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.
The Foundation’s South Africa-based Early Childhood Development programme also continues to nurture young children in the all-important 0-to-6years age group by upgrading impoverished rural creches into ‘centres of hope’, providing educational ECD materials and distributing nutritional DoMore meals.  
Wildlife conservation, especially of critically endangered species such as elephants and rhinos threatened by poaching is also a key interest and so the Kingsley Holgate Foundation’s Conservation & Communities initiative continues to build lasting connections between nature, culture and community.  In 2021 we expanded this programme to include Carbon Neutral Expeditions: all our geographic and humanitarian journeys are now fully carbon neutral, with CO² emissions offset through the planting of thousands of indigenous trees.
We pay tribute to our partners, without whose help the Foundation’s achievements would not be possible and thank the hundreds of individuals – expedition members, volunteers, friends and communities – all over Africa who’ve helped make these geographic and humanitarian journeys of discovery possible.
For more information please contact:

Kingsley Holgate Biography


Kingsley Holgate

Expedition Leader, humanitarian, co-ordinator, researcher and author.

Ross Holgate

Operations leader, camera director, mapping and navigation.

Bruce Leslie

Logistics, supplies and equipment and security.

Mike Nixon

Humanitarian, logistics, mountain bike support, country-by-country government liaison.

Babu Cossa

Malaria co-ordinator, translator, community liaison.

Anna Holgate

Humanitarian, administration, partner liaison and communications.

Lumbaye Lenguru

East Africa community liaison and translator.

Sheelagh Antrobus

Wildlife conservation, humanitarian and communications

Ian Gourley

Early Childhood Development