One sailboat, four years, five oceans – and a single mission. The explorer and visionary Mike Horn and his crew are sailing around the globe on the PANGAEA between October 2008 and November 2012 in support of environmental protections. “All earth”, the meaning of the word PANGAEA, is also what the international expedition expresses: The idea is to strengthen awareness of the need to protect this one and only world we have.
In early May 2012, seven youths from among 16 applicants successfully made it through the last selection camp in Château-d’Oex in Switzerland. Nora from Germany, Nadja from Serbia, Katherine from New Zealand along with Oliver, Sebastian and Robert from the US will be accompanying the South African adventurer Mike Horn as Young Explorers on the expedition to Africa. Since 2008, the PANGAEA expedition ship has travelled to eleven stations around the world. In June, the environmental pioneer and his team departed for the twelfth and last expedition.
Vertiginous heights and exiting encounters
Before the youths could leave for Africa, they first had to put their skills to the test in Switzerland. With fitness tests through climbing exercises to biking tours and a crash course in sailing – the team put in a lot of hard work into gearing up for the final destination. Workshops addressing environmental protection were also on the agenda. By the time they left, the Young Explorers were ideally equipped for the adventure of a lifetime: Africa!
Mike Horn’s home continent is well known for its fascinating flora and fauna as well as its rich cultural diversity. At their first stop in Namibia, the Young Explorers will be discovering the famous Skeleton Coast boasting the earth’s oldest geological formations. Encounters with indigenous people will represent a key facet of the South African expedition: the Young Explorers will be explaining to Township locals how to keep their drinking water clean and avoid the risk of infection.
During a visit to a Township school in Cape Town, the young environmentalists will brief other kids and youths on previously visited destinations and on the concept behind the PANGAEA expedition – to protect our planet and preserve it for future generations. A wildlife highlight is then planned whereby the youths will visit a shark research station where they will have an opportunity to gain insight on the ocean’s threatened species. The journey will also demand a high level of physical condition on the part of the young environmentalists. They will be embarking on a climbing tour of the plateau-shaped Tafelberg (Table Mountain) and then, the Young Explorers will join Mike Horn and dive into the Oranje, one of Africa’s longest rivers. Next, the group will take on an unforgettable climb up Dune 7 which, with its 350 meters, ranks among the planet’s highest sand dunes.
The PANGAEA expedition reaches its final round
Africa is the last of a total of twelve stops for the four-year PANGAEA expedition. Since 2008, Mike Horn, the South African adventurer, has been travelling the world in the name of environmental protection. During the expedition, which is supported by Mercedes-Benz as main sponsor, Mike Horn has implemented ecological and social projects at twelve locations around the globe. Each one of the projects is joined by an international group of youths between the ages of 15 and 20. Their common goals are to experience the beauty of our planet together and to commit themselves to active environmental protection.