A world-first odyssey to embrace and connect with every country in Africa

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Mama Afrika
There’s no continent quite like it. It is recognized as being the cradle of all humankind. The name ‘Africa’ was derived from Greek and Latin words that highlighted the continent’s sunny, warm climate.

It is the second largest of the earth’s seven continents and with the inclusion of the disputed Western Sahara territory and the island nations off the continental coast, there are a total of 54 independent nations in Africa.

While Africa makes up about 16% of the world’s population, fully one quarter of the world’s languages are spoken only in Africa by at least 3000 distinct ethnic groups. It is home to many wonders of the world: The 6,650 km Nile is the longest and most historic river in the world; Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain;

Lake Tanganyika, the longest freshwater lake; Sahara, the world’s largest desert; and the African elephant, the largest living land animal in the world. Sadly, approximately 90% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in Africa, and 3,000 African children die each day from its effects.

Background

Kingsley Holgate – Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, author, humanitarian and modern-day adventurer is one of South Africa’s best known adventurers. With his family and team, they have completed a number of successful humanitarian expeditions to all but five of the 47 countries that make up the continent of Mama Africa.

Now the challenge is to make adventure and malaria prevention history by completing the entire continent.

The objectives of the ALL AFRIKA EXPEDITION are as follows:

  • As part of the energy that surrounded the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the UAM Expedition that preceded it, the geographic objective of The ALL AFRIKA EXPEDITION is to now complete the remaining five countries of Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and the Central African Republic, all before the end of 2010.
  • In keeping with the ongoing theme of using adventures to improve lives, The ALL AFRIKA EXPEDITION will continue to promote malaria prevention awareness through the United Against Malaria partnership.
  • The ALL AFRIKA EXPEDITION will carry a Scroll of Peace and Goodwill and will continue to promote goodwill, tourism and conservation links between South Africa and the countries visited.

Route and details:

It is planned that the ALL AFRIKA EXPEDITION media send-off will take place from Ghana’s vibrant capital of Accra, situated on West Africa’s coastline in the Gulf of Guinea.

The expedition will then cross Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad and the Central African Republic and into Cameroon before flying into Equatorial Guinea.

The ALL AFRIKA EXPEDITION is saving one of the best till last. Whilst in Equatorial Guinea, the Holgates plan to visit the capital of Malabo on Bioko Island and mainland Rio Muni, to include the port town of Bata, the Monte Alen National Park, before flying back to South Africa.

Dispatch # 1. Nervous anticipation and excitement

The drought has broken and the spring rains rattle the windows of Kingsley and Mashozi’s Afrika House. Edward the Basset watches every move, bags, maps, first aid, passports, bedrolls and tents. George the parrot chatters away in English and Zulu. Watson the Boerboel lies with his broad mastive head on his out stretch paws. In the Greybeard’s own words…

It’s the leaving that is always so damned difficult. This expedition is called ‘All Afrika’ a symbolic United Against Malaria partnered odyssey to embrace and adventure in every country on the African continent. With 47 counties behind us there is still, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad,

The Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea. Some of it won’t be easy as there have been coups, cross-border raids, rebels, kidnappings and gun-running, BUT the United Against Malaria work will continue – we’ll keep you posted. United Against Malaria, thanks for your support in using adventure to improve and save lives.

Dispatch # 2. An historic event

Greetings! The All Africa send-off in Johannesburg was fantastic, brought to life by the Lesedi dancers and the presentation of a USD 250,000 cheque to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria raised through the sale of United Against malaria beaded bracelets and MTN’s World Cup fan parks.

The sale of the bracelets also goes towards buying mosquito nets for Africa. Congratulations on the role you have all played in this historic event. Thanks – Kingsley and the team.

Dispatch # 3. More support in the fight against malaria

Today we get the good news that Vestergaard-Frandsen, the suppliers of top quality insecticide treated mosquito nets, will sponsor extra bednets in Ghana.

The All Afrika Expedition’s overland leg will start from the Land Rover dealership in the vibrant Ghanaian capital city of Accra, situated on West Africa’s coastline in the Gulf of Guinea. The expedition will then cross Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, the Central African Republic and onto Cameroon before flying into Equatorial Guinea.

Dispatch # 4. Just a speck over Mama Africa

Finally we are off and the All Afrika Expedition has begun. East to West across Africa, the plane jam packed with Bangladeshi policemen off to monitor the elections in troubled Cote d’Ivoire, a country where we did good malaria work whilst on the Africa Outside Edge Expedition.

Africa passes below us. Lake Victoria, the Rwenzori’s Mountains of the Moon, the vast Congo River basin, Cameroon, Nigeria, the tiny voodoo countries of Benin and Togo, and a refuel in Abidjan, over the bulge of Mama Africa to Dakar. Then west into the setting sun in a small propeller plane. Just a speck over the vast Atlantic.

Heading for the island of Santiago, one of the ten that poke up out of the eastern Atlantic to form an arrow shape Archipelago called the Cape Verdes – we’ll keep you posted.

Dispatch # 5:Laughter and smiles – a great island buzz

Greetings and Bom Dia from Cidade Velha, the 500 year old but still occupied ruined city where the history of Cape Verde began. This is the first documented European city in the tropics, first settled by the Portuguese in 1462. It’s a great start to our All Afrika journey.

We are jammed-packed into a mini-bus ‘publico’, tyres screeching on the twisted cobble stone pass. Cape Verde music blaring. Sexy looking girls in tight jeans and shorts, beautifully woven hairstyles and shy smiles. Feet up on big 20 litre glass bottles of home brewed grog – each village has its own still.

We race passed the ruins of the old cathedral, attacked and virtually destroyed by a French pirate Jacques Cassard. Down in the town square people greet each other in Creole – lots of laughter and smiles. Cabo Verde is in Africa but it feels different – a mixing of the races through the history of the slave trade and Portuguese occupation. There is a buzz here that is somewhere between Brazil And Mozambique – a delightful mixture of European and African. ‘Até logo’ – until later.

Dispatch # 6: Rocks appear and life arrives

Rocks Appear And Life Arrives. According to local lore, when God was satisfied with the Creation and brushed his hands together, the crumbs that fell unnoticed from his fingers into the sea formed Cape Verde. We’ll keep you posted.