A Vitara takes its crew on a long rally
Called the “Put Foot Rally”, the unassisted 17-day event is organised by the Put Foot Foundation with the dual objectives of providing hope, pride and dignity to young learners by providing them with South African-made leather school shoes, while also contributing to Project Rhino’s anti-poaching activities.
There are no prizes for finishing first, with fundraising and fun the key objectives, together with proving that Africa is safe, affordable and accessible in any vehicle.
Crewing the Grand Vitara is the Team Half Full Four – an optimistic, altruistic and adventurous foursome consisting of Jimmy ‘Radar’ Parfitt, ‘Field Nurse’ Kate Parfitt, Helen ‘Ostrich’ Parfitt and Ron ‘Colonel’ Rutland.
Jimmy and Kate Parfitt are New Zealanders based in China, while fellow Kiwi Helen works and lives in London when she’s not travelling the world. Cape Town-based Ron is the only South African, and helped organise the inaugural Put Foot Rally in 2011.
“We can’t wait to experience Africa in the comfort and style offered by the Grand Vitara,” said Ron at the start of the event in Cape Town. “We will also get to test it thoroughly in the hugely diverse terrain that awaits. The Put Foot Rally in a Grand Vitara? It’s the Suzuki way of life!”
The Put Foot Rally visited Etosha, then swung north east to Rundu, through the Caprivi to reach the Zambezi River in Zambia. It then went to Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe and to Lake Malawi further north before the finishing on the Mozambique coast. The teams had to work out their own routes between check points, marked by a big bash in each country.