Welcome to the official blog for Raleigh India 12I | July - August 2012

Welcome to the Official Blog for Raleigh India 12J September - December 2012.

Friday 2 November 2007


The aim of this blog is to give you, your friends and family information about the expedition which begins in February 2008. We will be updating it regularly with news and photographs from the team in country to whet your appetite for the fantastic expedition ahead!

The Environmental Phase

We have selected an exciting project for our first environmental phase. Working in conjunction with the Karnataka Forest Department, you will be working inside the stunning Nagarhole National Park to repair and maintain elephant trenches which are vital to protect villagers' precious crops. The elephant is a revered animal in India, however unfortunately there have been clashes between man and elephant throughout India as elephants will often trample crops in their search for food and indeed trample villages if they lie across their migratory paths. To protect themselves, villagers have been known to attack elephants in order to save their livelihoods. Our project partner, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, has proposed two solutions to this problem, one of which is the elephant trench and the other is the installation of electric fences around agriculural land and villages. Protecting the unique biodiversity of this country is paramount to protect the dwindling tiger and elephant populations - a cause to which Raleigh is committed.

The Community Phase

India has the world's fastest growing population but also some of the sharpest inequalities, especially in rural areas where almost 80% of India's poor live. Our participants will be helping to improve the livelihood of local communities, mainly through infrastructure projects. You will be living and working alongside the beneficiaries of the project which offers you a great chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and exchange traditions. Project work may involve building a school or playground or providing rural villages with fresh running water. The community will benefit not only from the work undertaken in their community, but also from the rich cultural experience that living closely with people from a diverse mix of backgrounds will afford them. Projects which foster a culture of self help and sustainability in communities are of particular importance. This may involve establishing facilities which promote employment or vocational skills training and education or activities that promote alternative means of income generation which do not contribute to environmental degradation. Many past Raleigh participants continue to support and visit community projects they worked on for many years afterwards.

The Adventure Phase

The adventure projects will take the form of trekking and/or water-based expeditions in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.The trekking will take place in some of the last undisturbed tracts of the Western Ghats - a beautiful forested mountain range which reaches over 2,600 m in altitude. This mountain range is locally called the "Annamalais" - the Elephant Hills. Participants will undertake an arduous and remote 19 day route amidst breathtaking scenery. Trekkers will make wilderness campsites overnight and carry and cook their own food. The terrain will include montane rainforest, grasslands, tropical evergreen forest and shrublands interspersed with shola forest and tea plantations. Trekking groups will be led by a UK qualified mountain leader (or equivalent) and a professional national park guide. Kerala is renowned for its ‘Backwaters' which are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast. The network includes five large lakes linked by 1500 km of canals, extending virtually half the length of Kerala state. The lakes and canals are rich in flora and fauna and are set amongst highly dense coconut palm groves. Participants will follow a route through the backwaters, carrying all their equipment and food and will camp overnight on the lake shore and canal banks. Again groups will be led by qualified guides.

The adventure phase is seen by some as the most physically demanding phase, yet at the same time it will undoubtedly leave you with unforgettable insights into the scenery of this stunning country.