All-women conservation adventures

Mama Africa takes your breath away with her magnificent sunsets and sunrises.

She leaves you speechless at her amazing wildlife and her boundless energy that reawakens raw emotions.  Yet, amidst all this splendour and magic, there is a sad, ugly reality – a festering wound of poaching, over-population, poverty and human-wildlife conflict.  In 2016 I lead my first all-female expedition into Africa called the “Elephant Ignite Expedition”. Using the sponsored 3 x Avis Safari 4×4 Ford Rangers, we traversed our 100 days, 16 000km drive from SA all the way up to Kenya. Raising money and awareness for elephants.

This was my first experience driving in challenging and unique terrains with Cooper tyres. When you are out in the African bush without a technical support crew, you need to be certain that your equipment is the best that you can get, safety is paramount in getting the expedition members through the expedition and home safely to their loved ones. If the vehicles are our legs, Cooper tyres were our hiking boots, and not once did they let us down even in the trickiest of conditions.

As expedition leader, I was solely responsible for the safety of my expedition members, and organised a team tyre changing day, with Bruce Leslie and Dave Visagie, two adventure veterans, at Shongweni Castle, prior to leaving on this incredible, life changing expedition.  Fortunately, and mainly due to the quality of Cooper Tyres and the blessings of the tyre gods, we never had to use this training.  However, in Ruaha National Park in Tanzania, we did have to repair a small puncture from a nail on the road. We were all rather excited that we could put some of our learned knowledge to use. Having such confidence in our “BOOTS” we travelled safely and smoothly through 10 African countries.

Fast forward to 2018, I set off again on my second successful all female expedition called the “Rise of The Matriarch” 50 days, four countries and 11 235km. This time I was driving my beloved “Dora” a 1997 TDI90 Landrover Defender. The Rise of the Matriarch expedition spanned South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, and attracted 12 women from around the world. We had no back up team, or support crew. Just a group of  ladies with passion and a “fire in our bellies”, a deep love for travel in Africa, and endless passion for conservation and adventure.

Cooper Tyres sponsored me my LT235/85R16 Discoverer S/T Maxx tyres which have endured and stood the test of time over the past 4 years and over  90 000km of driving time. We chose these tyres as they are a Hybrid between the extreme mud terrain tyre and the all-terrain option. The conditions in which I have been travelling for the past few years, I have most certainly needed them, and they have never failed to impress me. My expeditions have continued since then, and without doubt, the 3 ply sidewall, amongst other features has given me absolute confidence while driving off-road. From thick sand in Mozambique while collaring elephants at Gile National Reserve in 2019, or through slippery mud closer to home in Manyoni Game Reserve (Zululand), for my “Soul2Sole” humanitarian projects. We delivered 449 pairs of school shoes to communities in rural and marginalised villages, in thick mud due to the immense rain that we had had, a few days before the delivery of the shoes. To date we have handed out close to 10 000 shoes to children in underprivileged areas.

The adventures have been endless, and I look forward to the day when I can turn the key, turn my bonnet north again, and head out back into Mama Africa’s territory. To march to her ancient drumbeats, indulge in her wild beauty and rest my soul in her uniqueness.  My little Landy and I are chomping at the bit and are ready for more long bumpy roads, amazing wildlife, breath-taking scenery and a lifetime of memories. Thank you Cooper Tyres for your endless support and for always keeping us safe.

Carla Geyser (KZN-based adventurer, humanitarian, eco-warrior, and founder of NPO, Blue Sky Society Trust.)