In 1988, the honour of playing host to Camel Trophy was accorded to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The event programme, schedule and method of operation was substantially modified to include two groups of very distinct "Special Tasks" at the beginning and end of the route, each pre-recced and prepared to avoid the lamentable situation of the year before. For the next eight years marshals would not travel as part of the convoy but only be responsible for the establishment of special task sites normally near the beginning and end of the selected routes.
This new formula enabled the national teams to immerse themselves in competitive special tasks for the first 36 hours of the event, then to be able to savour the full the magnificence of the landscape through which they passed on the way from start at Manado until the final special task site in Torajaland some 200 km north of the eventual finish at Ujung Pandang. For the first time, teams from Argentina and Turkey participated.
Unlike many of the other Indonesian islands, only the north eastern and south western extremities of Sulawesi are volcanic, the remainder of the island consisting of jagged uplands and rugged plateaus some 500 metres above sea level. These varied conditions suited the twelve teams and their Land Rover One Tens on their two thousand kilometre drive across formidable mountains and along dense tropical jungle trails. It was a challenge equal to any previous event.
Eventual victory went to the Turkish team of Galip Gurel and Ali Deveci, remarkable because this was at Turkey's first entry into Camel Trophy. The award for Team Spirit was won by Jim Benson and Marc Day of the United Kingdom. Marc was to join subsequent Camel Trophy events as the convoy's Lead Scout.
- Team Vehicles: Land Rover One Ten
- Support Vehicles: Land Rover One Ten
- Distance: 2,092 km
- Number of Teams: 12
- Argentina - Daniel Hector Agulla & Juan Antonio Sanchez Catala
- Belgium - Marc Buels & Y. de Burbure de Wesembeek
- Canary Islands - Wourter Cheri & Jose Mario Villavicencio
- France - Francois Leonard & Eric Spijkerman
- West Germany - Dirk Batterman & Norbert Skodock
- Holland - Leendert Ursem & Murk de Jong
- Italy - Silvano Dell'Anna & Edmondo Licursi
- Japan - Koichi Kinoshita & Toru Sekiguchi
- Spain - Francisco Pardo Brucart & Jose Luis Esarte Goiena
- Switzerland - Peter Dulty & Loe Kalbermatten
- Turkey - Galip Gurel & Ali Deveci (Camel Trophy)
- United Kingdom - Jim Benson & Marc Day (Team Spirit Award)