The Graduate Desert Challenge: Are you IN?

In spring 2017, INEOS is taking its talented 3rd year graduates on an African adventure of a lifetime- to test and expand their limits, build their fitness, and show them what they’re truly capable of when they say yes, prepare wisely, and dare to win. Here’s a taster…

For 6 days, the graduate team- supported by medical and fitness experts- will run and cycle through the untouched Namibian desert, enduring gruelling physical conditions and climbing mountains both real and metaphorical. The rewards will be huge- the satisfaction of having completed the rarest and toughest of teambuilding challenges, the enduring health and fitness gains of months of preparation, and lifelong knowledge that they can truly achieve anything when they “take the mental brakes off”.

This site is designed to support the team in their preparation for the event, and share the expedition’s progress with friends, family and colleagues when they finally take to the road.

Check back here for itinerary updates- and in the meantime, meet the expert team, the daring graduates, and find all kinds of practical training and preparation advice here.

The Highlights

Using a combination of hiking, mountain biking and running we will traverse the Skeleton Coast, Damaraland and Kaokaveld Wilderness areas of Northern Namibia.

We will pass over 3 ancient volcanic craters (calderas), climb Namibia’s highest peak, conquer the unforgiving basalt lavas of the Ugab on foot, bridge 2 major ephemeral river systems in one 100km desert day, and traverse the last frontier of the Big 3- the Black Rhino, Desert Elephant and Dryland Lions of Africa.


Sat 6 May

  • Team to land at Windhoek International, fly to Cape Cross on the Skeleton Coast.
  • 45km cycle to the Messum Crater.
  • Overnight camp at Messum Crater.

Sun 7 May

  • 21km run out of the Messum Crater.
  • 51km bike ride to Brandberg Mountain.
  • Self-built Base Camp on Brandberg Mountain.

Mon 8 May

  • 21km hike up the Brandberg (more than 2000m elevation gain). Team to carry own gear.
  • Overnight camp below summit.

Tues 9 May

Descent of mountain with kit- 8-9 hours.

Wed 10 May

  • 42km marathon run along base of the Brandberg Mountain.
  • 35km cycle towards Ugab river.
  • Overnight with Save the Rhino Trust.

Thurs 11 May

  • 21k run through the Ugab Rock formations.
  • 81km cycle past the Doros Crater and down to the Huab River.
  • Transfer to luxury camp.

Fri 12 May

  • Game drive and team departure.