Update from Kingsley Holgate:
The Africa Outside Edge expedition’s objectives are clear, its to circumnavigate Africa in a clockwise direction by Land Rover and inflatable boats and at the same time to improve and save lives through adventure.
Up to a few weeks ago these were just words but now it’s for real. The filing of the Zulu calabash and the launch of the expedition from the Cape of Good Hope with a world record 347 Land Rovers escorting us out of the Mother City has set the scene for one of the most challenging expeditions of our lives. With Bloubergstrand, Langebaan and Lamberts Bay behind us we soon got into the real adventure using farm and diamond mining tracks to take us North into the Namaqualand strandveld.
As part of the humanitarian adventure we have been able to distribute mobile libraries to remote schools. This initiative is aptly called “Teaching on the Edge”. There’s also a “Right to Sight” programme in which readers are distributed to the poor sighted and the big one of course is the One Net One Life campaign in which tens of thousands of long lasting nets will be distributed to pregnant mothers and to children in remote areas where there are no regular health authorities.
This malaria prevention work will only begin once the expedition reaches Angola. For now the challenge has been the “Teaching on the Edge” programme and then into the wildernis of the Sperrgebiet, the forbidden coast, only made possible special permissions from De Beers and the Namibian ministry of Environment and Tourism. It’s been an unbelievable privilege, old German diamond mining ghost towns, wrecks in the mist, tens and thousands of sea birds and Cape Fur seals.
Sliding the overloaded expedition Landies down the slip faces of some of the highest dunes in the world then clawing our way, sometimes digging, pushing and winching and always with engines screaming to the summit of the next one – then sliding down to the cold South Atlantic again, hugging the dunes the waves washing against the tyres and then to hep things along an East wind sandstorm.
What a great adventure, black backed jackals around the fire at night, brown hyena feeding on Cape Fur seal pups, more whale bones and shipwrecks, Gemsbok in the desert and finally the 1915 lighthouse at Pelican point now its time for a hot shower – thanks again for all the support.
The next challenge is to reach the Kunene by following the Skeleton Coast – then its Angola – will keep you posted.