Born under African skies into a missionary family, Kingsley’s adventures started at a young age. Countless hours spent on his father’s lap, he was enthralled by stories of the great Victorian explorers. This led to many missionary journeys with his parents into the wilds of Africa – as far as the old Belgium Congo – that were to plant the seeds for Kingsley’s own epic journeys of discovery.
It’s taken much of a lifetime, but no other group of adventurers have completed journeys of exploration (many of them world-firsts) that include: an expedition that tracked the entire outline of the African continent through 33 countries in 449 days; a south-to-north journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Alexandria and the mouth of the Nile along the waterways of Africa; an east-to-west crossing along the Zambezi and Congo Rivers in the footsteps of early explorers Livingstone and Stanley during the years of civil war in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo; following the Tropic of Capricorn around the world by Land Rover; a year sailing a traditional lateen-rigged Arab dhow up the east coast of Africa to Somalia and back; two transcontinental expeditions: Cape Town to Kathmandu, and the first ‘Hot Cape – Cold Cape’ journey for the new Land Rover Defender from Cape Agulhas (Africa’s southern-most point) to Nordkapp in Norway’s Arctic Circle, and in a series of humanitarian and geographic expeditions, embracing all 54 countries on the African continent including all the island states.
The Kingsley Holgate expedition team have also achieved two significant, geographic world-firsts: the discovery of the geographic centre-point of Africa deep in the rainforests of the Republic of Congo, and reaching all seven extreme geographic points (‘poles’) of the African continent – both verified by the International Geographic Union.But in the midst of all this, was a deep need to give something back to the people of Mama Afrika. For Kingsley and the team, it was about finding a cause close to our hearts and truly making a difference to the lives of rural Africans. So, with the by-line, ‘Using adventure to save and improve lives’, the Kingsley Holgate Foundation was formed, with the humanitarian initiatives of malaria prevention, water purification, and Rite to Sight spectacles for the poor-sighted. Using personal funding initially, the work has grown from strength to strength and now, thanks to the support of the Foundation’s partners, more than four million lives have been touched.
Expedition Leader, humanitarian, co-ordinator, researcher and author.
Operations leader, camera director, mapping and navigation.
Logistics, supplies and equipment and security.
Humanitarian, logistics, mountain bike support, country-by-country government liaison.
Malaria co-ordinator, translator, community liaison.
Humanitarian, administration, partner liaison and communications.
East Africa community liaison and translator.
Wildlife conservation, humanitarian and communications
Early Childhood Development