The challenge


January 2013 was the 80th anniversary of the first record run between London and Cape Town. In February this year Philip Young and Paul Brace established a new world record by driving nearly 1,000 miles a day for just over 10 days from Cape Town to London in a Fiat Panda. Setting out from Marble Arch at 05:00hrs on Friday 4th October we can't be sure to beat their time but if we can leave something other than tracks behind that would be great – so please help us on the way by making a donation to Farm Africa who are helping African farmers end hunger.


Keep up with us

Using a state of the art tracking device enables us to have our location pin pointed on the map at any one time.

Our position is automatically updated every 15 minutes so you can stay with us every step along our journey, combine that with our photo diary and our blog (above) and your going to feel like you are right there with us.

Final words

Wow what a journey it is such a shame to have done half of it in the dark! We have met some amazing people all along the route however the objective was to break the existing record of 10 days 13 hours which we did by just over 10 hours. We had hoped to to get the number down to 9 days and 23 hours however that would need everything to run perfectly and after all, this is Africa!!

We have thrown the Gauntlet down for the next team to have a go and good luck to them. However with the ever lengthening sections of tarmac increasing day by day, eliminating the car destroying rough roads, these I am sure will speed their journey however they will be replaced by the growing army of unseen deep pot holes that will rip a tyre from a rim which could catch out and even end the next challenger.

Starting at the RAC club on Pall Mall in London and finishing at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town some 10,000 miles later our car an 8 year old "Discovery 3" ran day and night across Europe and the full length of Africa across some of the roughest roads imaginable for hundreds of miles and got to the end without a single puncture or a squeak was truly amazing and to think that 99.9% of them never go anywhere near that sort of environment..what a waste!!

This is the last picture of our car being loaded in to a container for its long slow journey back to the UK...... to be prepared for its next adventure!!!!

Stephen and I were amazed to have over 16,000 hits on this web site however would have liked to have raised a little more money for Farm Africa. next time? Thank You.

Robert Belcher & Stephen Cooper

Monday 14th October 2013 09:00

Webmaster update

The team have made it to Cape Town in record time - shaving 10 hours and 12 minutes off the previous best.

Time taken - 10 Days 3 Hours 16 Minutes

More updates to follow shortly.

Sunday 13th October 2013 17:51

Now into South Africa with the last 1324km to go, we shall be taking no risks so hopefully we will arrive at the Nelson hotel (the Nelson Hotel is a hotel in Cape Town connected with records of the past) We anticipate between 6 & 9 am but will update when we are closer or you can follow us via the tracker!

The day has been relatively easy so far, we were tracked by a follower in Gaborone in Botswana and posed for photographs!

All borders went well despite altering from Zimbabwe to Botswana last night.

All exciting although still a long way to go yet and anything could still happen, hopefully it will be an uneventful last few hours before a good beer and a few hours sleep!

Saturday 12th October 2013 15:30

Hard journey through centre of Tanzania, first section all off road and latter from Dodoma to Iringa but now mostly tar or good base. Drove all night to get to the border just after 6am to find that they were not opening until 7 and Zambian at 8. Managed to get out by 9.30 for the long slog through Zambia.

Car now looking a bit second hand and much TLC required.

The day here is clear sky about 25 degrees and light traffic all day it is not possible due to distances to get out of Zambia the same day so will have a shower and hopefully a couple of hours sleep this evening before going for the border first thing tomorrow.

Had a bit of a problem in the early hours of yesterday morning sat nav stopped updating and registered that we were on the wrong road to Mbeya we back tracked to make sure and realised the error although this took an hour, pain at that time in the morning.

We have had a change of plan and will probably go for the Botswana ferry route tomorrow morning first thing but dependent upon operating times but be assured we will endeavour by any means $$$$ or an air lift.

Thursday 10th October 2013 23.55

It's been the hardest day yet with crater size holes in the road !!! That’s if there was a road at all, lots of dirt tracks and muddy detours.

We hope to cross into Kenya within the hour then the 200km dirt and rock road to Marsabit ... The road to hell.

Wednesday 9th October 16:19

Crossed into Ethiopia early this morning and wow what a complete contrast to the deserts of yesterday. We have come across mountains, forests, rain and the temperature has dropped to 17c.

The roads here wind around countless bends so our progress is unfortunately slow.

There are people everywhere walking along the side of the road with flocks of sheep, goats and herds of cows, however there are no private cars or even bikes, we have seen only 3 in 8 hours but there are lots of mini buses.

We hope to get to the border of Kenya by dawn tomorrow, it is going to be another long night.

Road conditions are good.


Tuesday 8th October 2013 15:28

Currently still driving through the Nubian desert heading for Khartoum in the rush hour, we will get to the Ethiopian border in the early hours of tomorrow morning ready for it to open at 6am......with luck.

Tuesday 8th October 2013 11.29

We have just hit another bump and the fault has now cleared - promptly turned down the radio.

The roads are now wonderfully smooth with a fantastic setting. We are currently driving down the East side of the Nile in the Nubian desert and have seen only six other cars in the past two hours.

Tuesday 8th October 2013 11:15

We had a wonderful send off from the Egyptians and a great welcome from the Sudanese as we moved on to Sudan this morning. We were informed that we were apparently only the second people to use the new ferry from Abu Simbel to Wadi Halfa.

As we got into Abu Simbel this morning we were greeted with a wonderful welcome of fried chicken and traditional food before having a shower and a change of clothes before leaving for the ferry.

It is very hot here today with temperatures over 40c. We are approximately 1600Km from the Ethiopian border, this closes at 6pm so we will catch a few hours of sleep 'which is rare' as we will get there at about midnight.

The car has developed an annoying fault, we hit a bump a bit hard last night and since then the brake warning light has been on accompanied with a continuous alarm - repaired by turning the radio up :)

Monday 7th October 2013 08:14

We were met by our Egyptian friends to assist with the crossing from Libya to Egypt at 07:30 this morning, the weather is warm with beautiful bright sunshine.

We are currently cruising along the motorway towards Alexandria, once there we will be heading south towards Aswan and then ultimately Abu Simbel.

We had a long night of continuous driving to grab some time back and managed to make 6hrs, we are now back on track.

There is a fuel shortage at present and we were almost slowed down due to the border into Libya being closed yesterday due to American troops making an extraction, the security there was very much on edge, however we did make it through and coming into Egypt we were met with many friendly faces.

Sunday 6th October 2013 17:15

We arrived at the Tunisian/Libyan border 3 hours late to find that not only the man who issues the number plates wasn't there, neither was our guide and security personnel.

After another two hour delay we got our Libyan number plate and drove off.
We met up with our agent and security on the way into Tripoli, However their car boiled over so we did the honourable thing and squeezed the English speaking guide into the back of our disco and drove of!! Minus the AK47's...shame..

This country is amazing with no apparent speed limits and speed humps that can kill you .
However the fuel is about 12pence a litre so no one cares, it's going to be another long hard night getting to the Egyptian border to get back on our schedule.

Sunday 6th October 2013 14:20

Webmaster update

I have emailed my contact at Yellowbrick tracking to amend the data from the tracker to read KPH instead of Knots, an avid reader has requested this after asking what boat the team were in.

Sunday 6th October 2013 09:05

The crossing was smooth and good, arrived at midnight Tunis time and had eight hours sleep.

Road to Libya approx 10km away now, horrible nights drive through heavy rain and thunderstorms.

We now need to see if we can get through the Libyan border had call from escort who were ready for us to arrive tomorrow! Let's see what greets us, but we need to press on.

On a good point diesel in Tunisia 60p a litre.

R and S

Saturday 5th October 2013 10:35

After a long hard night drive down to Palermo worrying about missing the ferry to Tunis, only stopping for fuel a pee and a driver change, we arrive at the ferry terminal in Palermo only to be told that the 1130 sailing is now the 1330 !

Not looking forward to the crazy Customs procedure in Tunis which can take ages.
But looking forward to a nice lunch, good sleep and a smooth crossing.


Saturday 5th October 2013 07:45

Webmaster update

The team have entered Palermo, Italy. going by my estimation they have travelled 1,704 miles in 27 hours - that is amazing going.

If you have not done so already please show your support by donating to the teams chosen charity.

Friday 4th October 2013 13:30

It was a good see so many friends at such an early hour to wave us good luck.
Approaching Geneva on route to the Mont-Blanc tunnel .
It has been raining hard for the last hour .
We had a French motorway sandwich earlier and are now trying to work out what was in it ?
We are looking forward to have another for dinner so we can play the game again.
Car going well as you would expect from two and a half tons of British steel built in Birmingham !!!

Friday 4th October 2013 05:00

And they're off! Successfully left at 5am with a small crowd to wave them off!!!

Donations are gratefully received by our chosen charity Farm Africa - Help end hunger
We are proudly sponsored by Warranty Direct who helped make this possible
March foods are helping to sponsor this record attempt
London to Cape Town Completion time

10 Days 3 Hours 16 Minutes

Beating the previous record by
10 Hours 12 Minutes
© London cape town record 2013 - sponsored by warranty direct®
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