Cycle for Safe Water
A unique way to see India and support Frank Water
This remarkable cycle challenge is taking place from Friday 15 November to Sunday 24 November 2024.
Slightly later in the year, when the temperatures will have dropped a little and the mustard flowers will be in full bloom, this once in a lifetime trip follows the same, spectacular route through India’s Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Our trip will take us into Chhattisgarh to see some of Frank’s programmes, and round the entire outer circumference of Kanha National Park. The week will end with a safari in the park, where you just might be blessed with a glimpse of a tiger.
This trip is about seeing landscape and wildlife and meeting local people without the barrier of a jeep or car, rather than an extreme sporting event. The cycling will be on a mix of hills, rolling countryside and some great stretches of flat track through forest and village. Support will be available throughout, and we’ll ride as a group not in race mode!
The trip will cover approximately 300-350km over different terrain; from smooth tar to bumpy paths, and just a short stretch of main road. Whilst distances aren’t overly strenuous (the longest day is 75km) the road surfaces can be challenging and there is so much to stop and see along the way that you’ll find the not enormous distances will still swallow up the days. We want this to be a time to get to know rural India, and Frank Water’s work, not simply a dash through it.
We have carefully scheduled the trip so that we pass through two villages on their market ‘haat’ days. Here you will get the chance to mingle with people from the Gond and Baiga communities as they buy and sell vegetables, grain, pots and pans and beautiful heavy silver jewellery.
The highlight of the trip will be a day spent with Frank’s Indian based operations manager and Frank’s partners in Chhattisgarh, with whom we will visit villages where you’ll meet people whose lives have been transformed by access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation.
Where you’ll stay
Accommodation will range from simple government hotels to some really special wildlife lodges, including beautiful Shergarh Tented Camp.
You can take this trip as a gloriously intense nine-day break; or extend it with an optional night or two in Mumbai at each end of the trip and the possibility of a first-class overnight train ride in both directions for a truly immersive fortnight long Indian adventure.
This is a unique and unforgettable way to support Frank Water. Trip costs are £2695 for single occupancy or £2395 for twin sharing* and we ask every member of the team to raise a further £1500 to help provide safe, clean water for more of the most marginalised people in the world.
*Costs do not include flights, visas, vaccinations or personal insurance.
To secure your place, you’ll pay a registration fee of £200 which is deducted from the overall cost. Once you’ve registered, you can either pay the trip costs yourself and fundraise the £1500 donation to Frank Water or fundraise for the total amount.
Day 1: Fri 15 Nov
Arrive in India via Mumbai or Delhi, and either take the train to Gondia Junction (2.5hrs drive) or take a flight to Raipur or Jabalpur (4.5hrs drive) to Shergath Tented Camp.
Day 2: Sat 16 Nov
Practice 25km cycle to local craft NGO.
Day 3: Sun 17 Nov
Start of the cycle – 75km with a 900m ascent (this is the longest day), via a village market to a Chhattisgarh Tourism Lodge close to villages supported by Frank Water.
Day 4: Mon 18 Nov
63km cycle with a 600m ascent to see Frank Water’s work in three or four villages, lunch with a family whose son works with Frank Water’s Chhattisgarh partners. Overnight stay at Bagh Villas.
Day 5: Tue 19 Nov
45km cycle with 350m ascent with lovely views to Kipling Camp, where the resident rescue elephant Tara is taken for a bathe in the river in the afternoon – we’ll aim to arrive in time for this.
Day 6: Wed 20 Nov
57km cycle with a 460m ascent. This is the second hardest day, while the distances are not huge, the ride is through a forest, then a stretch of highway, followed by some serious bumps. Overnight in a Madhya Pradesh Tourism Lodge close to the Sarhi Gate entrance to Kanha National Park.
Day 7: Thu 21 Nov
No cycling as it’s a rest day! Safari in Kanha Tiger Reserve lunch at the lodge and a free afternoon to relax and chill. There’s also a swimming pool.
Day 8: Fri 22 Nov
55km cycle with a 430m ascent. The home straight! There are 40km of cycling through villages, then a real treat – a final downhill swoop through a core zone of the Kanha Tiger Reserve that’s only just allowed non-motorised vehicles. We’ll be back at Shergath Tented Camp in time for lunch, a heroes’ welcome, and a restful afternoon. For those who wish, an evening walk in the buffer zone.
Day 9: Sat 23 Nov
A dawn wake-up (softened by tea or coffee brought to your tent) for a safari from Kanha’s Mukki Gate. Depart after an early lunch to drive to Raipur (4-4.5hrs drive) for flights to Mumbai or Delhi.
All distances are approximates
Need more information?
If you have any questions at all, get in touch. You can speak to our fundraising team on 0117 329 4846 or email Sally Hearn, Shearn@frankwater.com
Watch our film
Our short film was shot on our 2018 cycle challenge in India’s Andhra Pradesh. Whilst this year’s route is different, we hope it gives you an idea of what to expect.