Gruelling real-world test of new Defender

‘Hot Cape to Cold Cape’

25 October 2021 | Motors
South Africa’s renowned Kingsley Holgate adventure team has revealed the launch date for its new, year-long transcontinental expedition, which promises to be one of the team’s most challenging geographic and humanitarian journeys to date.

Departing on 27 October from Cape Aghulhas, the expedition involves a 30 000km journey through 30 countries from the southern tip of the African continent to the most northern point of Europe, and then on to the mystical Isle of Anglesey in Wales.

Named the Defender Transcontinental Expedition, it will be the first real-life expedition test for Land Rover’s new Defenders outside of South African borders, across two continents and over some of the most extreme terrain on Earth, undertaken by an experienced team that has already completed 39 gruelling expeditions to every country on the African continent and beyond – many of them world-firsts.

Holgate explained that this two-in-one expedition has been almost two years in the making.


“All adventurers will agree, it’s time to move again. In April last year, after months of preparation, we were about to set off on a humanitarian ‘journey of purpose’ from the UK to South Africa to showcase Land Rover’s new Defender ahead of its global launch. But then, along came Covid-19 and put all those plans on hold,” said Kingsley.

“So, optimistically, we decided to turn things around and add even more adventure to the route. This expedition will be the first ‘Hot Cape to Cold Cape’ journey in recent years from South Africa’s Cape Agulhas to Norway’s Nordkapp in the Arctic Circle, which is the most northern point of Europe that can be reached by vehicle. It will certainly be a world-first for the new Land Rover Defenders.

“That’s just one part of the expedition goal. We’re keeping the ‘journey of purpose’ theme and will conduct humanitarian work to assist 300 000 people in Sub-Sahara Africa. Then, in celebration of Land Rover’s 75-year heritage, the expedition will end on the Isle of Anglesey in September 2022, where human occupation dates back to the time of the Druids, and where the first Land Rover design was sketched in the sands of Red Wharf Bay by engineer Maurice Wilks in 1947.”


The core Holgate team will be using two expedition-kitted P400 Defenders for the entire journey, with other team members joining the expedition along the way in their own Defenders. The two Defenders are already well-travelled, having completed the Holgates’ 80-day, 16,000km Mzansi Edge expedition to track South Africa’s land borders and deliver humanitarian aid in the height of South African lockdown in 2020.

“All of our expeditions have the principle of ‘saving and improving lives through adventure’, so with the relaxation of Covid-19 regulations, we’ll be able to once again provide eye-tests and reading glasses to poor-sighted elderly people in outlying areas through our Mashozi’s Rite to Sight programme, which has already assisted over 218,000 people throughout Africa,” says expedition leader Ross Holgate.

“We’re not setting out to break speed records on the ‘Hot Cape to Cold Cape’ section of the journey, so it’s not going to be a straight-line dash,” continued Ross. “We’re going to seek out demanding driving conditions and tough 4x4 terrain to reach iconic geographic points of interest and really put the technical capabilities of the new Defenders through their paces.


“There are going to be some extreme challenges. The route through central and east Africa will be at the height of the ‘big rains’, so we’re expecting very wet and muddy conditions for days on end. Crossing the dry and hot Sahel and Nubian Desert through Sudan and into Egypt will also be very testing for both man and machine.

“There are also geo-political issues to face, especially in Ethiopia and the Sudan. And then, there is the route through eastern Europe to Norway; that’s going to be an all new, incredibly diverse and stimulating experience for our Africa-based expedition members, whose last transcontinental journey was from Cape Town to Kathmandu in 2018.”

From Greece, the expedition will traverse eastern European countries and tackle exciting 4x4 terrain on its northerly journey through Russia and Finland to reach Nordkapp in Norway. The route then turns south through Sweden, Denmark and western Europe, before finally crossing the Channel into the UK and ending in Wales.


African symbolism remains a key focus of this new Holgate expedition. As always, the team’s well-travelled traditional Zulu calabash has a prime spot in the Defenders and will collect seawater from where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet at Cape Agulhas, the expedition’s mid-point at Alexandria in Egypt on the Mediterranean, the Norwegian and Barents Seas at Nordkapp, and will be symbolically emptied at the expedition’s endpoint at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey, Wales.

Four iconic ‘isivivanes’ (stone cairns) will be built at key points along the expedition route: Cape Agulhas, Alexandria, Nordkapp and Anglesey. The expedition will also be carrying a new Scroll of Peace and Goodwill from the southern point of Africa to the northern point of Europe and on to Land Rover’s birthplace in the United Kingdom. This scroll will collect hundreds of messages of support from citizens of 30 countries for a new and more hope-filled post-Covid world. - MotorPress



Trusted Travel System geld vanaf Saterdag

19 minute gelede | Toerisme

Die Trusted Travel System vir die koördinering en verifiëring van Covid-19-uitslae in lande deel van die Afrika Unie (AU) geld vanaf Saterdag (15 Januarie) in...

Huidige Covid-19-regulasies bly in plek

33 minute gelede | Gesondheid

President Hage Geingob sê die huidige Covid-19-regulasies wat die afgelope maand in plek was, geld steeds tot 15 Februarie. Dit is die volgende: 'n maksimum...

Byna 20 000 nuwe gevalle die afgelope maand

46 minute gelede | Gesondheid

Die minister van gesondheid en maatskaplike dienste, dr. Kalumbi Shangula, sê 19 846 nuwe Covid-19-gevalle is die afgelope maand in die land aangeteken. Hiervan was...

Inentingskoers bly laag

59 minute gelede | Gesondheid

President Hage Geingob sê huiwering om teen Covid-19 ingeënt te word, duur voort. Volgens die staatshoof het Zambezi die laagste koers en wel 6%, terwyl...

‘Reëngolwe wink’

11 ure gelede | Weer

Henriette Lamprecht – Baie swaar reën, met etlike reëngolwe wat in die tweede helfte van vandeesweek en tot volgende week uitgebreid na Namibië op pad...

Lisensie of nie, staatsvoertuie ry

11 ure gelede | Polisie

Adam Hartman op Swakopmund – Verkeersbeamptes in alle streke voer steeds ’n vroeër opdrag vanuit hul hoogste gesag uit om nie verkeerskaartjies aan regeringsvoertuie met...

FNB deel van geding om Fishrot-geld

11 ure gelede | Howe

Ogone Tlhage – First National Bank Namibia het bykomende dokumente by die hoërhof in Windhoek ingedien en hom daardeur by die grootste korrupsiesaak in die...

Weer vir 13 Januarie

11 ure gelede | Weer

BINNELAND: Gedeeltelik bewolk en baie tot bloedig warm oor die westelike helfte van die binneland, andersins gedeeltelik bewolk en warm tot baie warm met 'n...

Lande omseil Interpol as Namibië uitlewerings soek

11 ure gelede | Polisie

Kenya Kambowe op Rundu – Terwyl die Namibiese polisiehoof, lt.genl. Sebastian Ndeitunga, die Internasionale Kriminele Polisie-organisasie (Interpol) as behulpsaam beskou, vertel ’n plaaslike polisieondersoekbeampte ’n...