LAND ROVER EXPEDITION
Cape Town to Kathmandu
They will travel through Southern Africa to the edge of the European world and then through ancient Asia to the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal – a distance of 17,000 kilometres through 19 countries.
Intrepid explorers and Land Rover ambassadors Kingsley and Ross Holgate have embarked on their next world-first humanitarian and geographic expedition on Mandela Day (18 July) from Nobel Square in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town to Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Cape Town to Kathmandu Expedition will travel through Southern Africa to the edge of the European world and then through ancient Asia to the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. The Holgates will again use the premium Land Rover SUV, the Discovery, to cover 17,000 kilometres through 19 countries.
The Land Rover journey will follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo along a branch of the ancient Silk Route, from Turkey to Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and China. In 2013, Land Rover pursued one of their boldest driving adventures with the first ever hybrid expedition in the world along the Silk Route. Part of this route was completed by three Range Rover Diesel Hybrid prototypes traversing 13 countries over 53 days from Solihull in the UK to Mumbai, India.
Hostile conditions on the route included asphalt roads riddled with vast and deep potholes, dusty desert trails in 43 °C heat and numerous miles of mud and gravel tracks and cattle trails. In addition, river crossings, passes clinging to the edges of mountains partly blocked by rock falls, the thin air of extremely high altitudes, and the dense and erratic traffic of Chinese and Indian roads all added to the test of man and machine.
In the shadow of Mt Everest
The team will report from these countries, filled with some of the finest and architectural gems in the world as they travel through more than 15 UNESCO
World Heritage Sites to their destination in the shadow of the highest mountain in the world – Mount Everest.
Having completed journeys of discovery to all 54 countries on the African continent and being the first exploration team in the world to discover the geographic centre of Africa and reach all seven extreme geographic points on the continent, as well as exploring four South American countries, Australia, and Madagascar during their Capricorn round-the-world journey, the Cape Town to Kathmandu expedition is the first in a new adventure theme of ‘Africa & Beyond’.
A first for Discovery
Starting in Africa, the expedition will initially have strong humanitarian and community focus before Kingsley, Ross, and their band of adventurers go beyond the continent to explore new countries and exciting new locations. According to Holgate, South African explorer, humanitarian, and author, it will be the first time that the Land Rover Discovery vehicles undertake a trans-continental journey through Africa, the South Caucasus region, Central, and Southern Asia. “We will be using our two specially-kitted expedition Discoveries that recently completed a world-first journey to reach the most Easterly point of Africa at Ras Xaafun in North-eastern Somalia on the Horn of Africa.”
The adventure began on the centenary of Mandela’s birth with the collection of Cape Town sea-water in the symbolic Zulu calabash of the expedition, at Nobel Square. The calabash will be carried to Kathmandu and emptied at a site of historic significance. To commemorate Mandela Day, the expedition team was presented with special edition ‘Madiba100’ beaded bracelets, handcrafted by the Khayelitsha-based Relate Trust. The expedition will carry a new Madiba Scroll of Peace and Goodwill, which will collect messages and signatures of support from dignitaries and ordinary citizens en route. At the end of the expedition it will be presented for endorsement to representatives of Kathmandu, in a symbolic gesture of goodwill from the people of South Africa.
Doing good for 70 years
Land Rover dealers and retailers along the route through South Africa will play host to the expedition team and use the occasion to promote the Land Rover Hope Box project with Red Cross as part of the 70th anniversary theme of Land Rover of ’70 years of doing good’.
A key focus of all expeditions of Holgate is to ‘use adventure to save and improve lives’ and this world-first journey of discovery is no exception. Humanitarian and community conservation activities will play a major role in the objectives of the expedition in Africa and Asia. This include Malaria prevention, Mashozi’s Rite to Sight, Lifestraw distribution, Community Conservation Education, and Early Childhood Development (ECD).
Ross Holgate, logistics and technical manager of the expedition, said the offroad capabilities of the latest Discovery are truly incredible. “The all-terrain system makes easy work of sand tracks, mud tracks, goat tracks – even no tracks, swollen rivers, desert crossings, and dangerous mountain passes. We look forward to yet another great adventure once again with the capable vehicle.” Follow the progress of the expedition on the hashtag #hcat on social networks or at www.landrover.co.za.