- The Journey
- The Humanitarian Work
- The Vehicles
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A journey of purpose. Transcontinental, crossing over 30 countries and around 40 000km of distance travelled by the Kingsley Holgate Foundation Team in the latest Land Rover Defenders has changed lives in the process.
Pretty much anyone on this Earth would know of the Land Rover Defender and the feats accomplished by the English brute in some way. The current generation Defender has been dubbed as one of the most capable Land Rovers, let alone SUVs, out there. Such a capable SUV would be well-equipped to handle some of the harshest conditions and harshest journeys known to anyone who has done long-distance driving.
This is where the Kingsley Holgate Foundation comes in. Kingsley Holgate is a renowned South African explorer, humanitarian and author. Well-travelled is an understatement, as the expedition team from the Kingsley Holgate Foundation have completed journeys considered world firsts such as the discovery of the geographic centre-point of Africa and now this: A transcontinental journey of purpose complete in Land Rover Defenders from Hot Cape to Cold Cape, and ending off in the symbolic birthplace of Land Rover. Not only that but this journey was done while saving and changing lives in the process.
The road map of the journey on paper looked straightforward; from one continent to another, over 30 countries, and with around 40 000 km of distance covered. This isn’t just a case of plopping on the GPS and taking a nice cruise on the N1 Highway, this is going past country borders, going on roads less travelled, from tarmac to gravel, to sand dunes and even no road at all. Travelled through with an experienced expedition team and with support from the locals of each country travelled. The journey started from the Southernmost point of Africa at Cape Agulhas to Alexandria in Egypt, then to the most northern point of Europe in NordKapp Norway in the Arctic Circle. The team even passed through where the new Defender is being built in Slovakia. The journey then finally wraps up at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey Wales. This is where Maurice Wilks drew up the first Land Rover concept in 1947, effectively the symbolic birthplace of Land Rover.
The Humanitarian Work
This journey wasn’t a case of showing off in a Land Rover but rather helping people, seeing how others live and changing, if not saving lives for the better. As the Foundation puts it, this was a journey of purpose. As such, many humanitarian objectives were done. This was a carbon-neutral trip in that there was the planting of trees in the Eastern Cape of South Africa to neutralise the carbon footprint. Malaria prevention through the distribution of long-term insecticide-treated mosquito nets to pregnant women and mothers with young children as they were the most vulnerable, along with malaria prevention education and even indoor spraying programmes in Mozambique. Mashozi’s Rite to Sight Programme performed eye tests and gave reading glasses to mostly elderly people and those with poor eyesight in remote areas and communities. Early Childhood Development (ECD) included the distribution of ECD teaching materials and infrastructure in rural creches along with the distribution of nutritious porridge packs at rural creches on the boundaries of the game reserves found in South Africa. These are a few of the objectives listed and achieved.
The main vehicles of choice used in the expedition were Land Rover Defender P400 S’s. From the factory, these are well-specced, capable vehicles. The off-road capability of this vehicle is second-to-none with a ground clearance of up to 291 mm to tackle some of the toughest roads and paths out there. Powering the P400 is a 3.0-litre straight-6 petrol engine which features Mild Hybrid Electric technology which pushes out 294 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque, sending power to all 4 wheels via an automatic gearbox. These particular Defenders only had accessories such as lightweight 4×4 wheels and mud tyres fitted amidst the rooftop tent and extra fuel canisters. The suspension on the vehicle was untouched and the whole car is more or less factory spec. After talking to both Kingsley and Ross Holgate, they remarked that the vehicles were phenomenal and reliable to boot only requiring a standard procedure service in between the 40 000km journey with the only issue being low-quality fuel in certain territories affecting engine power. In execution, the vehicles were flawless.
The Kingsley Holgate Foundation Expedition Team
It’s amazing to hear stories of journeys like this. How people’s lives are changed and at the same time, marvelling at what the automobile can do. The Land Rover Defenders used here certainly proved that these vehicles are more than capable and reliable too. It was a reminder of what makes driving journeys interesting, memorable and having so many interesting stories to tell of what happened along the way. After having a chat with Kingsley and Ross, one final question struck, and it was, “If someone new wanted to try this, no matter the scale of the journey, what can they do?” with the key takeaway to summarise being: have a mission in mind, the size doesn’t matter, even if it’s just visiting a neighbouring country. Be curious and ultimately, take the mission and turn the key to do it. Once you turn that key, you’ve opened a door to some of the greatest things the world has to offer. If you can, get out and see what a drive can do for you.
Curious and want to buy a Land Rover Defender? Search AutoTrader for our lastest used and new Defenders.
Want to sell your current car instantly, consider trying our obligation-free Instant Offer Tool.
Tayedza MbiriStarting his petrol-infused passion at a ripe young age playing a plethora of racing video games, Taye has been into the motoring industry for years. During his university years studying Law, he dipped his toes into motoring photography, videography, and exploring what Southern Africa has to offer for the motoring scene at large. Most recently, he presented a YouTube series for a famous Japanese manufacturer and now finds himself fresh on the AutoTrader content creation team. He hopes to own a 90s Subaru one day soon. View News & Reviews
Keyword: Defender Transcontinental Expedition Completed - Welcoming Back the Kingsley Holgate Expedition Team