Dakar Tour Botswana:
​unprecedented interest

Dakar’s family in Botswana / Photo credit: Nadia Jordaan 

Key points 

  • A record number of attendees at the Dakar Tour conference held at Jwaneng in Botswana: more than 200 enthusiasts, both professional and amateur were on hand to learn about edition 40 of the Dakar.
  • Inspired, among others, by Giniel de Villiers, several competitors are planning on participating in the Dakar. A record 11 South African riders have sent in their applications for the 2018 edition in the bike category
  • This weekend, 34 cars and 100 bikes will take part in the Kalahari Botswana Toyota 1000 Desert Race, which will include the Dakar Challenge Cars category. The winner will earn his entry for the 2018 Dakar.

With just a few hours to go before the start of the three-day Kalahari Botswana Toyota 1000 Desert Race that will take place near Jwaneng in Botswana, a crowd of more than 200 were present for the Dakar Tour conference and got a look at the route for the 2018 edition, which will start in Peru on January 6 and conclude in Argentina on January 20 after crossing Bolivia.

Whether they are experienced competitors or rookies, all are passionate about the legendary rally and had the chance to speak about and obtain information concerning a participation in the future… From Giniel de Villiers, with 14 participations and victory in 2009, to Vincent Crosbie, 36th on the 2017 Dakar as well as the first winner of the Dakar Challenge held in South Africa in 2013 and 31st on the 2015 Dakar, Johan Van Staden to the winner of the Dakar Challenge during the Amageza Rally last year, Willem du Toit, the Dakar continues to be the ultimate goal in this region of Africa. “It is one of the things that drives me”, sums up Giniel de Villiers. Vincent Crosbie explains the importance of the preparatory events like the Merzouga Rally, in which he took part in 2016 and says that he will make his Dakar return in 2019. Johan Van Staden, who participated in the 2013 and 2015 editions, will be in Peru in January, at the wheel of a Renault Duster under construction in South Africa. This weekend, the Kalahari Botswana Toyota 1000 Desert Race will designate another potential competitor for the next Dakar, after three days of racing and 1 000kms: the winner of the Dakar Challenge will win his entry. A record 11 riders from South Africa have sent in their applications and now have to wait until July 15 to find out if they’ve been chosen!

Relive 2017 Dakar Tour HERE