Mongolia Rally

To see the latest blog entries as we prepare for the Mongolia Rally, click here.

If you’d like to donate money to help us buy visas, diesel and meet some other costs of getting the vehicle to Mongolia safely, then please head over to Paypal. Please send funds to CharityMongolia AT (replacing AT with @). If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment on this blog.

Following the kind donation of the Land Rover (worth $20,000) by Northumbria Water, we’re looking to raise £1000 in sponsorship for Water Aid. That much sponsorship money would go a long way: building 5 water pumps; or 10 wells; or 3 sanitation blocks for schools; or a host of other vitally important projects in educating and helping those at risk. Donating couldn’t be simpler – you can go to our Water Aid Justgiving page and donate by credit/debit card, bank transfer etc. Remember the tax man adds a bit on top of any donation you make too!

Additionally, we’re hoping to raise £250 for Save The Children’s work in Mongolia, for which we also encourage to donations if you wish. To do some, please visit our Save The Children Justgiving page.

The Challenge

On the 5th July our team will set off from Highbury Fields in London for Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Our route will take us through two continents and at least 17 countries, including the former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe, then on to Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia before (hopefully!) arriving in Mongolia around a month later. Our route includes around 2000 miles of off-road driving, from dirt and dust roads to entirely unmarked sections in rural Mongolia. The event is organised by Charity Rallies, set up as an entirely charitable alternative to the incumbent Mongol Rally. We have no support once we leave London – to overcome bandits, border guards and breakdowns we have only our luck and charm!

The Charities

The aim of the trip is to raise money for two charities heavily involved in promoting child welfare and improving opportunities for children and young adults in Mongolia.

  • The Children’s Development and Protection Fund (CDPF). The main goal of the CDPF is to provide a number of essential programmes and activities to support children and youth in difficult circumstances. The Foundation works for children in Mongolia who suffer from poverty, disease, injustice and violence. We will be putting our Land Rover into auction when we arrive in Ulaanbaatar, with the hope of raising around $20,000 for them.
  • Besides the donation of the vehicle, our main sponsorship drive is to support Water Aid. Although not directly active in Mongolia at the moment, they are a cause we feel can do a huge amount of difference to individuals and villages in Africa for relatively small donations. So we’re trying to raise £1000 to ensure as many people as possible can be helped!
  • We’re also supporting Save The Children, who have been working in Mongolia since 1995, primarily focussed on long term development, but of late have also stepped in to provide emergency aid. We’re aiming to raise over £250. To sponsor us online, please go to our Justgiving page.

The Car

Northumbria Water have donated us a 2001 (Y reg) Land Rover Defender 110. Its a fantastic vehicle, possibly the best thing to do this trip in. Additionally, it is hard to think of a more valuable and useful vehicle we could give to the Children’s Development and Protection Fund when we arrive in Mongolia.

The Crew

Mike Griffin

A psychology graduate, Mike is currently working as a special needs teaching assistant in Bristol until he starts his PGCE in secondary education at Sheffield University in September 2008. Having travelled through Eastern Europe by rail, Australia by car and France by bike, Asia is calling…

Tom Ashton

Tom is a postgraduate economics student at the University of Nottingham. Having conquered Death Valley by car, he’s hoping the barren deserts of Asia and some potentially unstable countries provide more of an adequate challenge!

Oliver Kilvert

Originally from Norfolk, Ollie is currently working as a broker in Green Bay, USA. He has mountain biked along the “most dangerous road in the world”, seen Europe by train and once appeared in a Malaysian karaoke video filmed beneath a waterfall. Despite al this, his proudest moment was winning the star prize in The Beano!

Gemma Turner

Gemma is a half Swedish graduate Landscape Architect currently putting her studies into practice in Bristol. Having travelled alone to Hong Kong and done hands on charity work in Ghana, she’s ready to go on an ever so slightly bumpier journey…

The Cost

Driving 10,000 miles isn’t as cheap as we’d hope it would be. But we need to do it in order to deliver the Land Rover! If you’re willing to help us cover some of the cost of the diesel help us pay for the numerous visas we’ll require to enter each country on the way, then get in touch via this blog. We’d like to hear from anyone interested – whether you can afford to donate £10 to help us on your way, some equipment to get us there (slightly more) safely or even if you can provide us with a second hand vehicle in reasonable shape!

The Course

Click For The Latest Interactive Map of the Course


  1. Stop for a tea if you stop over Jordan. Good luck!

  2. I’d love to pop by Jordan for a cup of tea, but it’d be heading in the wrong direction unfortunately. Given the lack of time we’ve got to get the remaining visas we need, trying to ensure we can get into (and out of) Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran might all be a bit too much! Next time hopefully!

  3. Hello. I’m the father of a guy presently approaching Baku on the rally and only has a 3 day vehicle visa. He’s heading on for Aktau but understands there’ll be problems. Could you please contact him via his mobile fone and advise him how he might surmount his problem? His name is Andrew Craven and his UK mobile # is 07793736798. If you could we’d both be very grateful

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