exped orange 2018

Former Royal Marines Take On 1,300 Mile Charity Trek

The pair will make their way across three different countries in Africa...

exped orange 2018

Two former marines have embarked on a 1,300 mile trek along one of the longest rivers on the African continent. Their trek will eventually take them across three countries.

Glen Steyn and Alex Davidson set off of Saturday, making their way through Lesotho, South Africa and Namibia as part of Exped Orange.

The duo will follow the Orange river from its source in Lesotho, near a small village called Kwazulu Natal. They will then walk along its banks for more than 1,367 miles to the Atlantic Ocean.

The aim is to raise as much as possible through the expedition for the Royal Marines Charity, as well as Veterans for Wildlife, two charities which are important to the pair.

Lance Corporal Glen Steyn, who served in the Royal Marines for five years is leading the trek. When asked why he organised the trip, he said:

“Since leaving the corps I haven’t had anything that has challenged me.”

"I just felt like challenging myself again both mentally and physically, and there's bits of my own country that I haven't even seen."

The 33-year-old, who is originally from Johannesburg in South Africa, joked that because the Orange River is known for being ferocious, this is why they will be walking next to it and not swimming.

The largest threat to the pair on Exped Orange are the snakes, especially puff adders, which according to Mr Steyn are the, “largest killer in Africa in terms of snake bites”.

He added:

"I am not scared of snakes but I am scared of those snakes, because they don't move out of the way when you walk close to them."

Once bitten he said you have around 24 hours to seek medical help, but if you are injected with a lot of venom this can reduce down to just 12.

"It is a bit of a worry but we are obviously going to stay on terrain as much as possible which doesn't involve them," he added.

Other wildlife they may have to contend with along the include leopards, the black cobra, buffalo and baboons.

Carrying all their kit with them, they will be undertaking the expedition unsupported and will resupply their stocks of food along the way as required.

Afghanistan veteran Mr Steyn estimated that if all goes to plan they should cover up to 18 miles a day and that the trek should take around 90 days.

orange river
The course follows the Orange River which is the longest river in South Africa

Mr Davidson, from Shropshire, who left the Royal Marines last year, said they both knew each other from serving in 42 Commando based in Devon.

Leaving the military to become a filmmaker, the 31-year-old said he will be documenting their travels during their self-funded trip over the coming months.

He admitted that "ignorance is bliss" because he does not realise how dangerous some of the wildlife is and will just "try not to step on anything".

Pressed on whether their military training has prepared them, he said they are "both used to having a bit of weight on our back".

They will be sleeping outside along the way and carrying up to 100lbs of weight each, with Mr Davidson admitting his family are worried about their adventure.

Asked if there is a chance they may fall out given it will be just the two of them, he said it was "impossible for Royal Marines to fall out at all or at any point".

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/expedorange

Cover image: PA