HOME STRETCH: Contestants of the Ranger Odyssey expedition were scored daily on a various factors including 4x4 driving, leadership skills and etiquette. Image: Ford
• From Spitskoppe to Brandberg
• Contestants assessed, scored daily
• Odyssey winner announced Aug 11
WINDHOEK, Namibia - Twenty contestants, driving Ford Rangers, spent 12 days in Namibia traversing 2000km of tough off-road conditions.
The route took contestants through the remote and rugged Damaraland and Kaokoland regions of northern Namibia. The 2015 Ranger Odyssey ended in Windhoek on Monday (August 3 2015).
Some of the trip highlights were traveling through Desolation Valley, the infamous Khuwarib, dust holes, Crowther 4x4 trail and camping at the base of Brandberg. The convoy also traversed many rivers including: the Huab, Omaruru, Hoanib and Hoarisib River.
TESTING NAMIBIAN TERRAIN
The route started at Spitzkoppe and the 20 hopefuls drove via Palmwag, Khuwarib and Desolation Valley to the final destination point at Brandberg campsite where the final two days were spent below the highest mountain in Namibia.
The terrain varied during the course of the trip, from smooth dirt roads to soft river sand, suspension-testing rough and rocky 4x4 trails through the mountains leading into barren planes.
The contestants were assessed daily and scored by instructors, Ford representatives and media on their 4x4 driving skills, camp etiquette, communication and leadership skills; special tasks, as well as their overall demeanour.
The competition also featured two elimination phases.
GALLERY: 2015 Ranger Odyssey
The two lowest scoring contestants were eliminated on July 27 and a further three departed July 30. Contestants' votes also counted for a portion of the scores in each round and were included into the final results.
Tracey Delate, Ford SA's marketing manager, said: "The final 15 contestants have come through 12 challenging days in some of the most remote and unforgiving conditions of northern Namibia.
"Each one of the contestants has given it their all and we have been really impressed with the enthusiasm, energy and spirit that each person brought to Ranger Odyssey 2015. Ultimately there will be only one winner but everyone heads home as a winner in their own right, having experienced a true life-changing adventure through some of the best parts of Namibia."
During the trip contestants proposed their own corporate social responsibility initiatives. The winner of the humanitarian project was Jacobus Muller, who won the contestants' combined pot of "Ranger Odyssey Dollars" to get his proposal off the ground for a self-sustaining creche powered and watered by a windmill system.
RANGER FOR A YEAR
The winner of Ranger Odyssey 2015 will be revealed at a Ford event in Sandton on August 11. The winner will drive a Odyssey Ranger for one year, including a R5000 fuel voucher per month.
The top 20 contestants and the five who were eliminated are listed below:
INTREPID TRAVELERS: Ranger Odyssey contestants traversed arid mountainous conditions in Nambia's most desolate areas. Image: Ford