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Why go round go over! Elephant Charge 2015

Why go round go over! Elephant Charge 2015

Why go round? Testing driving, endurance and navigation skills all in the name of Zambian conservation
Why go round? Testing driving, endurance and navigation skills all in the name of Zambian conservation
source: Elephant Charge

 

BY : CHRISTIE BROOKSTEIN

julitunney@gmail.com 

www.facebook.com/ElephantCharge

www.elephantcharge.org

You are baking hot, exhausted and covered in dust. A seemingly insurmountable rock pile blocks your way on a road you’ve never driven before. Do you try to go around? No, you look at your teammates, grin and engage gear to go over, because this is the K2 Steel and Mwala Crushing Elephant Charge.

Each year in October, teams of cars and motorbikes tackle the impossible in the Zambian wilderness, as they compete to finish a course of ten checkpoints in the shortest distance possible. Just to make it even more challenging, it’s in an unknown area, revealed to the teams on the day, with no set route and checkpoints are located  in valleys, over ridges and up sheer escarpments.

Taking place this year 2-4 October, so far 17 teams in assorted Toyotas and Land Rovers have signed up to take on the 25km course, testing their driving, endurance and navigation skills. Most importantly, this is not just for the adrenalin. It’s for charity. Each team pledges a minimum of ZMW4,000 (US$400) to enter and the event is sponsored by a host of conservation-minded Zambian companies.

The funds raised go to conservation initiatives throughout the country. This year, the beneficiaries are: The Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia; South Luangwa Conservation Society; Conservation Lower Zambezi; Kasanka Trust Ltd; Conservation Lake Tanganyika; Frankfurt Zoological Society North Luangwa Conservation Programme; Game Rangers International Muzovu Awareness Project; Children in the Wilderness; Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust.

Started in 2008 by Peter Castle, Mike Fleming, Andy Fleming and Tom Younger, total funds raised to date are close to USD600 000. Inspired by the Rhino Charge in Kenya, it’s a great spectator event, with the teams taking off at 7am and finishing at around 3pm, running the gauntlet of the toughest part of the course in front of cheering crowds at event headquarters.

There is a new category this year for everyone to get a taste of the adventure: the Town Car category. For a fee of USD100 and pledges at the team’s discretion, unmodified 4x4 cars without winches etc can follow a course that mainly sticks to roads to see if they fancy tackling the main event next year. After all, why go around when you can go over?