"Overland 12" adventurers hit the road

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The Independent Online

An intrepid group of explorers set out January 3 with the aim of covering Africa by road -- a total route of some 47,000 km.

(Relaxnews) -

An intrepid group of explorers set out January 3 with the aim of covering Africa by road - a total route of some 47,000 km.

The Overland 12 adventure will take the convoy, comprised of six vehicles, through 30 countries and some of the roughest and most dangerous terrain in Africa. It is the twelfth "Overland" exhibition attempted by Beppe Tenti, founder and head of International Trekking. The journey is in aid of children's charity UNICEF and will collect data on medical facilities in the field to be passed back to the World Health Organization, before returning back to Rome in May.

Departing from Turin earlier Sunday morning, the convoy will leave Italy to reach Spain by sea, followed by Morocco. From there they will reach across the Western Sahara into Mauritania, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Burundi, and Rwanda, before returning up the continent via Chad, Uganda, Kenya, 'Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and by ship back to Italy.

The bright orange vehicles are provided by Italian truckmaker Iveco, and include three 6x6 vehicles, a 4x4 Daily van and two 4x4 Massif off-roaders. The three heavy goods vehicles will function as sleeping quarters, canteen and workshop, whilst the van will transport extra passengers and equipment and the 4x4s will be used for the Trekking International team.

Some of the fleet has already travelled more than 250,000 km, having been used in previous trips attempted by Overland. In 2007, Beppe travelled from France to China, covering 25,750 km, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Peking to Paris motor race. In 1996, the explorer took the land route from Rome to New York, crossing France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Russia and Canada to reach New York in the US in 164 days.

www.overland.org

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