Frequently Asked Questions

 

At BraveHearts Expeditions we encourage questions. That’s because we know you need the right information in order to make the adventure decisions that are best for you. We have included some of our most commonly asked questions below, and we encourage you to WhatsApp our +233-54-842-4903 number with any other questions you might have that are not addressed below.

 

How do I sign up for an adventure?


There are two ways to do this: (1) You can sign up to any or all of the adventures we have listed on our annual adventure calendar. Snippets of that are found on the front page of our website, and full details on each adventure are on the Adventures page. Each adventure has a booking button that you can use to pay. (2) You can choose your own adventure and run your proposed dates by us by simply calling or texting on WhatsApp number +233-54-842-4903. This number is attended to 24/7 even though it may respond only to text and WhatsApp after normal working hours. Once your chosen date does not conflict with other private bookings, we will let you know, and your trip will be confirmed as soon as we receive your payment on our online, banking or mobile money payment platforms.

 

What kind of Adventures do you offer?


We mostly do a cocktail of adventure disciplines, even though one discipline is usually served as the main dish. And the main disciplines are hiking, camping, abseiling, mountaineering, mountain-biking, challenge courses and kayaking. For example, biking at Shai Hills is predominantly a mountain biking adventure, but there is a point on the adventure where biking clients will abseil a rock. Also, while kayaking is the main thrust of our adventure services to Survival Island, participants will hike, possibly abseil, and camp as well. So long as the chosen adventure is location specific, we’ll do all we can to exceed your adventure discipline expectations. What we cannot do is to mix adventures over a short period of time in multiple locations. That said, it is possible to come mountain-biking with us on a day, and switch to kayaking to Survival Island at the end of the same day so long as you have the physical and mental composition for the adrenaline an adventure like that will induce. But, it will be impossible to go mountain-biking in the Togolese highlands because the mountaineering locations differ greatly from the mountain-biking location.

 

Who can sign up for a BraveHearts Expeditions Adventure?


Anyone can sign up for an adventure if they are 18 years of age and more, or are between 13 and 17 and have a signed parental consent to participate in an adventure. Children between 3 and 12 need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to participate in an adventure. We accept adventurers of all nationalities, creeds and gender, and do not discriminate on any grounds protected by Ghanaian law. Anyone who signs up for a BraveHearts Expeditions adventure is however assumed to be in good physical shape for the demands of the chosen adventure. The responsibility lies on the prospecting adventurer to ensure they are a fit match for their chosen adventure, but we will assist participants as much as we can by letting you know the level of difficulty of each adventure. Adventurers who have health concerns may reach out directly to the Expedition Leader on WhatsApp number +233-20-454-8040 to schedule a medical interview so our wilderness responder teams may know what to expect and to assist appropriately when needed. While we will do everything in our power to make all participants comfortable with the physical nature of our adventures, it is important for adventurers to keep in mind that our adventures are no holidays.

 

How much does it cost, and what do the costs entail?


A day-out adventure costs 400-Ghana Cedis, and a weekend or overnight expedition costs 600-Ghana Cedis. These costs may inch slightly higher for small-number private bookings and corporate groups. The fees cover return transportation from the Accra Mall, food, water, refreshments, use of outdoor gear and equipment relevant to the adventure, support logistics and guiding services. Photography is complimentary, and we provide digital copies in a shared drive by Google. All photos we take on the adventure may be used by us for marketing and advertising purposes without recourse or payment of any kind to adventurers. Adventurers have the right to not have their photos taken on the adventure on request.

 

How do you keep Adventurers safe?


Safety is at the heart of all our adventure planning. Our expedition adventures are undertaken in challenging environments, so we focus on prevention to minimize the risks. Our safety management systems have been tested and developed over 10 years, and we know that they work: (1) Our safety systems are externally reviewed by international experts and practitioners annually. (2) We have full time presence and staff, offices and logistics in Ghana and have access to security information and networks such as the Counter-Terrorism Units of the Ghana Police Service to cover potential issues about safety, despite the need being very unlikely. (3) We conduct risk assessments and casualty evacuation training specifically for every adventure location where we have crisis management plans in place for every contingency. (4) We have selected and trained highly experienced, committed and resourceful individuals as staff and they uphold our high standards of safety on every adventure. (5) We execute safety drills before the start of every adventure so that adventurers are prepared for the risks a particular adventure offers; and (6) We are in constant communication with our offices on every adventure, who in turn are in touch with medical facilities in a 12km radius if casualty evacuation becomes necessary.

 

What food will I eat?


The food you eat depend on the specific adventure you are on. Day-out adventures include packed lunches that are often rice-based meals. You and our expedition adventure staff will be responsible for cooking your own food at camps, which usually include Ghanaian meals such as boiled yams and palava sauce, jollof rice, and other local culinary delights. If you and your team do not know how to cook at all, there is always a cook on our adventures but you will be expected to cut tomatoes, dice carrots, grind peppers in an earthenware and fetch water balanced on your head. While we are unable to cater to every dietary persuasion there is, we are happy to customize meals for vegans and vegetarians.

 

Where will I sleep?


Due to the remote locations of our adventure sites, conditions will be more basic than you are probably used to. You will be camping in a tent with in-built mosquito nets or sleeping in a hammock under trees. If you pay attention to the packing list in the details of your adventure, you will have comfortable nights on the expedition. Sometimes we provide leather-bound mattresses to adventurers, and tents carry 2 persons or more depending on the type of tent. You’re invited to bring along your own tent if you have one, or if you plan not to share a tent with anyone.

 

How many people are in a team?


Most of our adventure teams are made up of between 10-14 adventurers at a time, but sometimes we have groups as large as 100. No matter what size an adventure is, you will be supported by at least one Ranger and a Junior or Superior Officer.

 

What skills will I learn on Expedition?


In addition to learning about the Ghanaian outdoors and hopefully developing social skills in an intense environment, we will encourage and challenge you to develop varied skills that will include communication, teamwork, flexibility, resilience, leadership, sensitivity, decision-making and confidence. We will encourage you to keep a personal development journal on your adventure to outline your aims and progress.

 

Can I drink alcohol on an Adventure?


No alcohol, tobacco or drugs are permitted on a BraveHearts Expeditions adventure. This forms part of our safety and preparedness protocol, and a breach will result in outright expulsion from the adventure. This is a non-negotiable rule.

 

What if I have a medical condition?


We have medics and wilderness first responders on all our adventures and can accommodate a wide range of medical conditions but we have to ensure that we can do so safely. We are as inclusive as possible but we obviously need to ensure the safety of everyone.  Due to the nature of the adventure, the remote locations and the adventure operations that we undertake, any applicant with a long standing medical or mental health condition and special medical or mobility requirements should contact the Expedition Leader on +233-20-454-8040 to discuss this with our medical teams. All calls will be confidential. Our medical and casualty evacuation teams will determine if we can achieve the necessary safety requirements for the adventure whilst accounting for the needs and wishes of an individual.

 

ASTHMA: We can generally support people with mild, stable asthma to join our adventures. Adventurers with asthma will need to have had an asthma review within the last year, and will need to take enough medication to last them the duration of the adventure. Adventurers with asthma will be assessed on a case by case basis after the medical interview.

 

EPILESPY: We can generally support people with well controlled epilepsy, where the risk of seizures is low. Adventurers with epilepsy on medication will need to take enough medication to last them the duration of the adventure. Adventurers with epilepsy (or a history of seizures) are assessed on a case by case basis after the medical interview. If the adventurer can be supported, the medical team will work with the volunteer to develop a personalized plan for managing their condition on expedition.

 

DIABETES: We can generally support people with well controlled diabetes. Adventurers with diabetes on medication will need to take enough medication and equipment to last them the duration of the adventure. Adventurers with diabetes are assessed on a case by case basis after the medical interview. If the adventurer can be supported, the medical team will work with the adventurer to develop a personalized plan for managing their condition on the adventure.

 

ALLERGIES: We can generally support people with mild allergies. People with severe allergies or a history of anaphylaxis will be assessed on a case by case basis after the medical interview. If the adventurer can be supported, the medical team will work with the adventurer to develop a personalized plan for managing their condition on expedition.

 

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION: We can generally support people with mild, stable anxiety and/or depression to join our adventures. Adventurers with anxiety and depression will be assessed on a case by case basis after the medical interview. If the adventurer can be supported, the medical team will work with the adventurer to develop a personalized plan for managing their condition on expedition.

 

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS: All prescription medication should be declared in the medical interview, and individuals should take enough medications to last them the whole of their adventure. Adventurers are responsible for looking after their own prescription medication, and are discouraged from stopping or titrating off medication whilst on expedition. Any individuals on immune-suppressant medication will be assessed on a case by case basis. Any individuals on injectable medication will be assessed on a case by case basis, would need to be able to confirm they would bring all supplies needed for the whole of their adventure, and be independent in their administration. Anyone who is using intravenous drugs, of any kind (including medical infusions), or is currently on a methadone regime cannot join an adventure.

 

OTHER CONDITIONS: If you if have any medical problems it is worth notifying and contacting the Expedition Leader on +233-20-454-8040 to see how likely it might affect your adventure.

 

What happens if I become ill during the Adventure?


We have a medic on every adventure and each adventure has an extensive medical kit available. We have good relationships with local doctors and hospitals and will ensure you get evacuated as quickly as possible to the nearest medical facility in a medical emergency. Make sure you carry your medical or health insurance card with you and keep it safe in the appropriate compartment of your backpack. Please be informed that no insurance company in Ghana is able to underwrite the risks involved in adventure activities. It is important that you understand the risks before signing on to an adventure and to also be sure your personal insurance covers most of the medical issues that might be present in an outdoor emergency. As and when insurance companies in Ghana evolve to understand and underwrite outdoor adventure risks, BraveHearts Expeditions will include the appropriate insurance as part of the fees for expedition adventures.

 

Can I use my phone on an Adventure?


You can bring your phone on our adventures but you will not be able to use it on all activities. Either ways, you are solely responsible for the safety and security of your gadgets. We encourage adventurers to use our adventures as a chance to switch off from your everyday life and take a ‘digital break’. This allows you to be fully immersed in the expedition adventure. And there is no need to worry about photos after your adventure. Our media team will share professional photos taken of you during the adventure on a shared drive, usually a few days after the adventure ends.

 

Where do we bath and do #2?


Camps are usually set close to water bodies, and Adventurers have the option of swimming and bathing in the rivers or lakes (if they have biodegradable soap), or fetching water in a pail and bathing some 20 metres away from the water body (if soap is non-biodegradable). Depending on the location or facility of the adventure, #2 will be a proper water closet, a mobile water closet, or a short drop latrine (a little hole you’ll dig with a spade far away from any water body and do your business).

 

What about snakes and cannibals?


There are all kinds of wildlife in our expedition locations, and your Expedition or Adventure Leader will encourage you to identify and discuss what wildlife you are able to see. In our experience, sightings of reptiles other than common lizards and monitor lizards are rare and unlikely, but if you do see a snake on an adventure, stay calm and simply draw the attention of your Adventure Leader. We have never had incidences involving snakes on any of our adventures since we were founded in 2010 because the reptiles simply stay away from us when we are in the jungle. Also, we know what to do in the case of rare sighting encounters – we simply give the pretty reptiles the wide berth they deserve. As to cannibals, there are no records of anthropophagic humans in any of Ghana’s amazing outdoor environments.

 

Will bad weather cancel an Adventure?


It is very unlikely that bad weather will cause the cancellation of an adventure. This is because Ghanaian weather conditions contribute to the intensity of our adventures and we welcome them. We might take long breaks and seek temporary shelter during electric storms and orographic rainfalls to minimize lightening exposure and hypothermia respectively. Usually though, we simply plunge on, grateful to the rains for the minimization of the sometimes uncomfortable humidity and heat. Biking and abseiling are weather sensitive though. The Shai Hills get extremely muddy during rains and make biking a difficult activity. Abseiling is also sensitive to rain during the actual activity. We will always make the decisions that are safest in all circumstances, and expect adventurers to bear with us in all scenarios.

 

Must I pack everything on the Packing List?


We encourage adventurers to take the packing list seriously, and to contact us about any item they have difficulty procuring. We are good friends with Decathlon Ghana, and they are happy to help you with the items on your list. The key to having a more comfortable adventure is that packing list, and every item counts. We include the packing list in the details for every adventure listed on Our Adventures.