend around £150 - £200 for personal expenses.

What sort of person takes part?

The group will be made up of around 40 people - men and women - from all backgrounds, abilities and ages, although you must be over 18 to take part.

Though some people sign up with friends, most come on their own, so it's a great way to meet new people and form friendships as the group quickly bond and support each other throughout the challenge.


What is the hiking like?

Trekking time varies from five to seven hours per day. The trekking is done on relatively well defined dirt or grass paths through plantations, grassland and open ridges. The terrain is largely either up or down with few flat sections and there are some steep inclines which can be challenging in the heat.


Do I have to carry my own kit?

Throughout the trek we’ll be accompanied by support vehicles and porters which will carry all our equipment and supplies. However, you will need to carry a day pack for items needed during the day: water, sunscreen, camera, waterproofs etc.


Do I have to meet any medical requirements?

Everyone on the challenge is required to complete a medical form, which will be provided in your fundraising pack. If you are over 65, answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions or have a BMI of 35+ the form must also be signed by your GP. Individual surgeries may charge for this service.  It is also essential for you to consult your doctor about necessary vaccinations.


Where will we stay while hiking?

Throughout the hike we'll staying in a mixture of basic hotels, guesthouses and camping.


What will the weather be like?

Kerala has a pleasant climate throughout the year with temperatures ranging from 24-32°C but is cooler on the hills, rainfall is frequent however we will avoid monsoon season.


Am I fit enough?

Macmillan challenges are designed to suit people of average fitness. However, if you do not already walk on a regular basis you'll need to commit to a considerable amount of training during the preceding months. A full training programme will be included in your fundraising pack.


Can I extend my stay in India?

Yes. If you’d like to stay out in India after the challenge our tour operator, Discover Adventure, will be happy to organise this for you, please contact them via email on Close

How do I convince my friends that this is not a holiday?

While you are sure to have an incredible time on the challenge, our challenges can never be described as holidays.  You will need to spend months training and fundraising, before undertaking a demanding physical challenge. The days on the challenge will be long, facilities will be basic and the conditions tough. All of this takes time, effort, dedication and commitment and is far from just a holiday.

Of course, if you would prefer to cover the costs of the challenge in order to ensure that 100% of your sponsorship goes towards the work of the charity we would be delighted to discuss this option with you.


Further questions

If you have any further questions please get in touch with the Hiking Team on 020 7840 7887 or e-mail Close

Here's what you'll be getting up to on this incredible Challenge...

Day 1: Depart London for Kochi

Day 2: Arrive Kochi

On arrival we transfer to our hotel to freshen up before there is some free time to explore the coastal city. It is India’s earliest European settlement, founded by the Portuguese and has brightly painted buildings, narrow streets and atmospheric bazaars and food stalls to explore. In the evening there is an optional visit to see a Kathakali dance display, unique to Kerela.

Night hotel. (Lunch not included)

Day 3: Kochi – Munnar

Leaving the coast behind, we drive up into the hills to Munnar (1600m) which is a beautiful hill station on the Western Ghats. Historically it was the British summer resort of southern India which is surrounded by tea plantations and still retains its colonial charm. We spend the afternoon exploring the town and its markets, and enjoying the views over the sprawling hills and valleys before having dinner and a full trip briefing.

Night hotel. Drive approx 4-5 hours

Day 4: Munnar – Seven Malai Hills - Munnar

After an early breakfast we drive out of Munnar to the tiny village of Nagarmundi, where we start our acclimatisation trek. We ascend gradually through the tea plantations, our trail climbing up into the Seven Malai hills. Our surroundings are spectacular, we pass coffee and cardamom plantations, sparkling waterfalls and see beautiful wildlife. When we reach the top we enjoy views over Mt Anamudi, the Chittrapura Dam and back over to Munnar. We descend via the same route before being transferred back to Munnar for dinner and a night in a hotel for a good night’s sleep.

Night hotel. Drive approx 4-5 hours

Day 5: Munnar – Meesapulimala Peak – Camp Malai

After yesterday’s taster trek we should be raring to! A short drive takes us up to the Silent Valley plateau. We begin the trek on a well defined trail which climbs steadily through tea plantations out into natural grassy wilderness with wonderful views down over the tea estates. We continue upwards towards Meesapulima Peak (2630m), the second highest peak in South India. The terrain turns to rougher grassland and then onto open ridges as we reach the summit. Once we have reached the summit we take time to enjoy the breathtaking view across the states of Kerela and Tamil Nadu before descending to our camp.

Night camp. Drive approx 1 hour; trek approx 6–8 hours

Day 6: Camp Malai – Top Station

Today we trek across the across the plateau of the Western Ghats into neighbouring Tamil Nadu, with magnificent scenery. Again the scenery is stunning with thick red rhododendron and we can see wild goats and boars as our morning climb takes us gently uphill. We walk through friendly traditional villages so we get a glimpe of local life. Our trek finishes at Top Station (1930m) which was historically a key shipment station for tea and other goods in the early 20th Century.  We make camp and have dinner before another long day’s trekking tomorrow.

Night camp. Trek approx 6-8 hours

Day 7: Top Station – Mundhan – Thekkedy

We descend from Top Station and continue to the village of Kotakuddi, which acted as the bottom station; from here tea could be taken by cart towards its end destination. Now at lower elevations, the landscape gives way to vast stretches of paddy fields and more tropical vegetation. On the flatter terrain, we trek through coconut and mango plantations to our finish point. We jump into the waiting vehicles and take a beautiful drive on winding roads through the hills to the bustling village of Thekkedy. This area is known for its spice-growing.

Night hotel. Trek approx 6-7 hours; drive approx 1.5 hours

Day 8: Thekkedy – Alleppey Houseboats

We say farewell to the beautiful Western Ghats as we wind our way back down to the coast, the temperatures increasing as we leave the hills. Coming to Alleppey, we board our houseboat and can relax as we cruise the serene backwaters, a network of lagoons, rivers and canals, lined with coconut palms and dazzling green rice paddies. Watching the beautiful scenery and villages glide by is a wonderful way to relax and contemplate our achievements! We spend the night on our houseboat.

Drive approx 5-6 hours

Day 9: Alleppey – Mararikulam

We leave our houseboat and drive the short distance to coastal Mararikulam, a fishing village with lovely white sandy beaches; it’s a wonderful place to end our Kerala adventure. We are free to relax and enjoy the beach before meeting for dinner to celebrate our big achievements.

Lunch and Dinner not included)

Day 10: Return Kochi – London

Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.

"A truly amazing experience. Humbling, unforgettable and life changing"

Sam - Team Macmillan Hiker 2015

More in this section

Organise your own event

Get your plans rolling. We've got advice, support, materials and fundraisers who'd love to help you create a great event.

tooltip specified in the "Alt text" field of Image component (under MetaData tab)

Go your own way

If you've decided to take on a different challenge for Macmillan, we'd still love you on the Team.

tooltip specified in the "Alt text" field of Image component (under MetaData tab)

Make your event a success

Have a look through the latest news, tips, advice and support from our fundraising team. Whether you're cycling, swimming, running of trekking, we've got some top tips for you.