Celebrities and royalty from around the world will take part in an epic rickshaw race across India to save Asia’s endangered elephants, which have fallen by 90% in the past 100 years.

Actress Susan Sarandon, model sisters Amber and Yasmin Le Bon and Princess Beatrice of York have all confirmed they will take the wheel of fashionable and bespoke tuk-tuks this autumn.

Diane von Furstenberg, fashion house Mulberry and Carolina Herrera are some of the brands to apply their unique style to the colourful fleet of vehicles. From a pop art inspired rickshaw with a fried egg print to a classic black cab pastiche, the luxury rickshaw armada are a one-of-a-kind collectors item – and will be auctioned off after the race.

In total, 40 rickshaws will travel 500 km across the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, passing the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho and the famed tiger reserves of Bandhavgarh National Park.

The race and auction is part of the ‘Travels to my Elephant’ campaign. Organised by the charity Elephant Family and luxury concierge firm Quintessentially Foundation, they hope to raise £1m.

The race follows in the footsteps of Elephant Family founder and adventurer Mark Shrand, whose rescue of Indian elephant Tara was detailed in his bestselling book ‘Travels on my Elephant’ – hence the name of this campaign.

Other notable individuals taking part in the race include eighth in line to the throne Princess Eugene and Quintessentially Director Ben Elliot. All participants will race in pairs, with each team pledging to raise £10,000.

 

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