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Africa Rally 2023 – A Year of Unforgettable Adventures and Incredible Stories


As the sun sets on another incredible year of overlanding and adventure, the Africa Rally 2023 stands tall as evidence of the spirit of exploration, friendship, and boldness that defines this annual event. From the stunning Sparrowhawk Lodge in South Africa to the enchanting Victoria Sands Lodge in Kenya, this year’s rally covered approximately 4,500 kilometres of wild African terrain, offering participants an unforgettable journey filled with encounters with wild animals and unexpected experiences.

An exposition of the 2023 Africa Rally overland routes.

In the heart of Africa, where lions, elephants, zebras, and giraffes roam freely, adventurous teams set out on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. However, what truly set the Africa Rally apart are the wildlife encounters and the exceptional connections made with people along the way. Whether it was lending a simple 13mm spanner or performing a full engine rebuild in just one day, the people met on this journey took the concept of hospitality to new heights.

Among the brave teams that participated, one team shone the brightest – Team 13, also known as Milkvan Journey. Their choice of a 1971 VW Kombi Ice Cream van as their trusty vehicle raised more than a few eyebrows. Yet, their audacious choice paid off, as they clinched not one but three prestigious awards: the Scavenger Hunt Trophy, the Life of Crime Award, and the coveted title of overall winner of the Africa Rally 2023!

Teamwork makes the dream work!

While their victory in the Scavenger Hunt Trophy was hard-fought, it was their dominance in the Life of Crime category that left everyone in awe. Who would have thought that a VW Kombi with its original twin-port motor could accumulate such a record of speeding violations? Nevertheless, the real magic of Team Milkvan Journey lay in the joy they brought to everyone they met, turning strangers into lifelong friends. This embodies the essence of the Africa Rally – it’s not just an African journey but an African adventure.

Of course, no adventure worth its salt comes without its share of challenges. Team 13 encountered a whopping 13 breakdowns, from the moment they got their Milkvan until they safely returned home. One standout incident occurred in Malawi when they broke the accelerator cable linkage. Resourceful as ever, they fashioned a makeshift handle using a piece of pipe and some cord, driving approximately 1,000 kilometres with a hand-operated accelerator.

The Africa Rally is not just about the journey – It’s about the stories and experiences that shape it. The Africa Rally HQ Team has started sharing these captivating tales through a YouTube series called “Stories from the Road,” offering an unfiltered look at the trials and triumphs of the rally’s participants.

Click on the video below to see the start of the series, with Team Milkvan Journey:

Recognising the unyielding spirit of adventure, the Africa Rally presents the Golden Pineapple Award to teams that defy the odds. Team Two Brits & a Mini epitomised this spirit, flying to South Africa just days before the starting line to collect a 1978 Leyland Mini. Though they faced challenges due to limited space and ground clearance, the Mini’s charm attracted help from locals whenever they were stuck. While they didn’t complete the rally due to challenges in rural Tanzania, they earned the well-deserved Golden Pineapple Award.

Team Two Brits & a Mini boasting their Golden Pineapple Award.

What followed was a heartwarming act of comradeship. Paul was called as the cost of overland transport to Dar es Salaam was so high, and this while he was still in Nairobi.  He moved his flight, jumped on a local bus to Arusha with a bag of spare parts, and then what followed was the two-day journey to recover the mini. He definitely didn’t know what he was getting himself into, as that 9-hour drive to Dar es Salaam turned into an epic 43-hour journey, where he basically, with a lot of help, rebuilt the Mini.

Click on the video below to see the Tanzania escapade:

Among the incredible stories, one picture stood out as the “Picture of the Rally.” This captivating shot featured Mr. PJ Daly, topless on the edge of Victoria Falls, a moment captured by Team The Mad Celts from Ireland. PJ and Des, in their trusty Land Rover called “Lucky Boy,” engraved the adventurous spirit, from abseiling down Table Mountain to taking a plunge in Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls.

“Luck Boy,” the superstar Land Rover who stole the show.


The Mad Celts.

While the actual picture can’t be shared for censorship reasons, it can be found on the Africa Rally’s social media pages. As we bid farewell to Africa Rally 2023, we eagerly anticipate the future.

Africa Rally 2024 Promises Even Bigger and Better Adventures!

Africa Rally 2024 promises to be bigger and better, with two parallel routes and three all-inclusive parties. Whether you choose the Challenger Route or the Discovery Route, the adventure awaits, and the choice is yours to make along the way. With a maximum of 50 teams allowed to participate, it’s time to gear up for the next unforgettable journey.

The spirit of exploration, camaraderie, and audacity awaits you on the roads of Africa. Join them and become a part of this extraordinary story.

To learn more about Africa Rally 2024 and how you can be a part of this incredible adventure, visit their website here.

To join the Africa rally on their next adventures and to take part in all the fun, comradery and experience of a lifetime, you can either visit their website here or simply leave your contact details in the enquiry form below and a member of the Africa Rally team shall respond to you soonest with pricing, availability or more information.

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