THE HISTORY: The 3 week Banjul Challenge is the world’s first ever Banger Challenge, that has spawned so many others. In December 2002, the first group of hopeful souls left the UK in a motley collection of vehicles, optimistically believing that organiser Julian Nowill knew what he was doing, and had substance and experience behind his words. Despite later finding out to the contrary, this first event was a great success and most of the 42 Teams even made it to Banjul. This Challenge is now the longest running banger challenge anywhere on this planet and leaves the UK every winter.
THE PRESENT: The Banjul Challenge heads South through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal, arriving in Banjul in The Gambia. The route travels mostly on tarmac roads, but the highlight is the two-day crossing of the Sahara Desert. The journey is approximately 3700 miles, and can comfortably be covered in three weeks (if all goes well). Those in a hurry have completed in under two weeks, but that is missing the point, really. This is NOT a race. There is so much of interest en-route that it makes no sense to rush your travels.
THE FUTURE: A team known as A&T Adventures will be entering the Banjul Challenge 2017. Their mode of transport? An old red fire engine they will be donating to the local people of The Gambia at journey’s end. Nicknamed ‘Squirtle’, it will be displayed at the Adventure Overland Show this coming weekend of 23-24 September 2017.
They are appealing for the following items, so if you can donate and bring along any of the items listed to the show, the team would be most grateful.