‘Grey beard of African adventure’: Holgate completes 15000km ocean-to-ocean safari

2009-08-25 00:00

KINGSLEY Holgate, who is often referred to as the Grey Beard of African Adventure, recently finished his latest 15 000 km trek, which took him four months to complete.

Holgate, the Durban-born adventurer, author, TV personality and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, has spent much of his life exploring the African continent.

He arrived in the diamond mining town of Oranjemund on Namibia’s southern border last week.

The Mercury reported that the presidents or heads of state of five nations, along with ministers and musical troupes from far and wide, had gathered at the local cricket stadium for a colourful welcoming ceremony at the conclusion of Holgate’s latest expedition.

The safari took Holgate and his crew through nine countries.

Holgate spent four months on the highways and byways of southern Africa to promote the 2010 Soccer World Cup and to continue his humanitarian work.

The expedition, named Boundless Southern Africa, aims to promote awareness and enthusiasm for the 2010 footballing event, and will help upgrade soccer fields, distribute mosquito nets, donate libraries and reading glasses to rural schools and communities.

Holgate said his expedition crew crossed through 30 game reserves and conservation areas in nine nations.

He likened these areas to the jewels in an African necklace.

Holgate and his colleagues gathered at the mouth of the Gariep (Orange) River, on the Atlantic Coast, where he emptied out the contents of a calabash filled with a cocktail of salty and fresh water, collected from the Indian Ocean and numerous rivers and creeks en route.

“This water symbolises the common link which joins our countries together regardless of our passports,” he said.

Holgate added that he hopes the route he followed from Durban to Oranjemund will become a po­pular adventure trail for tourists, especially in the months after the World Cup next year.

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