Cape to Cape Expedition


The Whole Story



Cape to Cape Expedition is derived from a discussion we had while travelling in Africa in 1995. Looking at a map we were surmising the longest overland journey one could make and came up with Cape Town in South Africa to Cape Horn in South America going through Russia and over the Bering Strait. We finished travelling in Africa, Asia and Australia and came back to the UK to continue farming. Over the next 10 years we farmed through BSE and then Foot and Mouth.

In 2001 we decided that there was more to life than farming and started thinking of this journey again. Steve developed the concept to include "using one vehicle to complete the whole journey". The following is a brief history to date...



January - initially we wanted to cross the Bering Strait when it was frozen using a vehicle which could cross the ice. We decided to visit the Strait to see if that would be feasible. Report on our visit to the Bering Strait. We made the decision that it was not feasible for us to build such a machine and so reverted to a summer crossing of the Straits whereby we would need to make the vehicle amphibious.


March - after spending a lot of time designing and planning we bought a test Land Rover on which to test our theories out on. Throughout 2002 an amphibious Land Rover was designed and built.



March - the Land Rover was ready for its first maiden voyage across a pond at Tong 4x4 Off road centre in Bradford. Throughout 2003 we developed the amphibious land rover taking it for major outings on Coniston Lake in the Lake District. Development of Amphibious and Rover report.

June - we were also making a detailed study of the route we proposed to take (Routes menu) and we went to recce the possibility of crossing or contouring round the Darien Gap in Panama. The Darien Gap is a protected rainforest and a National Park; vehicle access is forbidden. Report written about our recce and findings

July - the amphibious Land Rover made its first public appearance at the Land Rover Show at Billing. We were pictured in the write up taking a voyage on the lake there. The lake was very muddy and we were glad we had wide tyres and didn't get stuck.



Testing of the Land Rover continued trying to maximize speed and reduce cavitation in preparation for a sea crossing. The Land Rover Owner International magazine came to Coniston and did an article on the Land Rover Article shown in the magazine

May  - we took the Land Rover out into Bridlington Bay for its first sea trial. It was quite choppy and the Land Rover performed well. Bridlington Bay voyage and we also had an article printed in Farmers Weekly

July - preparations were made for an Irish Sea crossing from Donagadee to Portpatrick. We crossed the Irish Sea in the Land Rover taking 5 hours to cross 22 miles of sea. Irish sea crossing report and video. The crossing was reported by The Stranraer Free Press, Land Rover Owner International and Land Rover Enthusiast



January - we took a holiday to Kelowna in Canada to visit Gordon Thomas and learn more about the Bering Strait - ie. currents, maps etc. Gordon has spent many years studying the Straits and has been involved with many project in that area including the crossing of the Bering Strait by Dmitry and Matva Shparo. We spent a week with Gordon and discussed our expedition in great detail.

Now that the amphibious capability was complete Steve turned his attention to designing and building prototype tracks in order that the Land Rovers could drive across the frozen rivers and snow of Siberia. One set of prototype tracks has been made and a second set is currently being produced. Track development to date

July - we intend to use a Hagglund as a support vehicle across Russia and Siberia. Steve researched and purchased one. Hagglund pictures

During 2005 and 2006 we have also turned our attention to raising the P.R of the expedition in order to raise sponsorship. We produced a brochure, a presentation and visited The Yes Consultancy in London. Opportunities page




March - we teamed up with a couple from Lancashire; Sue and Roger Shuttleworth who also had a passion for vehicle travel and started working together sorting out all the documentation requirements such as visas and permits.

April - we took the Land Rover and the Hagglund to Coniston as we had never seen the Hagglund swim. It works but is slightly ungainly. Coniston pictures

May - to celebrate the lifting of the Beef Export Ban we also had a successful trip from Seaford out in front of the White Cliffs of Dover. Seaford pictures. The Yorkshire Post did a small article on this.

July - the Yorkshire Post did a four page article on the whole expedition. We also had a full set of tracks ready to put on display at Billing and to test back at the farm. Track development to date

August - the Daily Telegraph did a small piece on the expedition and Land Rover Owner International ran an update on the expedition progress.

November - Steve and Nicky travelled to Moscow to meet with Dmitry and discuss arrangements for crossing Siberia. Moscow trip



January - We were able to used a Press land Rover from Stratstones to take footage see News that was used on February 13th by Calender ITV News along with footage they took while filming interviews with Steve and Nicky at Liley Hall Farm.

April - We waited for about a month for a decision from the potential sponsors and unfortunately it turned out that although they would like to get involved it was not favourable at this present time. That threw us into more dilemmas about how to proceed. After much consideration of our options it was decided to cut Africa out and to set off from England next January on route to Moscow. This has meant logistics are much easier both with the expedition and with the farm.

We initiated the process of getting all the Russian permissions through the Adventure Club. We took delivery of the new Land Rover and booked it into Protection and Performance on the 30th April for its amphibious conversion. Track testing was ongoing using the prototype Land Rover. The Hagglund sale fell through so it was on the market again.

May - The Hagglund was sold and was exported to New Zealand. The new Land Rover is at Protection and Performance have its conversion done which is scheduled to take 6 weeks.

Steve is sourcing parts and equipment for the Land rover such as winches etc and liaising with The Adventure Club in Moscow getting all the paperwork completed for Russia and Siberia. We are scheduled to be at the Russian border on 1st February 2008.







22nd December - six weeks to go now ! Dmitry rang to say that all the permits were in place which is a huge milestone.

"I am looking forward to this work with a certain fear, but this feeling arises usually before the start of something really serious"

Dmitry Shparo, February 2006