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Holgate embarks on another epic adventure


HE IS Africa’s most travelled explorer… the legend that is Kingsley Holgate. His latest expedition is a mission to find the Heart of Africa. His starting point was the Lesedi Cultural Village on Monday, the 24th August. His destination is the geographic centre of the continent, which he will reach in some three months or, 3 206km from where he set off.

Where exactly?

If you want to be specific about things, his exact destination’s coordinates are 17.05291°E, 2.07035°N. This is the precise location that’s been determined as the Heart of Africa. A team of scientists from the University of Cape Town’s Department of Environmental and Geographic Science used a method known as, ?Centre of Gravity? to determine Africa’s geographic centre.

The challenges

Kingsley and his team will be taking the journey in Land Rovers, with Holgate using the legendary Defender 130, which has been specially prepared for the trip. The group will stop in villages along Botswana and Zambia. They will cross the Zambezi River into Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), finally ending up in the Republic of Congo (not to be confused with the DRC).

A deeper message

The convoy will be spreading a message of goodwill, while delivering humanitarian aid. The latter will be in the form of Life Straws, which is a drinking straw that purifies water passing through it, making the liquid safe for human consumption. They will also be supplying mosquito nets and reading glasses from the Right to Sight project.

Conservation work will also be undertaken during the expedition. The Kingsley Holgate Foundation will raise awareness and educate communities - using its children’s wildlife art programme - on the importance of living among animals.

The dangers

The team will cross some of the world’s most difficult terrain, coming into contact with poachers, bandits and hunters along the route. Dangerous animals are a definite, as well as the unseen perils of Africa, including insects and diseases, which also carry great risks.

A fitting finish

The end of this great trek into Africa will be finished off in the Holgate tradition. Kingsley will carry a Zulu calabash, filled with water taken from the Cradle of Humankind, emptying its contents onto the spot that marks the beating heart of the continent, where it is deemed that humanity took its first steps.

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