You have probably seen him on the National Geographic Channel or read his books. He is considered one of Africa’s most colourful modern day explorers: Kingsley Holgate is an adventurer, author, TV personality, fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and Land Rover fan extraordinaire.
His family adventures, many of which are world firsts, have included: A Cape Town to Cairo crossing of Africa in open boats, the Zambezi and Congo Rivers in the footsteps of Livingstone and Stanley, and a circumnavigation of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake.
He has sailed the Makgadigadi Salt Pans in land yachts and in another expedition – called ‘Extreme Latitude’ – travelled on foot, by bicycle, bullock cart, dugout canoe and Land Rover to circumnavigate the globe by land following the Tropic of Capricorn. Their year-long “African Rainbow” expedition to the Somali border and back in an Arab sailing dhow allowed them to distribute tens of thousands of mosquito nets to pregnant mothers and children under the age of five in a campaign called “One Net One Life”. Using adventure to improve lives, “The Outside Edge”, a 448-day 33-country geographic and humanitarian expedition to track the outline of Africa has been hailed as the most successful expedition ever undertaken in support of Malaria prevention. Holgate continues to criss-cross the continent with a pair of Land Rover Discoverys, fighting the Malaria scourge by distributing these live-saving nets the simplest way to reduce the disease.
In addition, the Kingsley Holgate Foundation distributes the innovative LifeStraw, each single one capable of purifying 1 000 litres of water. A further initiative is Right to Sight, which distributes reading glasses to rural communities which would otherwise not have access to eye care. This is particularly important to these communities whose livelihood often depends on the ability to see.
Finally, the Foundation has joined forces with like-minded organisations such as Project Rhino KZN, which is playing a key role in stamping out rhino poaching in the far north of the province - an area which once boasted the densest populace of Rhino in South Africa. A Land Rover Defender is making it possible for authorities to get to far-flung places, and the vehicle is also the backbone of the Rhino Art – Let the Children’s Voices be Heard campaign.