Monty Halls will lead the expedition of a lifetime to experience first-hand the Shoals of Agulhas, one of the most spectacular marine events on the planet.
The so-called “Sardine Run” is a natural annual phenomenon caused by the vast migration of millions of sardines to spawn in the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank.
The resulting shoal causes a feeding frenzy, as thousands of marine predators are attracted to the area.
Renowned marine biologist Monty Halls – a Land Rover global ambassador since 2013 – epitomises Land Rover’s ‘Above and Beyond’ ethos.
He will lead the team on an unparalleled 1,000km trip of a lifetime along the Eastern Cape of South Africa from Port Elizabeth to Durban.
The expedition has been awarded as the prize for the Land Rover Spirit of Adventure competition, which invited entrants to produce a film showcasing their own Spirit of Adventure. Winner Brett Anderson, 28, a restaurant manager from Victoria, Canada won for his stunning short film documenting what adventure means to him. His film can be seen here.
A fleet of Discovery Sports and Defenders (including Halls’ own specially modified Marine Defender) will enable the team to negotiate the varied and challenging coastline as they track the Sardine Run. Discovery Sport’s class-leading versatility and all-terrain capability will be put through its paces across some of the Eastern Cape’s most inaccessible terrain.
Monty Halls’ Marine Defender will undoubtedly play a crucial role in the trip. The one-off vehicle has been specially modified to provide transport for his diving and film crew, as well as serving as a mobile basecamp and dive centre in remote, off-road locations. The vehicle is packed with clever engineering and design solutions including bespoke storage for diving air tanks, a water tank and hosing facility for cleaning kit, a sliding table strong enough to bear up to 200kg and an awning to give protection from the elements.
The team will conduct a sampling and shark-tagging programme, working towards further understanding the lives of marine predators and contributing to the conservation of the species. The expedition will also provide the opportunity to experience the work of Land Rover partners, Born Free Foundation and Kingsley Holgate Foundation, and the role they play in conservation.
Brett commented: “It’s quite surreal. If someone were to ask me what a ‘dream trip’ would entail, it would be exactly this. I’m thrilled to not only win this trip, but also be a part of a legitimate expedition – a definite dream come true.”
Monty Halls added: “It’s always a slightly glib statement to say that something is the trip of a lifetime, but for as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the Sardine Run. We’re following the run whilst conducting sampling and shark tagging programmes that will add to the knowledge of the big animals that follow the sardines, and indeed the ecology of this remarkable coastline. The expedition is a combination of adventure, science, teamwork, and raw exhilaration. I simply can’t wait.”
Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director for Land Rover said: “Both Monty Halls and our competition winner truly embody the core values of adventure which lie at the heart of everything we do at Land Rover. As a brand we are passionate about conservation and encouraging others to play their part, and this expedition will take the team on a journey of exploration and learning. I’m sure this will be a once in a lifetime experience.”
Brett will be sharing his journey via the Land Rover Instagram channel. You can follow it at https://instagram.com/landrover