Mike and Jeanette’s dream had always been to travel
overland from Cape to Cairo. Members of Rotary, they wanted
to use the Silver Spirit Adventure to show the world that
dreams can be realised and to highlight the great work that
Rotary International is doing throughout Africa. Unfortunately,
the representative from Rotary fell ill and the opportunity
to visit Rotary projects fell away.
Typical of Mike and Jeanette, both successful in business
and veterans of aviation, the trip was carefully planned.
First they contacted Roger Pearce, Chairman of Motorsport
South Africa and veteran of many overland trips in Africa
and overseas. Roger recruited Steve Pickering, a well travelled
and adaptable mechanic and Marc Campbell Gibson, a paramedic
who regularly flies the skies of Africa, carrying out Medi-vac
Following Roger’s advice, Mike purchased a Toyota
HiLux 4x4 as a backup vehicle. Then he bought another Silver
Spirit, from which Roger ‘harvested’ spare parts.
The HiLux was adapted to carry spare Rolls springs, wheels,
axle and more.
Roger then carried out what is probably the most difficult
part – planning the route, investigating the requirements
for visas for the crew, a carnet for Egypt, insurance and
accommodation. One thing was certain – if they wanted
to make it through Africa they had to leave in time to miss
‘the rains’. This meant leaving by April 2008.
Time was short.
Roger made one thing clear – this was not a sightseeing
trip, but a journey. Sure, there would time to see some
of the sights, but unfortunately no time for dallying. The
plan – to reach London in 60 days.
Mike and Jeanette decided that they wanted to make a permanent
record of the journey and persuaded Koos Roets, award winning
cameraman and director, to join them. Koos, an adventurer
himself, jumped at the chance.
Next Mike approached Chris Stevens of FullHouse to create
this website as a record of the journey as it happened.
Chris, with his experience of project management and fundraising
for various charities, set to work, although time was short.
Chris found that the Silver Spirit Adventure generated a
great deal of interest and that several companies were prepared
to assist, if not financially. The journey of a Rolls from
Cape to Cairo was a first and the ages of the adventurers
made it all the more interesting. Chris started a media
Once people began to hear about the trip, public interest
and excitement grew and suddenly the adventure snowballed
into a major event. There were articles in the Sunday Times,
Beeld, The Citizen, You/Huisgenoot, on 702 Talk Radio, Radio
2000 and SABC TV. 702 agreed to have a weekly radio interview
with Mike and Jeanette and these were loaded onto the website.
Companies who gave support to the adventure included:
- Daytona Motors, Rolls Royce agents in Johannesburg
and Cape Town
- Stormhoek Wines (through Origin Wine of the UK)
- Sun International Hotel Group
- Southern Sun Hotels
- Hilton Hotel Group
- Garmin and the JumpGarmin Skydiving Team
- Origin Solutions (tracking equipment)
- Ultraseal South Africa (through NoMorePunctures)
- Evosat (satellite phones)
grand sendoff was planned for Cape Town and another in Johannesburg,
to say farewell to friends and supporters, before the real
Heen Zille, then Mayor of Cape Town, gave the Adventure
a letter of greeting to the Governor of Cairo and the Lord
Mayor of London.
This is but a short précis of the planning that took