Nine months after starting their expedition driving the width and length of the world, intrepid travellers Topher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray have joined forces with National Geographic.
After completing the Americas (from Alaska to Argentina), driving to the most southern driveable point on the planet, Ushuaia. They then joined an expedition vessel sailing past Cape Horn into the icy waters of the Southern Ocean, toward Antarctica.
This week the pair put their trusty Jeep, Gunther, on a ship for Africa. The pair are popping back to New Zealand for a visa run — on-route they went via Washington DC to visit National Geographic HQ.
“National Geographic is covering our expedition through weekly updates — sharing our stories, photos and videos,” Thackwray tells Spy.
“This allows us to expose our findings, whether it’s about the fragility of the planet or simply unexplored landscape.”
The pair will now actively work with conservation teams on the journey north.
They say the Americas are heading in a positive direction, largely thanks to tourism, with countries taking steps to protect their natural environment and wildlife. Despite problems with plastics and deforestation, they say these countries are progressing rapidly.
Corruption and drug-trafficking remain huge problems to future change — but our intrepid duo say that isn’t the biggest danger they faced.
“On the border between Bolivia and Chile. we were told about the 28,000 landmines — unmapped, unmarked and hidden underneath the remote landscape.
“Those moments remind us of how on this expedition, we really have no clue what is around the next corner. Plus, it made a lot of sense now why there were so few tyre tracks for the past week,” Thackwray adds.
Their families will be happy to see them home safe for Christmas before they are reunited with Gunther and continue their 350,000km journey zig-zagging up the African Continent. Stay tuned.