The team attempting to Zapcat their way to the source of the River Nile got a lavish send-off from Fortnum and Mason today

The team attempting to Zapcat their way to the source of the River Nile got a lavish send-off from Fortnum and Mason today.

The exclusive London food store presented the adventurers with a specially-prepared hamper of supplies for the expedition.

Fortnum’s buying director Simon Burdess said the ‘chop box’ had been prepared with the many expeditions sponsored by the store in days of old in mind, notably Livingstone’s and Mallory’s.

But he added: “We decided not to include the deluxe folding bridge set with a choice of green or brown velvet, which featured in some chop boxes.”

However the team will have the luxury of wild boar pâté and rich beef tea as they travel through Africa.

Burdess said: “It’s amazing to think that in this day of satellite navigation we still don’t know where the exact source of the Nile is.”

The team of four men and one woman will be travelling to the river’s longest source in the Rwandan jungle, a feat never before completed.

Led by powerboat racer Neil McGrigor, they will also track the exact length of the river for the first time. Existing maps do not trace the Nile’s many meanders, McGrigor said.

Team doctor Kate Heathcote, pictured above with her husband George, said her job was to keep her colleagues “in one piece”, adding: “In some areas we are basically travelling through raw sewage, so the risk of infection is high.”

Other medical dangers en route include bilharzia, Weil’s Disease and trauma.

Fellow team-member George said: “There’ll be hundreds of crocodiles along the route, too. They can be very aggressive.”

For more, visit www.ascendthenile.com