AFRICA is being conquered like never before in this modern era.

In November last year, four young Kenyans, passionate about wildlife and conservation, set off on an epic adventure.

Their goal? Travelling 16 000km from Nanyuki, Kenya to the southernmost tip of Africa – Cape Agulhas in the Western Cape, South Africa – off-road in two Piaggio Tuk Tuks.

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But, while Jasper and Ivo Horsey, Josh Porter and Robbie Thouless aim to have fun as they navigate their way through some of Africa’s harshest terrain, this isn’t just a light-hearted undertaking, but an expedition to raise money for wildlife rangers and exposure of the work they do.

By drawing attention to their novel escapade via the Tuk South social media platforms, the foursome hopes to point potential donors towards the For Rangers charity, run by Save the Rhinos International, and raise much-needed funds.

In the course of their journey from Kenya to Cape Town, the boys have stopped at many wildlife spaces along the way, working with and getting to know the rangers at grassroots level.

Spending time with these men and women who are at the forefront of Africa’s wildlife preservation, the youngsters get a feel for the situation in each country through which they pass, highlighting the highs and lows on their Tuksouth Instagram page.

Having successfully conquered alluvial mudflats, larval plains, salt pans and the infamous tsetse belts of southern Tanzania, Tuk South is now in Zimbabwe.

“This has been a high octane adventure from the get go and the tempo certainly isn’t slowing down,” the boys commented at the 5 000km mark.

Sharing snippets of footage on social media throughout the duration of the trip, the final edit will be used to create a short documentary-style film of the experience.

Photo: Tuksouth/Instagram

The idea for this expedition came after months in lockdown, and seeing how the pandemic took a toll on conservation both in Kenya and beyond.

“Raising funds for wildlife rangers was an obvious choice for us as rangers’ salaries were slashed due to a lack of tourism, while their workload skyrocketed as a result of increases in bush meat poaching,” they said.

“The dilemma was, how to maximise exposure for these rangers, while simultaneously scratching the adventure itch?

“The answer came to us; purchase the most ridiculous vehicles we could think of – Tuk Tuks – and put them through their paces in the most ill-suited terrain imaginable – the wild lands of Africa.

“This we hoped would garner media exposure and train a spotlight on the crucial work of wildlife rangers in Africa.”

Follow the rest of their journey on the Tuksouth Instagram page as they near the South African border on the final leg of their great trek.

If every one of Tuk South’s 5 763 Instagram followers donates just US$1.73, the team would reach their US$10 000 target in no time.

To donate, visit www.tuksouth.com

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