Elephant Family and Quintessentially Foundation announce the launch of ‘TRAVELS TO MY ELEPHANT’


The Elephant Family charity and Quintessentially Foundation today announced the launch of Travels To My Elephant’ – a once-in-a-lifetime rickshaw race taking place in India in November 2015 to help save the Asian elephant from extinction. The venture was officially launched today at Clarence House at an exclusive reception hosted by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, joint presidents of Elephant Family.

Inspired by Elephant Family’s late founder, the passionate conservationist Mark Shand, whose rescue of an Asian elephant, Tara, is recorded in his best-selling book ‘Travels on my Elephant’, Travels To My Elephant’ will see a fleet of 30 rickshaws race 500km in an epic Indian adventure across Madhya Pradesh to Tara’s home at Kipling Camp.

Journeying through some of the country’s most colourful and awe inspiring countryside, from the erotic sculptures at Khajuraho to the tiger reserves of Bandhavgarh National Park, teams of two from all corners of the globe will take on the unique challenge. Actress Susan Sarandon, models Yasmin and Amber Le Bon and Quintessentially Foundation principal Ben Elliot are just some of the many racers taking part, with each team pledging to raise £10,000 for Elephant Family, supporting its goal of funding a future for the Asian elephant.

To launch ‘Travels To My Elephant’ in the UK, 20 rickshaws will be transformed into extraordinary pieces of mobile art individually designed by a host of international artists, milliners and fashion houses including Diane von Furstenberg, Manish Arora, Carolina Herrara, Philip Colbert and The Rodnik Band and Nicky Haslam. From 1st June, this beautiful collection of rickshaws will grace the streets of London, offering the public a unique chance to join the conservation journey and contribute to the charity campaign by riding the rickshaws in magical tours of the city. With the fine art logistics expert Cadogan Tate providing support throughout the event, the rickshaws will then be auctioned by Sotheby’s at Lancaster House on 30th June.

‘Travels To My Elephant’ is a true modern day adventure and a fitting celebration of the life of Mark Shand, one of the world’s greatest adventurers. The campaign aims to raise a total of £1 million for the Elephant Family charity, and a chance to carry on Mark’s passion and dream of saving the magnificent Asian elephant from extinction. 

Today’s launch event at Clarence House was attended by Elephant Family supporters, donors, rickshaw artists and racers, and provided a preview of all 20 artistic rickshaw designs. Guests included the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr. Ranjan Mathai, artists Rebecca Campbell and Simon Emery, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Nicky Haslam, Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, Joanna Lumley, Yasmin and Amber Le Bon.

The rickshaw race begins in India on 1st November 2015.


For further details on the Travels To My Elephant campaign, imagery and interview requests, please contact Quintessentially & Co: Zafar Rushdie – zafar@quintessentiallyandco.com / +44(0) 207 291 5299 or Clementine Churchward – clementine@quintessentiallyandco.com / +44(0) 207 291 5285