One of Africa’s most colourful modern-day explorers, Kingsley Holgate and his team set off on a new adventure this week, from Cape Town to Kathmandu.
Our Elise Kirsten joined Kingsley to do some humanitarian work on #MandelaDay and to wave the expedition off.
Unlike Kingsley’s previous expeditions, the ‘Africa & Beyond’ adventure will not only cross our continent but journey further afield into Asia.
Travelling in two specially-kitted expedition Land Rover Discoveries and a third Defender, the team will make their way through 19 countries, travelling over 17 000 kilometres from Africa to the east of European then to Asia, eventually making their way to the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.
As usual, as Kingsley moves through Africa there will be a strong humanitarian focus and as they cross into Asia, the new Land Rover journey will follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo: along a branch of the ancient Silk Route, from Turkey through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and India.
The Cape Town to Kathmandu expedition kicked off on Wednesday 18 July, on the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, with the collection of sea-water from the harbour basin, in the team’s symbolic Zulu calabash, at Nobel Square on the V&A Waterfront. This was followed by the signing of the expedition’s new Madiba100 Scroll of Peace and Goodwill that documents previous expeditions and carries messages of support.
From there some of us headed with Kingsley and his team to Gugulethu for Madiba Day humanitarian work before waving Kingsley off.
In Gugulethu, Kingsley chatted away animatedly in Xhosa, thanking the local pensioners who thread Relate Trust bracelets, including malaria awareness bracelets and extended the offer to test the seniors’ eyes and offer them free reading glasses, as part of the Kingsley Holgate Foundation’s Rite to Sight campaign.
The was singing and dancing as the community embraced the bearded explorer and then it was time to move to a nearby crèche with Barrows, to donate much-needed early childhood development (ECD) teaching materials. Surrounded by impeccably dressed little ones, Kingsley thanked the teachers for the work that they do, adding that would they,”would have made Madiba proud.”