The group, Team Adventure, undertook the tour from Muscat to Cape Town by road to explore new places in the African continent, spread a goodwill message about Oman and also celebrate Mandela Day.
The group was given an official welcome on Tuesday at a ceremony held at the Oman Automobile Association by officials from the South African Embassy in Oman, family and friends.
“After 60 days on the road and having travelled 35,000km from Muscat to Cape Town and back across 15 countries, Team Adventure is finally and safely back home in Oman. It was a great honour to have been recognised for our achievement as goodwill ambassadors.
“We wish to thank both the Oman Automobile Association and the South African Embassy for their support and encouragement throughout the trip,” Sultan Hamood Hassan al Naamani, the group’s leader, told Muscat Daily.
“To borrow some words from past explorers - ‘we went, we saw and we conquered’ – we went a long distance, passed through numerous countries, met people and saw numerous landscapes.
“We experience different cultures and traditions and exchanged our experiences with them. We saw the riches of Africa as well as the simple lives of its people; we also saw poverty and sufferings of others trying to make ends meet. We saw plenty of flora and fauna including the ‘Big Five’ animals of Africa [lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino].”
He added, “We also conquered our fears and lived a life closer to nature.”
While in South Africa, the team met Oman’s Ambassador to South Africa. “In Pretoria we were delighted to have been officially welcomed by the Ambassador H E Mubarak bin Salim al Zakwani who also hosted a lunch for us at the embassy. We took 35 days to reach Cape Town from Muscat and we covered a distance of 16,000km.
“We were so happy to reach our destination. Throughout the trip, we managed to visit various places and had some amazing encounters with nature while beautiful landscapes made us forget the hardships though terrain was tricky. It was challenging to drive through the muddy roads and on some days we could cover only 200km in eight hours. Rain too made the journey difficult.”
The motto of the trip was, ‘Journey to Remember’.
The group first travelled to the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia, and from there took a ferry to Sudan. The drive continued through the African continent till they reached South Africa.
Naamani said the team was in Cape Town for a week before heading back. “It was our dream to reach Cape Town to celebrate Mandela Day, which is significant around the world. Mandela Day should be celebrated every day. It is about changing the world for the better.”