A team of drivers from Italy’s Carabinieri national security force has embarked on a 6,000km (3,700-mile) adventure across southern Africa - with four McCormick tractors.

The route will take in mountain ranges and deserts, the wine-making area of the Western Cape, and some of South Africa’s best-known national parks.

The McCormick 'Xtractor Around the World 2018' challenge is intended to help raise awareness of environmental issues and the "responsible use of natural resources".

Of course, it also deigned to shine a spotlight on McCormick X7 and X8 Series tractors.

[caption id="attachment_255514" align="aligncenter" width="728"] The event is being sponsored by BKT, which supplied tyres from its Agrimax Force IF range for the 286hp McCormick X8.670 VT-Drive tractors[/caption]

Introducing the 2018 route, Antonio Salvaterra, marketing director at Argo Tractors (the company behind the McCormick brand), said: "Along the 6,000km itinerary, which we plan to cover in 55 days, the drivers can look forward to a huge variety of landscapes, major parks and game reserves, which are home to an amazing concentration of wildlife."

From the starting point in Cape Town in south-west South Africa, the tractors and support crew are visiting the Cape of Good Hope before making their way through the vineyards of the Western Cape, along the famous Garden Route to Port Elizabeth in the south-east.

They will then turn inland, to push deep into the semi-desert interior of the Great Karoo.

Having driven among the sand dunes of the Kalahari desert, the McCormick tractors will turn eastwards, aiming for the summits of the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho, before a steep descent down the imposing slopes of the eastern Drakensberg mountains to the Indian Ocean.

The finishing stretch will take in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The drivers have been selected from the Carabinieri’s parachute regiment and the unit that protects forest, environmental and agri-food resources.

The venture is being sponsored by BKT, which supplies the Argo Tractors factory with a number of different tyre designs and sizes (as original fitments across the McCormick range).

For the McCormick 'Xtractor Around the World 2018' adventure, BKT has supplied its Agrimax RT 657 for the pair of 206/225hp McCormick X7.690 P6-Drive tractors (the new model that tops the second-generation X7 Series).

Agrimax Force IF tyres have been fitted to the 286hp McCormick X8.670 VT-Drive duo (from the all-new 264-310hp X8 VT-Drive Series).

The journey is being documented on the www.xtractor.tv website and on social media.