Who is the toughest?
The extreme off-road route and physical challenges will test the strength of all contestants
THREE KZNners will be competing in this year’s Ranger Odyssey which starts today.
Ginette Chubb from Pietermaritzburg and Durbanites Mohammed Omarjee and Xoliswa Nontanda are among the 20 contenders who are hoping to win an Odyssey Ranger for a year, plus an equivalent in local currency of R5 000 worth of fuel per month, against 17 contestants from South Africa, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Angola and Mozambique.
The route includes extreme off-road driving through the mountainous Khuwarib region, experiencing the breathtaking Purros canyons, tackling the desolate Gainas Plains, visiting the Unesco heritage site at Palmwag, travelling through the aptly named Desolation Valley and traversing the steep 2 500-metre Brandberg by foot.
While many of the challenges will be taken on behind the wheel of the Ford Ranger, the adventure is a test of brains and brawn. Aside from testing each contestant’s driving and vehicle-related skills, they will have to prove that they are tough enough to be crowned the winner.
The contestants will be assessed by a panel of judges on their mental and physical endurance, as well as a variety of other aspects such as communication skills, leadership abilities, camp craft and overall demeanour.
In a new twist for this year’s event, the trip will end prematurely for the lowest-scoring contestants, as two people will be eliminated from the competition at the end of day four (Sunday), and a further four will leave after day eight (July 30).
The www.rangerodyssey.com website features a leader board that is updated daily. The rankings for the highest-placed contestants will be placed randomly on the chart, adding a further element of intrigue to the competition. The winner of Ranger Odyssey will be revealed in Sandton on August 11.
The contestants in the Ranger Odyssey, which starts in Windhoek today.