*NB All costs have now been covered so additional pledges are going to the charities*
My name is Oscar Cowling and in June this year Justin Langen and I are attempting to drive from London to Cape Town for two charities; The Brain Tumour Charity ( http://www.thebraintumourcharity.org ) and Brain Tumour Research ( http://www.braintumourresearch.org ). In September 2006, I unfortunately lost my Dad, Alistair Cowling, to a brain tumour and I have always wanted to do something in memory of him to raise money for this great cause.
Justin and I are at Durham University together and plan to head off on our amazing trip as soon as the Durham University Cricket Club let Justin go in June! We intend to travel through France, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and then into Greece where we will get a ferry over to Egypt and then will drive through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and finally finish in Cape Town.
We aim to do this trip in less than 50 days.
It’s a hefty challenge both emotionally and financially and I am extremely grateful to my step-father who has been incredibly generous in supporting this trip by providing us with the car, a Land Rover 110 Station Wagon, and a wealth of knowledge as he has done this trip twice before!
- We have estimated that the route from London to the port in Athens is around 2,200 miles.
- Once we have shipped the car over to Port Alexandria in Egypt, we estimate that it will be around 6,700 miles down to Cape Town
- We aim to drive 200 - 400 miles a day, leaving at first light and aiming to arrive two hours before sunset so as to allow for any difficulties that we may come across.
- We have also predicted having to spend 1 day at each border to sort out visas and getting the cars and all the spare parts through customs. In some of the countries it is hard enough being let in as a local, let alone two Brits with a Land Rover full of spare parts and camping equipment!
- We are also planning on blogging our trip as we go along and hope to publish this along with a video at the end of it all.
• Fuel - £2,000, roughly 8,900 miles at 20 miles to the gallon with diesel being less than £1 per litre – Kindly donated by Armajaro
• Per Diems - £1,000 - £10 each per day for 50 days
• Visas - £500 - £250 each – Kindly funded by Miles Banks
• Medical kit including plasma needles- £600 – Kindly provided Taylor Pharmacies
• Shipping the car and parts from Greece to Egypt - £500 – Kindly funded by Sophie Ward
• Flights (Greece to Egypt and Cape Town to London) - £2,000 – Kindly provided by the Langen Family
• Insurance - £3,000 –Kindly provided by Matt Lawford - Chesterfields
Obviously these charities are extremely close to my heart and therefore we are working with them to try and generate as much benefit as we possibly can. Our goal is £25,000.00.
Brain Tumour Research are aiming to establish a network of flourishing brain tumour research centres throughout the UK and they are the only national charity dedicated purely to funding scientific research into all types of brain tumour. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease. This is a frightening statistic and that Brain Tumour strive to reduce through their fantastic research centres.
On the other hand The Brain Tumour Charity provide support and resources for those affected by brain tumours and also raises awareness of the need for, and funding for, more research and better care and treatments.
Together these charities are fighting to fund research towards brain tumours as well as providing support for those affected by this disease and this is why we have decided to split all the money raised half and half between these fantastic charities.
Risks & Challenges
The main risks we face come as we drive through Northern Africa through Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
• In Egypt there is a high threat of terrorism, particularly towards British nationals, motivated by the conflict in Syria and Iraq. As well as this there are protests that can turn violent, however we plan to drive down the east of the country meaning that this shouldn't be as much of an issue.
• In Sudan there is also a general threat from terrorism, however this is more of an issue here as the British Embassy no longer registers British nationals in Sudan and therefore can offer limited help in times of need.
• Ethiopia is probably the most dangerous as the foreign commonwealth office advise from all travel within 10km of all borders, however if we are to achieve completing our route then we will have to go through Ethiopia and therefore we will probably have to hire ourselves a guide in Ethiopia to make sure that we have no issues at the borders
Other Ways You Can Help
If you are unable to donate, we would also be grateful for any other help that you can give us. Anything from gear for our car, insurance, or any contacts in any of these countries that may be able to help us out in a crisis! Even if it is just some advice from anyone who may have done something similar to this before and are therefore wiser than we are!
Thank you for taking the time to read through this and we hope to have you on board!
You can also follow our progress on: