DEFENDER TRANSCONTINENTAL EXPEDITION’S EPIC 40,000KM ADVENTURE
Land Rover ambassador and renowned explorer Kingsley Holgate successfully completed the 40,000km Defender Transcontinental Expedition, an epic geographic and humanitarian odyssey. Over nine challenging months, Holgate and his experienced team started in Cape Agulhas on the southern tip of Africa and finished at the birthplace of Land Rover on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales.
The six-member team undertook humanitarian work along the expedition’s route, helping around 300,000 people. The mission focused on malaria prevention, assisting thousands of people where malaria is rife. Other efforts included the provision of eye tests and reading glasses to elderly people in remote communities, upgrading of under-resourced early childhood development centres, and deliveries of clean drinking water to drought-stricken regions of northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Covid-19 restrictions made cross-border travel extremely difficult, and uprisings across the breadth of North Africa meant that Africa was largely off-limits to overland travellers. Despite the many challenges faced, the team successfully reached their final destination of Red Wharf Bay, after first stopping in Gaydon where Kingsley shared stories of their incredible adventure with colleagues.
THE BIRTH OF LAND ROVER 75 YEARS AGO
A fleet of classic Land Rovers then joined the three New Defenders for the final stretch of the journey into Anglesey, where the team were welcomed by well-wishers onto the sand where Land Rover was born 75 years ago. Seawater collected from Africa’s southern tip was symbolically emptied onto the beach from the team’s iconic Zulu calabash, which accompanies Holgate on every trip.
Kingsley’s son, Ross Holgate, said, “The challenges of these past nine months were all the more worthwhile when our three Defenders finally reached the historic landmark at Red Wharf Bay. What has been an overwhelming experience of this journey is how ordinary people in every country we’ve journeyed through…just want to live in peace. The expedition’s Scroll of Peace and Goodwill is full of hundreds of heart-warming messages. That’s one of the best things about expanding your horizons through travel and adventure; it gives one hope for the future.”