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Elephant Charge - Zambia


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#1 AndyFleming

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 07:35 AM

The Elephant Charge is an annual off-road 4x4 challenge held in the Zambian bush to raise money for conservation and wildlife education work in Zambia.

This year the Elephant Charge is raising money for Conservation Lower Zambezi, The Kafue Trust, South Luangwa Conservation Society and The Lusaka National Park.

It is a unique and extreme team event for cars and motorbikes that requires stamina combined with excellent driving and navigation skills.

Held each year in October, the event brings together competitors, their families and supporters for a weekend of fun and competition in the Zambian wilderness.

Visit www.elephantcharge.org to find out more.
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#2 Game Warden

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 08:40 AM

Welcome Andy, tell us more about the challenge: any photos from previous events?

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#3 AndyFleming

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 09:26 AM

The Elephant Charge challenges teams of cars and motorbikes to complete a gruelling course through the Zambian bush. The event is held at a different location each year over Zambia's Independence weekend in late October.

The winning team is the one that completes a course of nine checkpoints in the shortest distance possible. Each team must find their own route between the checkpoints through valleys, over ridges and up escarpments in a trial of driving, navigating and endurance.

2010 will be the third year that the Elephant Charge is being held. Each year the event visits a new location in Zambia with the aim of highlighting the spectacular and under-explored wilderness that Zambia offers.

There are lots of photos of the previous events, information and results on the Elephant Charge at www.elephantcharge.org.

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#4 Pangolin

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 03:51 PM

Just curious-what is the impact of the Elephant Charge itself on the environment? The real-time, physical impact I mean.
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#5 Bugs

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:29 AM

Looks like good fun.

Nice wheels by the way. I may seriously consider it next year.

Now to decide which vehicle I should use!

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#6 AndyFleming

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:44 AM

Hi Pangolin,

thanks for your question.

Motorsport events have sometimes gained a less than perfect reputation for their immediate impact and we are certainly conscious of the need to do as much as possible to ameliorate any impact to the site of the event.

I strongly believe that our overall outcome is beneficial and any impact to the site itself is minimal and transient. The event is held in October in the middle of the dry season, by February once the rains are in full swing you would be very hard pressed to see any signs of the event.

The following points are worth noting: - All our access to and around the site is on existing roads, only the competing vehicles leave these roads. We operate in open hill Miombo and have no need and do not cut any trees. We don't hold the event in any protected areas. Everything transported to the site is removed afterwards (including all rubbish).

One of the biggest benefits of the Elephant Charge is that we show people some of the wonderful wilderness areas which are very close to Zambia's big cities but are relatively unknown. The biggest threat to these areas is tree cutting for charcoal production which is rampant and increasing. By having people drive to the Elephant Charge sites they are confronted with the certainty that unless something is done soon these forests will surely and swiftly disappear. I think that a few tracks in the bush is a small price to pay for this type of exposure.

Andy

www.elephantchare.org





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