These ratings will assist you in choosing the right adventure for
your abilities or experience. Each successive level of difficulty incorporates
conditions outlined in the previous grade(s).
Easy/Moderate May involve travel over unpaved roads and visits
to remote regions where medical facilities may not be available. Easy outdoor
activities such as nature hikes of 1-4 hours duration or motorized boat
or canoe excursions are optional. Operating at low altitudes (generally
below 11,000') and in temperate climates,these itineraries are suitable
for most healthy travellers of all ages (some programs may have minimum
age requirements).Support and transport are by conventional road vehicles.
Moderate May include extensive overland travel on rough dirt
roads, boat or motorized canoe excursions, moderate day hikes, river rafting
(class II-III rapids) or other outdoor pursuits of 3-6 hours duration,
and/or 1-3 nights camping. Some may operate in warmer climates and at
higher elevations. Elevations up to 13,000' may be reached. Average
fitness is required. Easy to Moderate itineraries should suit travellers
used to some regular exercise (golf,tennis,jogging,etc.). Local transport
may include “off-road ” options such as scenic flights or safari drives,as
well as activities such as boating or rafting mild rapids.
Moderate/Strenuous Indicates an activity-oriented program involving
up to 6 nights camping. Treks will average 6-8 miles per day over diverse
terrain; rafting will be through class III-IV rapids; mt. biking will average
20-30 miles per day. Altitudes near 13,000' are common while elevations
as high as 15,000' may be reached. Good fitness is required.
Moderate programs require a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness
to walk four to five hours daily,sometimes over steeper ascents and rough
ground. Hot climates and high altitudes can also be a feature of
these trips.Transport may be unconventional, ranging from sea kayaking
and calm-water canoeing to horseback riding and whitewater rafting.Some
activities are optional,allowing guests to adjust their level of participation.
Support vehicles may not always be available.
Strenuous Signifies a challenging adventure with extensive outdoor
activity including up to 14 nights camping. Treks will average up to 10
miles per day; whitewater rafting can be through class IV-V rapids; mt.
biking will average 30-40 miles per day. Be prepared for some extended
days of trekking,often at higher altitudes or in hotter equatorial
conditions.Altitudes up to 15,000' are frequent in trekking programs with
ascents to 20,000' possible. Requires very good fitness, stamina and some
prior experience. Moderate toChallenging tours will be comfortable
for travellers who take regular exercise and can undertake walks lasting
up to six
hours per day.Terrain maybe rough (i.e.rubble mountain paths)and activities
may be compulsory.Whitewater rafting (when included) will be more exciting,with
rapids in Class III (full of waves that wash over the raft),IV (fast-paced,soaking
“rock-and-roll ” water))and V (soaking torrents that crown high over your
head,with lots of rocking).Excursions on horseback require some prior riding
experience.Support vehicles are rare in this classification.
Very Strenuous A demanding, technical program that includes
extensive outdoor activity. Requires excellent fitness and endurance plus
previous experience and a degree of skill in the activity. Challenging
trips are our most demanding (and potentially rewarding) programs. Travellers
must be in good physical condition and used to regular strenuous exercise.There
is rarely any backup or vehicle support,as these programs typically cover
remote,rugged terrain,often over high passes. (However,no technical
is required.) There may be substantial gains and losses in altitude,and
some long,tiring days. Examples of a tour rated as ‘Challenging ’is The
Snows of Kilimanjaro programs.