Halfway around the world in 10 and a half days

13th Feb 2013
Written by: Macca Sherifi

Halfway around the world in 10 and a half days

British pair smash record for quickest overland journey from Cape Town to London

A pair of cool cats have smashed the record for the quickest overland journey from Cape Town to London, completing the journey in a lightning-quick 10 and a half days.

Philip Young and Paul Brace, both from the UK, arrived at Marble Arch in central London on Monday after an amazing 10,300 mile, 10-day journey.

The two adventurers passed through 13 countries in their epic voyage, averaging more than a 1,000 miles a day, and they did it all in a tiny 875cc Fiat Panda.

Halfway around the world in 10 and a half days

Not only did they set the fastest overland journey from Cape Town to London, they also tore up the record books in setting the fastest time for doing the journey in either direction, beating a previous best set by Brits Mac and Steve MacKenney and Chris Rawlings, going from London to Cape Town in 2010.

They set off from Cape Town in their Fiat Panda on 1 February. The previous record, set by Brigadier John Hemsley and his wife Lucy Hemsley in 1983, was 14 days and 19 hours in a Range Rover V8, but this was nothing for the Panda which drove through nearly every extreme weather condition.

The £7,000 Panda, designed for nipping around congested cities, became the first car to drive from Sudan into Egypt over a new land frontier.

The pair also passed through Libya even though its borders are officially closed to foreigners.

In total they drove through Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia en route to the UK.

The Fiat Panda withstood everything that was thrown at it

Philip said: “The trip has been a real eye-opener. It has been one hell of an experience – tough and, at times, extremely gruelling.

“We have been effectively living in the car. Pretty much the only times we got out were for fuel stops and borders. But we have got no regrets about the Panda as a choice of car.”

They have raised almost £13,000 so far for British charity Farm Africa, which was set up to tackle hunger in east Africa, and they’re expected to raise more now that they’re back in the UK.

What’s been your longest overland adventure? Post your comments below.

If you’re thinking about creating your own epic voyage then head over to our overland tours section from some advice and inspiration.

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