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Friday, January 21, 2022

Sahara Banger Rally

Since Covid struck, the word “holiday” has become triggering for most of us. Once a cause for celebration, it’s now code for cancellations, PCR tests, face masks, and a lengthy quarantine. However, what if the next trip made up for all this? What if you signed up for the Sahara Banger Rally?

Why on earth would you want to relax poolside in the Mediterranean with delicious food and a pomado when you could be hot, uncomfortable, filthy dirty, driving a banger, and looking like a budget version of Mad Max? Forget the erotic novel, flip-flops, and sun hat, and instead, grab a ten mil spanner, buy yourself a four-wheeled heap, and head to Morocco. Friends and family will think you’re having a midlife crisis, but who cares? After all, no one will judge you harder than yourself when you’re driving a clapped-out Rover 90 on horrific washboard.

The Sahara Banger Rally, 10-27 March 2022, starts and finishes in Portsmouth, UK, although teams wishing to join from other countries can meet in Gibraltar. This 17-day non-competitive driving adventure traverses the original Dakar Rally route across the Sahara Desert “in any crap car you likefrom an Allegro to a Zafira. Sun, sea, and sand awaits!” This epic journey, from the Algerian border to the Atlantic Ocean, will cover hundreds of miles of sand, rock, and gravel through the incredible country of Morocco. Find a teammate, buy a banger for under £500, and prepare it for the desert; now that sounds like a vacation. The rally is organised by Max Adventure, who have provided extreme vehicle expeditions all over the world, including supporting Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Hollywood star Tom Hardy. Hence, whilst you’ll be driving an old rust bucket, there will be a professional support crew in equipped 4WDs (they’re not stupid) who are on hand to cover any eventualities. The event was first run with a team of injured military veterans in 2018, and the focus on supporting those in need continues this time round by asking teams to raise money for a charity of their choice. The entry fee for this event starts at just £895 per person, which includes a professional support crew (leader, guide, medic, and mechanics) in expedition-prepared 4x4s, return ferries from Spain to Morocco, all campsite accommodation, hotel night in Gibraltar, UHF radio hire, branded clothing, satellite mapping, and vehicle graphics. 

Build a budget overlander, complete the Dakar route in Morocco, and raise money for charity alongside a professional support crew, all at an accessible price point. If you’re interested in 4WD travel or perhaps considering an international overlanding trip, this is an excellent chance to experience living on the road firsthand whilst learning from professionals in a supervised and fun environment. I want to go! If you’d like to learn more, then check out their website below. 


Just some of the event highlights: 

Ÿ• Drive the original Dakar Rally Route
• Explore Gara Medouar, seen in 007’s Spectre
• Climb the towering sand dunes of Erg Chebbi
• Tackle dirt tracks of the Cedar Forest
• Negotiate mountain passes of the High Atlas
• Race across the vast dried bed of Lake Iriki
• Wild camp under a starlit Saharan sky
• Make friends with Gibraltar’s rock apes


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