Saturday, November 24, 2012

Elephant Charge

Every year, in a dusty range of hills and gullies in Zambia, never more than a few hours from Lusaka, a bunch of people who love to drive vehicles and break them, gather together for the 'Elephant Charge'.The Elephant Charge is a 4x4 rally, inspired by the Kenyan equivalent the 'Rhino Charge'. The event raises large amounts of money for conservation in Zambia....and its bloody good fun too! Each team consists of 6 folk: a driver, navigator and 4 runners whose job is too seek out the best path ahead through sometimes impossible country. The aim is to complete the course as quickly as possible by checking in at all 10 check points on the course. Time is deducted for the shortest route navigated to each checkpoint, which is often near impossible in a straight line due to the hard country (steep hills, rock faces, gullies and sometimes rivers). Thus lots of winching and digging and getting covered in dust and dirt is par for the course, such is the motto of the EC: 'Dust, Sweat and Gears'.  Each vehicle is fitted with a GPS tracking device, and at the end Andrew Fleming takes the data reading of each vehicle's route and time from the tracker. Our team 'The Chicken Run' came 7th but we cam second in the fundraising with $17,500 for the pot, mainly down to the hard work of Chris Tatem. Chris is also one of the finest 4x4 drivers and mechanics in Zambia!

There were 22 teams this year and the event can take up to 30 teams, so if anyone out there fancies coming along and giving it there best shot....we are waiting for you!

   'The Chicken Run' takes off!
Wheels up! Dodgy Gully Crossing

 The team
                  Clearing a path down

Chris Tatem tries to take off again
 Gearbox mounting gone, winch and sling solve the problem to keep it in place!

 Lean out and hard, just like at sea: trying not to roll!
Looking across to the Luano Valley
         Extra Steep: Bwana Winch! 
Good Country
  Chris Tatem fires through the rocks

1 comment:

  1. god huw! right up your alley eh?? like a normal game drive in fact. heh he...look like mighty fun. i miss zambia! post MORE stories man. x janelle