From the Mountains of the Moon to the source of the Nile and several thousand kilometres further, Badger is certainly enjoying the Suzuki Africa Sky High Adventure.
Badger is Shane and Tarryn Quinnell of Team Tane’s 2011 Suzuki Jimny. It has already taken the couple and their equipment more than 10 000km through some very rough terrain as the pair climb Africa’s five highest mountain peaks. The adventure will, once completed, have taken eight months and crossed 10 African countries.
“Team Tane reports that its six-year-old Jimny has proven highly capable and reliable. It has handled the potholed and deeply rutted roads on the border of Uganda, the muddy flats in Botswana and now the very wet and slippery roads to Mount Kenya without any problem,” says André Venter, divisional head for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto.
Team Tane created the Suzuki Africa Sky High Adventure as a to showcase the natural beauty and human warmth of their home continent. At the centre of this adventure is their goal of climbing the continent’s five highest peaks, but they spend a great deal of their time on side-adventures, which they showcase to their followers and the media.
“We drove Badger to the source of the White Nile in the Rwenzoris and rafted a piece of the crazy rapids near the source of the river,” says Shane. “This was followed by rock climbing and some freshly grown coffee near the Sipi Falls, a visit to Lake Naivasha in Kenya and a hike up Mt Maroto in Karamoja, Uganda.”
Karamoja is a remote part of Uganda that was previously known for its tribal violence. Today, it is a relatively unexplored haven for eco-tourists and it is growing in popularity, thanks to the efforts of Theo Vos, a Dutch native who hopes to showcase Africa’s rich diversity through his Discover Karamoja project.
Team Tane’s adventures also include a couple of challenging rock climbs in preparation for the north face of Mt Kenya. They have climbed Isiolo, north of Nanyuki, in a mountainous piece where the local cattle minders carry AK47 rifles to protect their livestock from predators. They have also scaled the infamous Hell’s Gate rock face, which proved a tougher challenge than they thought.
“We welcome all the practice, since we are planning to scale Mt Kenya’s highest peak, Mt Batian, from the northern side. This peak is 5 199 m high and it includes 700 metres of tough, technical climbing. We will climb the face over two days, which means that we will spend a night on the cliff in our bivy sacks,” says Tarryn.
Before heading up the mountain, which will happen in the next few days if the weather permits, Shane and Tarryn serviced their Jimny in the base camp for the first time since it left the Suzuki Bryanston dealership on 21 April. They also repaired a rear shock bushing that came loose on a particularly rough piece of road.
“We plan on taking our mascot Jimny model, which we have christened Badgito, with us all the way up the north face. Badger will have to wait patiently at the base camp, but at least he knows that little Badgito will summit Mt Kenya,” says Shane.
If they successfully summit Mt Kenya, they will tackle Mt Kilimanjaro as the last of the “Big 5”, but not before they visit a few more sights and sounds in their faithful Suzuki Jimny.