Harborough man gearing up for Saharan desert trek

Marketing manager, Phil Gibbs, getting ready for his Sahara trek
Marketing manager, Phil Gibbs, getting ready for his Sahara trek

A Harborough man is taking on a charity challenge to trek 100 kilometres across the world’s hottest desert.

Phil Gibbs will battle the stifling hot conditions of the Sahara later this month and is appealing for support in a bid to reach his £3,000 charity fundraising target.

Mr Gibbs, who is the marketing manager for the Cashino Gaming Centre in Kettering, is doing the trek in aid of The Responsible Gambling Trust.

The 49-year-old said he is determined to complete the expedition even if it means “cosying up to a camel”.

The trust is a national charity which encourages people to gamble responsibly through education, and provides treatment services for people with gambling problems.

Located in North Africa, the Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert and Mr Gibbs will be battling its unforgiving terrain including sand dunes, sand seas – also known as ergs – barren rocky plateaus, gravel plains, dry valleys and salt flats.

Mr Gibbs is one of 24 people taking part in the trek, who are all representing different sectors within the gambling industry. He has set himself the personal challenge of raising £3,000 and the overall team are hoping to raise £50,000.

The expedition starts on Saturday, March 22, and is scheduled to last five days.

Mr Gibbs said: “I must admit, the prospect of walking for days across the largest desert on the African continent was slightly daunting, especially when I found out how hot it’s going to be.

“But it will be worth it if we hit our fundraising target.

“I hope as many people as possible will help me to reach my goal.

“I’m going to try my very best – even if I do have to cosy up to a camel.”

He added: “As a company Cashino is a major supporter of the Responsible Gambling Trust.

“We want our customers to have a fantastic time but we do our utmost to ensure they gamble responsibly.”

The Sahara is the second biggest desert in the world after Antarctica, but is the world’s hottest and one of the driest.

It gets on average only 20cm of precipitation a year, the main reason why only two million people live there.

It stretches from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean and crosses countries Chad, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Sudan, Tunis and Western Sahara.

The range of temperatures in the desert can change drastically.

During the day, it can be devilishly hot, up to 50C (122F), but overnight it can be bitterly cold and drop to as low as 5C (41F). During March, the average temperature in the Sahara is about 30C (86F).

To sponsor Phil, visit his fundraising website.