The wilderness section of Addo Elephant National Park is the setting for the Wild Defender Trophy Cape 2019. Taking place 16-20 May 2019, this overland challenge is all about appreciating nature as you put your 4×4 through its paces.

If you’re a nature lover, have a passion for Land Rover Defenders and enjoy exploring off the beaten track, the Wild Defender Trophy Cape 2019 is for you. This year the family-friendly overland challenge heads to Addo Elephant National Park for 4×4 driving, game viewing, bush camping and friendly rivalry.

“The aim of the Wild Defender Trophy Cape 2019 is to explore our provincial and national parks, promote awareness of our natural heritage and share in the joy of the wilderness with like-minded Land Rover Defender owners,” says founder and organiser Johan Kriek.

Teams of Defender drivers get the opportunity to test their off-roading skills on natural obstacles while putting their bush knowledge to the test. Participants compete against each other by answering questions about the park’s fauna and flora, culture and history as they explore wilderness sections of Addo.

To take part, drivers must have Tracks4Africa GPS maps loaded onto their navigation devices. “The daily questionnaire will include questions at certain waypoints, such as ‘identify the big tree on your left’,” says Johan. Field guides on the region’s mammals, trees and wildflowers will come in handy.

Into the wilds of Addo

South Africa’s third largest national park offers plenty of challenges as the 4x4s progress from spekboom thicket through fynbos and forest to rocky mountain slopes.

“The absolute highlight of the trail is that Addo Elephant National Park is allowing us to traverse their non-tourist wilderness areas, which include spectacular vistas and mountain scenery,” Johan adds.

On the Sunday, drivers can test their mettle on the Bedrogfontein 4×4 Trail, a 45-km route that includes river crossings and steep ascents. While the Wild Defender Trophy Cape 2019 isn’t a driving contest, participants should be familiar with the use of low range and be comfortable tackling some technical challenges.

But the beauty of this event is that less experienced overlanders can learn from old hands. It’s an ideal opportunity to test-drive your vehicle, equipment and approach to packing and bush camping ahead of a trip such as Kruger’s multi-day 4×4 trails.

Programme

Thursday 16 May: Convoy game drive and lapa dinner at Schotia Safaris

Friday 17 May: Game drive in Addo tourist section and bush camp in wilderness area

Saturday 18 May: Explore Kabouga section and bush camp on Sundays River

Sunday 19 May: Bedrogfontein 4×4 route and prize-giving dinner

Monday 20 May: Depart at leisure

Good to know

You have to be self-sufficient in terms of camping equipment, drinking water and food (dinner included on first and last night only).

You need a two-way radio and GPS with Tracks4Africa maps to follow the route and answer questions.

Entry fee for a vehicle and team of two is R8,000, additional participants R1,000 a person.

Register online or [email protected] to learn more.