Two months since they departed from Cape Town on Mandela Day (18 July 2018), the world-first Land Rover Cape Town to Kathmandu team has successfully completed the African leg of the expedition and is now preparing to tackle the next challenging section through the Caucasus and central Asia.
Ross Holgate, Land Rover Ambassador and Expedition Leader said: “It’s been a great adventure so far. Armed with a Madiba100 Scroll of Peace and Goodwill and a symbolic Zulu calabash filled with cold Cape seawater and with loads of positive humanitarian and community conservation work already done in Africa, it’s now time to plot the Asian leg of the expedition. Despite there still being eight countries and around 12,000 kilometres to go, our sights are firmly set on reaching Kathmandu in Nepal before the 25th of December.”
Kingsley Holgate, South African explorer, humanitarian and author said: “The Asian leg of this odyssey will be all new for us and it has great symbolism, such as linking Cape Town’s 600million-year-old Table Mountain to the ancient Himalayas and Mt Everest. No other Land Rover Discovery team has tackled this route before and there’s much to look forward to: exotic places such as Istanbul (the old Constantinople), Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea, the ancient ruins of Ephesus in Iran, Pakistan’s historic Khyber Pass and the hair-pin bends of the Karakoram Highway – the highest paved road in the world, not to mention Rajasthan – the jewel in India’s crown – and then finally, enchanting Kathmandu in the Mountain Kingdom of Nepal.”
Sheelagh Antrobus, Head of the Community Conservation for the expedition said: “I’m excited about the rhino youth education work we’re doing. We’re carrying hundreds of messages of solidarity against rhino poaching from South African children. These Rhino Art messages, which include both the South African and Nepalese flags, are safely stored in the Land Rovers and we’re looking forward to handing them over to conservation officials and children living near Chitwan National Park in Nepal, which is home to 600 of the remaining greater one-horned rhinoceros of Asia. Yet, whilst they are under equal threat of extinction, Chitwan hasn’t lost a rhino to poaching in three years. We’ll be bringing reciprocal messages from Nepalese children back to South Africa – this is the first time that the youth of both countries are joining forces in calling for a global end to rhino poaching.
But the expedition is not going to be without its challenges though. Apart from this journey being a trans-continental test for the three Land Rover vehicles, there is also extensive paperwork and special permissions required. As always, there’s that nervous feeling of anticipation in the pit of one’s stomach, all part of the ‘Zen of Travel’ that I hope will remain on our side during this new adventure.”
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