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Some of you may remember that late last year I posed the question on this forum “would it be possible to drive a L322 from London, all the way through Africa to Cape Town?”

Well, I’m pleased to announce that the answer to this question is an emphatic “Yes!” and this was is a virtually showroom-spec 2003 Td6 starting out with 80,000 miles already on the clock. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this trip has been made in a L322 (most people resort to a Defender or early Landcruiser).

We left London on 2 January and, after 18,000 miles, 19 countries and 5 months we succeeded in our ambition to reach Cape Town. We had an incredible journey and the Range Rover was absolutely magnificent. We took it, fully laden, through hostile, remote and rough territory, high altitudes, high humidity, and vast amounts of dust, grit and sand while running it on uncertain fuel quality, yet it didn’t miss a beat. We know of no other vehicle that has completed this journey with so few issues, Landcruisers included! (the only thing that actually went wrong with the car were the parking sensors)

Our routing took us through: France – Switzerland – Italy – Greece – Turkey – Syria – Jordan – Egypt – Sudan – Ethiopia – Kenya – Uganda – Tanzania – Malawi – Zambia – Botswana – Namibia – South Africa – Lesotho

Some of you were kind enough to share your thoughts and advice on this topic before we left and I know others have been following our trip blog. I also learnt a huge amount about the car by trawling through this forum so, now back in London, it is my turn to make a contribution. Hope you enjoy it.

We have developed a very detailed website of our exploits so, rather than make an excessively long post here, I am going to direct you to the bits of the website that may be of interest through the following links:


A few snaps of the Rangie in action in Africa

How the Range Rover performed in Africa

Range Rover expedition preparation

Expedition trip log

Trip statistics

Homepage


Quite a lot to keep you busy there! I hope you find this interesting and heart-warming to see some emphatic proof that a modern Range Rover - 40 years on from its initial introduction - is still a formidable vehicle in virtually any environment you can imagine. The most capable vehicle in the World? Get’s my vote.

Best regards
RRG
 

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LIFETIME CONTRIBUTOR
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Excellent!

Well done. You are a braver man than me.
 

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Simply awesome! Post of the year. :clap:
 

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Sounds like you did alot better than that dipsh*t on IH8mud whos currently broke down in Yemmen I believe. In a Land Cruiser I might add. He did nothing to prepare his vehicle for the trip either.



You should send links to your website to some news outlets. Make a good story. Me and my wife have been following your adventure since January. We want to do our own trip like yours in a P38 From Florida to her hometown in El Salvador. Other than Mexico I am not to worried.
 

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The Best Post By Far.

Great pictures.

I really enjoyed looking at everything you put together.

I wish my woman was up for a journey like that!
 

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RRG

I was an active follower during your whole trip and really enjoyed the fortnigthly or monthly updates .

Congratulations again to you and your lovely companion for a remarkable achievement , and also a remarkable reprting .

I hope you sent the whole info To LRUK . you may get a nice discount on your future LR .

Also you may try your luck with Land Rover Owner international : http://www.lro.com/ , or Land rover monthly : http://www.lrm.co.uk/ !!!!

What do you intend to do with your truck ? do you intend to keep it as such or sell it to another adventurer ...???

By the way , do you believe same journey could be done with a Petrol V8 ???
Dio you believe we could find the gas where you went ??

or do you actually need a diesel ???

Congratulations again :clap: :clap: :clap:
 

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INCREDIBLE....you sir, are a braveheart.

i guess you only live once as they say.........must have been exciting. Am planning a road trip with my RRS.....this is motivation and inspiration for me.
 

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Wow, this is really great! :thumb:
Thank you for sharing your experience and pictures! Wow, I'm soooo impressed. I wanted to travel from Switzerland to Morocco, but now I know I could go much further :p
 

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remington said:
Simply awesome! Post of the year. :clap:
Yes, fantastic journey - well done! Great to see a RR in its natural habitat. (Incidentally, how many other L322s did you pass on the way; I can drive for 1000s of kilometres through outback Australia without spotting another).
 

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Absolutely amazing trip! Great job on documenting all the details, it made for a great read. Thanks.
 

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It was loads of fun following your adventure. When I first saw "The Range Rover: a eulogy", I thought it had died, fallen overboard, or been dropped in its container -- glad to see it made it home successfully and passed inspection! My son and I enjoyed your photos, videos and Trip Log immensely. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
First of all, thanks for the enthusiastic response! Makes the hard work of putting all the info/pictures together worthwhile. I'm really pleased a number of you have enjoyed following our travels and I hope it inspires more RR expeditions. Me, I'm tempted by that pan-American highway... `)

Jaybear, we really enjoyed the regular comments you posted on our website - many thanks for that. As for magazine coverage, I've written a major article which should be serialised in a US Land Rover magazine soon. I may approach a Euro magazine after that, but the US guys asked first. As for LRUK, I hadn't contacted them because I wasn't looking for sponsorship or support but I have a friend who knows the PR & marketing director so we'll tell them about it and see what they say. If the story helps sell a few for Rangies, I would be very happy! I'll keep you posted.

You can be sure I will be keeping my Rangie for the foreseeable future. After looking after us so well it is now really part of the family! It's just coming up to 100,000miles and I reckon it must be good for at least another 100,000. It has some towing duties to do on Wednesday and has some long trips into France ahead of it in August so it won't be retiring just yet!

Could you do the journey in a petrol V8?? Hmmm, good question. Actually petrol availability was very good in Syria, Jordan and Egypt (in fact I struggled to find diesel). From Sudan onwards it was much easier to find diesel but petrol could be found for sure. But where I was wondering about diesel quality (water content, dirt, had it been cut with kerosene or parafin etc) with a petrol car you would be worried about octane rating. In Sudan and Ethiopia you would be looking at RON numbers around 80 or worse. With knock sensors the engine will run but power will be quite restricted. This would especially be an issue at high altitudes in Ethiopia. Your other issue would be fuel consumption and safe range. I drove gently but with an all up weight of 3 tonnes plus dreadful roof rack aerodynamics I only averaged 21.7mpg. I carried 40 litres of spare diesel and on a couple of occasions needed it to get to a decent fuel station. In a petrol RR I could imagine this being 15-16mpg and you would probably need to carry a lot more spare fuel to be on the safe side. On balance I think the diesel is the better choice but can it be done? I'm sure it can. Go for it!
 

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You have a PM about that pan-america trip idea :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey Wolf01, that's a good one - L322 distribution across Africa

The first surprise was Istanbul, Turkey. An obviously wealthy district of the City on the banks of the Bosphorous was absolutely teaming with L322s - higher density that London. It clearly was the car of choice for the local flash boys. None had a roof rack and roof tent, thought, and we got some long stares from the Gucci-clad brigade. Any one on this forum from Istanbul and can fill us in on this a bit more?

After Istanbul, the next L322 we saw was in Cairo. There is an official dealer there, but they only sell the petrol models. In total we saw 3 or 4. At a car wash in the centre of the city I parked next to a P38 - also in Epsom green - which would have made for a good photo but I'd forgotten my camera. He was a nice guy and a LR enthusiast but was struggling to get parts out there. And when he could they were crazy prices.

In Sudan there are rumoured to be 2x L322s and we saw one of them. A UK expat, he is a member of this forum, and took his petrol V8 out with him. Super nice guy who helped us grapple with Khartoum - thanks Chris! He was struggling with octane rating out there and was putting booster tablets in the tank to try and help.

In Ethiopia we saw two in the capital Addis Ababa, much to my surprise. It was somewhere in remote Ethiopia when someone approached us and said "Wow! A Range Rover - this is the car of Kings!" which made us smile, but feel rather uncomfortable at the same time...

Kenya is still a Land Rover hub, despite the best efforts of Toyota, and working in the LR main dealer workshops for a couple of days it was clear that around Nairobi there are lots of everything from Freelanders to L322s and of course loads of Defenders. In common with many Africa countries, import duties on something like a L322 are around 200% so a TDV8 that would be £65k in the UK cost more than £150k out there!! Parts prices suffer similar import duties as well. Net result is the only people who can afford to drive a L322 are government ministers or successful entrepreneurs. Outside of Nairobi we didn't see another L322 but we did see some Classics!

In the capital of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, there is a successful LR dealer but they focus on Defender but they do sell the occasional L322 but we didn't see any on the road. They were very kind and stored my car while we made a side trip to Zanzibar.

We saw no L322s in Malawi, Zambia, Botswana or Namibia. There are quite a few in South Africa but the sales rates again suffer from 100% import duty. You see a few gleaming black ones cruising around the main business district of Sandton, Joburg but then we didn't see another until Cape Town, where there are several in evidence. In fact Cape Town is about the only place in Africa that isn't totally sold on Toyota. There were a lot of Disco 3s and 4s cruising around, largely driven by yummy mummies.

So there you have it - it's a rare machine on that continent. On previous travels in Africa I was intrigued to see a lone and filthy L322 in downtown Luanda, Angola. I would love to know the story behind that. Anyone on this forum?
 

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Thank you for sharing with us your adventure! I enjoyed reading about it and the pictures look fantastic!
 

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What an outstanding picture journal. Thank you so much for taking the time to chronicle this and share it with the membership here. :clap:

Makes my puny 1600 mile jaunt from Houston, TX to Washington, DC look like a trip to the corner market.
 
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