William and Harry rev up for Ewan McGregor-style charity motorcycle marathon in Africa
The brothers will cross 1,000 miles of ‘ dangerous’ mountain terrain during their eight-day adventure later this month.
They are keen to emulate Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman who rode from John O’Groats to Cape Town in their TV series the Long Way Down.
Princes William and Harry hope to raise £300,000 along with their fellow bikers
William, a passionate biker for several years, owns a 175mph Honda Blackbird superbike.
Harry passed his motorbike test after taking an intensive course this summer.
It was Harry who came up with the idea for the ride to raise money for charities including Sentebale, which he set up in their mother’s memory, and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
The pair will have to sleep rough as they traverse some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet.
Police protection officers will accompany them at all times at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds to the taxpayer.
Practise: Prince Harry on a motorbike in Afghanistan earlier this year
Four to six armed detectives will be needed on the trip.
A Clarence House spokesman said yesterday: ‘The princes are looking forward to taking part in this arduous motorcycle ride.’
The adventure is being organised by Enduro Africa, which provides participants with Honda CRF 230s – light 200cc trail bikes that are easy to manoeuvre.
The princes will each be part of a small group of riders during the day but meet up with the other 80 or so participants each night.
Each rider on the trip – including the princes – has donated a minimum of £1,500 to take part in the event. The group is set to raise more than £300,000 for charity.
Trailblazers: The princes were inspired by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
Organiser Simon Smith said yesterday: ‘It’s going to be one of the hardest and most demanding things they will ever have done in their lives and at night they are going to struggle to get off their bikes as the pain will be so bad.
'At times they will be sitting on their bikes looking up at a 60 degree slope wondering how the hell they are going to get up it – not even realising there is a deep river crossing to get through on the other side.
‘It is a very dangerous route and they will undoubtedly collect a fair few bumps and bruises along the way.’
Harry, who recently returned from frontline training in Canada with a view to being sent to war again next year, will be taking leave from his duties with the Blues and Royals.
Gruelling: Riders rest along the Enduro Africa route
William, who has announced his intention to train as an RAF search and rescue pilot, is currently working with the Ministry of Defence and is due to spend time with the SAS later this year.
Ewan McGregor, best known for his starring roles in movies ranging from Trainspotting to Star Wars, completed his 15,000-mile trek with close friend Boorman and created a cult television hit.
The pair encountered blinding sandstorms and angry crocodiles – dangers that both William and Harry may not be able to avoid.
To learn more about their ride see: www.enduroafrica.com