It’s one of Zambia’s most iconic and challenging 4×4 races: 10 checkpoints, eight hours, one winning team. Seems simple, right? Except the emphasis is not on speed; it’s on bushcraft and finding the shortest way between the team’s home checkpoint while checking in at every point all the way in some of the country’s most gruelling terrain.

Teams comprise a navigator (who manages the map, checkpoint cards and GPS), a driver (who drives under instruction for the whole day) and runners (who scout the easiest and quickest route through the bush that allows the whole team to arrive in one piece).

And while it’s all ‘dust, sweat and gears’, The Fuchs Elephant Charge’s primary goal is actually to raise funds for conservation. The minimum team pledge is USD1 000 to enter and many raise funds way north of that. Every penny goes in the form of grants to conservation NGOs who produce reports to show how the money is spent and the impact of their projects. The race logistics are covered by the teams’ USD500 each entry fee (ie every team pays a minimum of USD1 500 to take part).

Cassandra Green Photography

The 2023 Fuchs Elephant Charge Timeline

Saturday 23 September 2023

9am to 12pm GPS tracker fitting to all vehicles at Mudpackers Shop, Leopards Hill Business Park, Leopards Hill Road, Lusaka.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Race route revealed.

Friday 29 September 2023

11am to 3pm Registration and scrutineering.

5pm Driver’s briefing.

Saturday 30 September 2023

7am Race start.

3pm Race end.

Cassandra Green Photography

The Route

The route changes every year, within a two- to three-hour drive from Lusaka. It is only revealed three days before the start to much anticipation and trepidation!

It has 10 checkpoints and each team has a different starting point, chosen at random by draw. The checkpoints can be done in any order and direction – it is up to the runners and navigator to work together to direct the driver in shortest and best route.

The Gauntlet is a set of three checkpoints that are close together in extreme terrain. It is crucial to get through this stretch as quickly as possible as the team’s time is multiplied by three and added their final overall time. The Gauntlet can literally make or break the team!

Spectators can be close to the action at The Gauntlet, giving drivers an added incentive for showing off their skills.

As if that is not enough, there are two ‘Tsetse Lines’ on the route: these are the shortest but most challenging option between two checkpoints. Teams have the choice to try them and there are prizes for the shortest time on the Tsetse Lines!

Cassandra Green Photography


Because the route is so remote, all teams have to camp with their own gear. Facilities are rudimentary with basic ablutions. While there are food vendors at HQ on 29 and 30 September, all teams have to be fully self-sufficient for their stay.


Eligibility and Vehicle Rules

The 2023 Fuchs Elephant Charge is open to any vehicle with four wheels or more which must be roadworthy and safe in the opinion of the scrutineers, except the following that are specifically excluded:

  • Agricultural prime movers or similar vehicles
  • Earth-moving machines and equipment
  • Plant and machinery for construction works
  • Tracked vehicles
  • The minimum allowed unloaded weight of a vehicle is 500kg. The maximum allowed unloaded weight of a vehicle is 3 000kg.

Any tyre and rim size and design are allowed. Studs, chains and spikes are prohibited. Power-driven winches are permitted. GPSs are permitted. Radio and mobile phone

communication will not be allowed except in emergencies. Any competitor who is judged by the Clerk of the Course to have used radios or mobile phones will be disqualified.

At scutineering, each car will be checked for the following mandatory equipment:

  • Roll-cage (frame built in or around the vehicle passenger compartment to protect its occupants)
  • Seat belts for driver and navigator (full harness recommended) First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Fly spray
  • 10 litres drinking water
  • Entry number stickers
  • Event sponsor stickers
  • GPS tracking device (fitted at scrutineering)

It is recommended to carry sufficient food and at least 10 litres of water for the crew for 24 hours as well as warm clothing and blankets. A torch is recommended to enable search parties to locate lost vehicles at night.

Cassandra Green Photography

Two-wheelers are welcome

Bikers don’t have to feel left out. The event is open to any vehicle with two wheels that must be roadworthy and safe in the judgement of the scrutineers.

The minimum allowed engine capacity is 65cc. The maximum allowed engine capacity is 850cc. Each bike team must have at least one bike fitted with a functional battery and charging system. The GPS tracking device will be fitted to this bike.

Power-driven winches are permitted. Each rider must have a helmet, eye protection and all other suitable protective equipment. Bikes may only carry fuel in fitted fuel tanks. GPSs are permitted. Each team must carry a first-aid kit to be checked at scrutineering.

Each bike team must carry at least five litres of water and sufficient food for the crew for 24 hours as well as warm clothing and blankets. A torch is highly recommended to enable search parties to locate lost vehicles at night.


How to Find Out More

If this all sounds right up your alley, then please get in touch with race organisers by phoning or emailing:

Angela Chisembele

+260 974 1354 023

[email protected]