What do you get when you combine The Amazing Race with the challenging terrain of the Zambian bush and conservation in Africa? The Elephant Charge! This annual fundraising event puts teams in four-by-four vehicles and motorbikes in competition against one other as they race to complete a grueling course of ten checkpoints in the shortest distance possible within the allowed eight hours. The proceeds benefit Zambian conservation organizations.
The event is held at a different secret location each year over the course of a weekend in the hottest time of the year, September or October. Equipped with a map and pure grit, each team must find its own route between the checkpoints through valleys, over ridges, across rivers and up escarpments in a trial of driving, navigating, and endurance.
In the ten years since it began, the Elephant Charge has raised over $741,000 which has been distributed to conservation organizations working across Zambia.
This year the 2017 Elephant Charge raised over $101,000. All of these funds will go directly to conservation in Africa, specifically in Zambia: Lusaka National Park, Teachers Conservations Manual & Student Activity Books, Kasanka Trust, Munda Wanga Environmental Park, Conservation South Luangwa, North Luangwa Conservation Programme, Conservation Lake Tanganyika, Birdwaxch Zambia, Conservation Lower Zambezi, Project Luangwa, The Kafue Trust, Zambian Carnivore Programme, Wildlife & Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia, Game Rangers International, Children in the Wilderness, The Wildlife Crime Prevent Project & Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust.
Bushtracks Expeditions' sister company, Bushtracks Africa, entered a team in the charge, and finished the course in 11th place. And, with a contribution from Bushtracks Expeditions, the Bushtracks Africa team finished 4th in value of pledges, with a total of $6,648 raised. Congratulations Bushtracks Africa!