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Africa’s Last Defender up for Auction

On 13 April 2017, one lucky individual will officially own a piece of African history: Kingsley Holgate’s last Land Rover Defender. The storied Defender, nicknamed Ndhlovokazi (the great she-elephant), is going to be auctioned – and all proceeds will go to humanitarian efforts championed by the Kingsley Holgate Foundation.

The auction process will take place online, at www.lastdefender.co.za, and will be open to all South Africans. Bidding will open on Monday, 3 April 2017 and remain open until midday on Wednesday, 12 April 2017. During this time, Kingsley Holgate’s last Defender will be on display at the Jaguar Land Rover Sandton dealership, on Rivonia Road in Sandton.

First driven by Kingsley Holgate in 2015, this Defender has conquered the toughest terrain Africa has to offer. On her maiden expedition, she transported Greybeard across six countries and 9 000km, on an expedition to find the Heart of Africa. To reach this incredibly remote location in the Republic of Congo, Kingsley and his team faced countless challenges: from armed militia and poachers to dangerous animals, deadly insects and inhospitable conditions. Occasionally, these encounters left their mark on the unstoppable Defender – each one a chapter in her life story; an authentic signature from every road she has travelled.

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“This Defender has a history like no other. She does not have dings and scratches, she has character and provenance,” said Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. “The Heart of Africa Defender is a tribute to both Land Rover’s capability and Kingsley’s incredible journeys all over the continent. The customer who acquires her will have one of the most special examples of this iconic a Land Rover icon.”

In 2016 Ndhlovukazi once again took Kingsley along roads less travelled, this time zig-zagging her way through Africa on a 66-day-long trek to reach Lake Chew Bahir. This remote salt ocean, situated in the arid Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia, is where Kingsley set out to record the lifestyles and customs of ancient African tribes that are at risk of disappearing. His findings and research from this expedition will be published as part of the Living Traditions memoirs – a tribute to Africa’s lesser-known people and cultures.

To aid her in conquering Africa’s most hostile terrain during her travels, Ndhlovukazi was equipped with a number of accessories – which will remain fitted to the vehicle. Reinforced skid plates and nudge bars helped her effortlessly forge through craggy passes and dense bush. A snorkel intake and mud-terrain tyres gave Kingsley confidence through river crossings, dense rain forests and dirt. Off-road shock absorbers allowed for a higher ride-height, enabling her to easily scale the most challenging obstacles.

She has also been fitted with a lockable aluminium storage box in the load bed area. Kingsley used this to store and transport invaluable humanitarian aid items, including thousands of LifeStraws, anti-malaria mosquito nets and Rite to Sight reading glasses. Thanks to these aid items and Kingsley’s expeditions, this Defender has helped change the lives of more than 50 000 people throughout Africa.

“Over the years, Land Rover has kindly provided me with many Defenders to explore and document the beauty and diversity of Mama Afrika, but I think my memories of Ndhlovukazi will be some of the fondest,” said Kingsley Holgate. “It’s fantastic to know her spirit will live on in the hands of a dedicated Land Rover enthusiast. Thanks to Land Rover’s generosity, that person will also be directly responsible for improving the lives of many, many more fellow Africans.”

Bidding for Kingsley Holgate’s last Defender will start at R449 000, inclusive of VAT. For more information visit http://www.landrover.co.za/experience/news/defender-auction.htm or for the bidding site visit www.lastdefender.co.za. Terms and conditions apply.