The Orbis Trail Challenge with Susie Chan

Kelly Holmes- 2018 Film
2019 Pics Reel

3rd-10th October 2020

£2,300 (excluding flights)

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What is it all about…


The Orbis Trail Challenge brings together a group of people passionate about their running and in search of an adventure with purpose at it’s heart. A team that dares to head off the beaten track, runners who get the tingle at the thought of rising at dawn and running trails which demand endurance, courage and determination. It is a physical and mental challenge. Each day offers something different, a chance to combine your passion for running with exploring a hidden area of Africa, interacting with some inspirational communities and seeing some of the countries highlights. The experience of a lifetime.

“An incredible week which had everything and more! Beautiful challenging runs - each unique and testing. Amazing visits to schools, orphanages and community projects. Time and again the incredible, resilient and generous people of Malawi proved why this is the Warm Heart of Africa. And the runners - who would have thought a random bunch of people could gel together, support one another, laugh so much and form such a team. Orbis family!” Karen Young, Orbis Trail Challenge 2018


The 2020 Purpose- Reforestation

In the past 30 years Malawi has lost over 85% of it’s trees. This years Orbis Trail Challenge will be raising awareness and funds to support the reforestation and environmental education taking place around Zomba Forest Plateau. We aim to raise £10,000 for TREEZ, a local charity based within the heart of Zomba Forest which aims to replant, protect existing forests and include community members in the reforestation of this fragile region of Malawi. Learn more Our impact

Further Info
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Your Host: Susie Chan, Endurance Runner

Susie has four times finished the legendary Marathon des Sables, won the Adventure Category of the 2017 Coastal Challenge Costa Rica, survived five days’ self-sufficient running 250km through the Amazon jungle, run the Thames Path 100, become a Six Star Finisher at the World Marathon Majors, come 3rd placed female at the 2018 Self Transcendence 24-hour track race, completed numerous multi-stage ultra-marathons and broken the world record for the longest distance run on a treadmill in 12 hours.

She can’t wait to add Mulanje Mountain, Zomba Plateau and Lake Malawi Trails to her list!

Meet our other hosts for Orbis Challenge.

Susie chats to Orbis - see here.

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The Trail Runs 


Join Susie Chan and 30 passionate runners to take on three incredible Trail Runs through Southern Malawi. You will be joined by a team of Malawian runners for each challenge who will act as your guides, support crew and become an integral part of your team. 25km Extreme Mountain Trail Run, 20km Forest Run, 20km Lake Malawi Village Trail Run. Witness the beauty of Malawi’s stunning landscape from mountains to plateaus, forests to valleys and finish down at the shores of Lake Malawi. Between every event head off the beaten track, visit local communities, learn more about this year’s purpose and experience the stunning wildlife and landscape of this hidden gem of Africa.

Mulanje Trails

25km Extreme Mountain Run
+1,000m Elevation. Steep. Rocky.

Rise early to beat the heat of the day. Meet up with your Malawian Running Team and the event starts around 6am. This event is an endurance challenge. The terrain is rough, the route very steep and you will rely heavily on your Malawian running guides to lead you over the rocky paths and safely down. There will be water and rescue teams throughout the route as well as a medic and nurse in case of emergencies. 25km. 1,060 m elevation. 3-7 hrs.

YODEP community

20km Forest Plateau Run
Forest Plantation Tracks, Steep Rocky Descents

Meet your Malawian Running Guides and head up into the hills and tracks of Zomba Forest Reserve. The climate should be slightly cooler than Mulanje and the easier terrain means in parts you can get into your stride and enjoy the run. Do expect slippy, rocky tracks- particularly on the descent. Water and Rescue Teams will be dotted throughout the route as well as a medic and nurse on call in case of emergency. 20km. Varying Terrain. 2-4 hrs.


20km Lake Malawi Trail Run
Sandy tracks, hilly terrain, village running

This will be your hottest climate during your challenge in Malawi with temperatures edging towards 40 degrees. We will start the event at dawn and you will be joined by a team of runners from the local school as well as a local running guide. The route is largely tracks with undulating landscape and sandy paths at times. Your run will begin and end in Chembe Village so be prepared to be joined by lots of children- they are fast! Afternoon at leisure- kayaking, snorkelling, diving, exploring.
20km. Varying Terrain. 2-4 hrs.

Recovery Days…

The Orbis Trail Challenge is not just about pushing yourselves to the limits physically it is also about witnessing the beauty of Malawi and interacting with Malawi’s people. In between your event days you will visit local communities, take part in local sports and learn more about this years purpose; reforestation. Included in your cost is two days of community events, a wildlife safari and an afternoon spent on the shores of Lake Malawi. If you want to stay on to discover more we are here to book extra days travel across this beautiful region of Africa.

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We live and breathe Malawi. It is the only country we sell and we are here with you from the booking process to welcoming you off the plane, full event support, community days, lighting that camp fire on the final night and ogling over your photos when you return home. Your health and safety are our paramount concern and we will be with you every step of the way providing 24hr in country support. Our Malawi company, The Responsible Safari Company, will be your hosts and our UK Company, Orbis Expeditions, will be your booking agents- Orbis Expeditions is ABTA and ATOL bonded. Kate and Dom (owners of both) will be your points of contact and might even join you for a run! Find our more about us and our story.