London to Cape Town in 11 days - New Record!

The capable trio of Chris Rawlings and brothers Mac and Steve MacKenney broke the 47-year-old record when they pulled their trusty Landie into Cape Town one day, 18 hours and 37 minutes faster than the 1963 record. Arriving in Cape Town dusty and exhausted, Mac MacKenney writes in his blog:

"… did we really drive all that way and in just 11 days?"

The team in Saudi Arabia

This epic trip through Africa was not all about breaking records; the team also raised funds for charity by driving flat out night and day. The funds raised from this record breaking overland journey were donated to a charity called Help for Heroes, which supports British servicemen and women wounded in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After years of planning and preparation these determined adventurers drove from London via France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria in Europe and on through Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in Asia. Crossing into Sudan by ferry the team tackled the desert tracks, long highways and potholed roads of Africa driving down through Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, before travelling through Zimbabwe and into South Africa. The tenacious team reached Cape Town on October 28th having crossed endless border controls with several nerve-wracking delays, such as being held up for nearly four hours at the Ethiopian border.

Adrenalin ran high as the weary travelers reached their final goal post in Cape Town to be met by a welcoming reception of over 20 Land Rovers, an excited crowd and photographers! Mac MacKenney said:

"It suddenly hit home, we were at the finish and maybe we had actually achieved something special?"

After all the hard work and long hours of driving the MacKenney brothers were overwhelmed by emotions when they broke the record time from London to Cape Town, although Chris managed to remain calm. Mac MacKenney describes his feelings at the finish line when Steve broke into tears:

 "I’d never seen him like this in 41 years and it was probably the closest moment we had ever had as brothers."

The going got tough and at times tensions rose between team members on this challenging race through Africa, as Mac goes on to say:

"There were moments during those 11 days when I really had had enough of him and would have been quite happy to leave him somewhere in the Sudanese desert, but to reach Cape Town as brothers, having succeeded together in this amazing adventure was something quite special."

The previous record achieved by Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers in a Ford Cortina GT back in the early 60’s was at 13 days, eight hours and 48 minutes.

The new record holders made some major improvements to their Land Rover, particularly to the brakes and tyres and report that:

"... our 10 year old Land Rover Discovery didn’t have one problem during the 10,000 mile dash from London."

Read more about the trials and tribulations, excitement and adventures of this record breaking drive through Africa on the Max Adventure blog.

If you would like to support this intrepid team's cause you can donate to Help for Heroes online.

Leave a Comment or Ask a Question

comments powered by Disqus

Similar & Related Blog Posts

Below you’ll find further reading and articles related or similar to this post.

Surfing the Surf - a Lesson at Muizenberg Beach

Beginners Surfing at Muizenberg, Cape TownSurfing is such fun, I wish I had tried it out years ago already! Here's my experience on a beginners surfing lesson with Surf Emporium at Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town last weekend :) Read on

Sea Kayaking in Cape Town - Adventure Time!

A fresh and completely crowd-free outdoor adventure - kayaking along the incredibly beautiful coast of Cape Town with family-run Kaskazi.  Read on

Gravitate to Gravity Adventure Fest in August!

Hottentots-Holland and Kogelberg Get on your adventure pants and head to this year's Gravity Adventure Festival in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve about an hour's drive from Cape Town. This family-friendly outdoor adventure event is a great way to get active, challenge yourself, and let your hair down and have some fun in nature.  Read on

Stunning Cape Point Cycling Tour with Daytrippers

Cycling Day Tour in Cape Point Here's a totally invigorating and breathtakingly beautiful one day cycling adventure with Daytrippers. Get inspired and energised as you explore Cape Town's scenic Cape Peninsula, walking and cycling in Cape Point Nature Reserve, as well as visiting Boulders Beach. Read on

Scuba Diving in Cape Town

Cape Town TourismI recently went scuba diving in Simon's Town to see what diving in Cape Town is like. Explore the scuba highlights and diverse diving sites of Cape Town to find out more about diving along this beautiful coastline. Read on

Big Five Safaris Near Cape Town

Inverdoorn Game ReserveLooking for an affordable Big Five game park close to Cape Town? Here are three of the Western Cape's best Big Five safari destinations for time-pressed travellers on a limited budget. Read on

Cycling through Africa for Charity - England to Cape Town!

Peter on a Buchi State road in NigeriaCycling through Africa on a solo mission to raise money for charity, Peter Gostelow crossed from Nigeria into Cameroon today after almost 16 months on the road. Read on

Overland Africa from England to Oudtshoorn & back - a 50, 000 km roundtrip

Tom and Carl take the plungeTwo British graduates equipped with a robust sense of humour and an uncooperative Land Rover Defender, have just set out on the return leg of their circumnavigation of Africa. This is an epic African adventure that began, and will hopefully end at the opposite end of the planet, in Beaconsfield, County Buckinghamshire. Read on

3 South Africans Cycling up Africa - Cape to Cairo for Charity

Bike for African Cycle TripIn March 3 South Africans will be setting off on an epic 12 500km cycle up Africa, pedalling from Cape Town to Cairo through 10 countries to raise funds for the Hear Us Foundation! Read on

Take the Enduro Africa Motorbike Challenge to Help African Charities

Steve's Enduro Africa Site ImageIs off road biking your thing? Maybe it's time to take on the Enduro Africa Challenge - an off road ride that will get your pulse going and help raise money for charities in South Africa and Lesotho! Read on

Nifty Travel Infographics - Snapshots of Six Southern African Countries

 Travelling in Southern AfricaGreat find! Six fun and informative travel infographics offering a snapshot of each of these Southern African countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. See what two adventurous souls found on their Southern African adventure.  Read on

Our TrustPilot Reviews

Show us some FB Love

Follow @RealAfroSafaris