The brave explorers from Pertemps ready to go on their African expedition for charity

A group of intrepid explorers from Pertemps battled bugs, buffalo and baboons on a once in a lifetime African expedition to raise money for the Air Ambulance charity.

The five-day adventure saw 11 people from all walks of life conquer the Bear Grylls Challenge, including Director Petra O’Hara and National Account Manager and Trainer Adrian Topley. The pair learned some interesting survival tricks, such as how to identify edible bugs, learning the ways to make river water drinkable and how to deal with some tricky toilet situations...

Adrian said, “Nothing more takes you out of your comfort zone than trekking through the bush in the dead of night, armed only with a head torch and a roll of Andrex to find the toilet facilities, which was nothing more than a trench.

“Generally, this activity is quite self-explanatory, however when you are straddled over a trench bearing all to the world, we are informed by our guides that this is wild Africa, so be aware that anything from lions to buffalo may be lurking close by. As you will appreciate this made a visit to the loo a whole new experience!”

Aside from lavatory fears, the group had much more to worry about while camping. Africa’s scariest predators prowling close on your doorstep is enough to keep anyone up all night, never mind the thought of skinning and butchering a goat for tea.

After three days camping, the clan trekked to the Zambezi river. With temperatures reaching 40 degrees by 8am, the gang sweated it out while carrying heavy backpacks and paddles before reaching their rafts to tackle the rapids.

Adrian said, “Helmets on and life jackets fastened, we started to paddle towards our first rapid. The noise grew louder and then we were in amongst the strong bubbling waters. After safely coming out the other side, we were informed there were 16 rapids with some sounding potentially dangerous.

“Before we could take a breath we were under, being tossed around like we were in a washing machine. Eventually we were in the current heading down river but at least able to breath. For some this was hair raising and scary, but no harm done, all were safe.”

As if terrifying rapids weren’t enough, the following day the fundraisers were climbing up sheer cliff faces the equivalent to a 75 storey building – eek! After a long, tiring ascent, water and cold beers were a well-deserved reward once they reached the summit.

All in all, the adventure was a brilliant success with Petra and Adrian raising £17,000 for the Air Ambulance charity, which purely relies on fundraising to operate. Their donation went towards the magnificent £100,000 raised by the group in total.

Pertemps would like to thank everyone who supported the challenge by donating and a huge well done to Petra and Adrian for completing the Bear Grylls Challenge.