Kalimantan 1996

Although the "special tasks" were introduced at the beginning of the decade, some would argue that the 1996 event was the last "traditional" Camel Trophy. Starting at Balikpapan on the east coast of Kalimantan, the route wound its way through the very heart of Borneo to the finish approximately 100km north of Pontianac on the west coast. From the Dusit Inn Hotel, teams made there way to the first set of special tasks via a barge crossing of the Balikpapan River and then on into serious jungle and mountain terrain.

Many of the tracks and trails in the interior had not seen any form of motorised transport for more than a decade and were in diabolical condition. Just the job for Camel Trophy.

From the task site the route swung in a large loop first north, then east towards Muaratewe, where heavy rains had turned much of the countryside into swamp. The teams battled for days through seemingly impossible conditions, heading for the small river port and crossing site at Tumbang Samba. However this was not to be. Conditions became so bad and progress so slow that, in order to have any hope of making the finish on time, a detour was found bypassing some of the most treacherous sections.

The convoy moved on, at last able to make a reasonable mileage per day but still behind schedule. Days turned into 24- hour marathons, each with its own set of problems to be overcome. Eventually, after missing out a planned section in the extreme south west of the island, the weary crews arrived at the last special task site on the coast near Singkawang. A day and a half of special tasks followed before the teams headed in convoy for the final award ceremony held later that evening in the principle hotel in Pontianac.

This was the last Camel Trophy to adhere to the traditional formula of teams undertaking the route as a convoy. Like its predecessors it will be remembered for the camaraderie and team spirit generated amongst the crews as they worked together to overcome the odds. Once this concept was lost, critics say the event never truly regained its magical qualities, to say nothing of its toughness, character and reputation as the "Ultimate Adventure".


  • Team Vehicles: Land Rover Discovery 300Tdi

  • Support Vehicles: Land Rover Defender 110 300Tdi

  • Distance: 1,490 km

  • Number of Teams: 18

Participating Countries:

  • Belgium - Deirdre Morael & Wim de Vocht

  • Canary Islands - Adolfo Suanzes & Belen de la Fuente

  • Czech Republic - Zdenek Tomasek & Jakub Havel

  • Denmark/Norway - Bjorn Jacques & Henrik Jorgensen

  • Finland/Sweden - Pontus Hellgren & Ato Ihamaki

  • France - Denis Rosand & Yves Truelle

  • Germany - Christine Hofer & Eberhard Stettner

  • Greece - Miltos Farmakis & Nikos Sotirchos (Camel Trophy & Land Rover Award)

  • Holland - Carolien Stelma & Alex van Delft

  • Italy - Giampaolo Giusti & CristianBertolani

  • Japan - Tomotaka Miyata & Minoru Omae

  • Morocco - Samir Berrada & Yorel Levy

  • Poland - Jarek Kazberuk & Michal Kielbasinski

  • Russia - Dmitriy Surin & Alexei Svirkov (Special Task Award)

  • South Africa - Samuel de Beer & Pieter du Plessis (Team Spirit Award)

  • Spain - Antonio Canete & Ricardo Quiros

  • Switzerland - Olivier Soltermann & Andrea Burkhardt

  • Turkey - Selim Kemahli & Ali Nasuh Mahruki

  • United Kingdom - William Tapley & John Leach

  • United States - Ken Cameron & Fred Hoess