EXPEDITIONS

AFRIKA ODYSSEY EXPEDITION

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Objectives

• A legacy expedition that celebrates Africa’s diverse landscapes, indigenous cultures and history in commemoration of Land Rover’s 75th jubilee and African Park’s 23rd anniversary.

• A humanitarian journey of purpose to augment African Parks’ excellent community development efforts for 22 national parks in 12 countries.

• Collection of authentic and powerful stories of hope for conservation in Africa.

• To highlight the outstanding conservation and community work being achieved on an ongoing basis by African Parks and their country partners, and the incredible commitment that this takes towards reaching the achievable goal of 30 protected areas under African Parks management by 2030.

Route

South Africa
Angola
Zimbabwe
Zambia
Malawi
Mozambique
Rwanda
DRC
South Sudan
Republic of Congo
Central African Republic
Chad
Benin
(And countries in between)

MISSION

A Journey of Purpose to connect 22 African Parks in 12 countries encompassing 20 Million hectares of protected area and provide humanitarian support to neighbouring communities.

During 40 expeditions to every country on the African continent over the past 30 years, we’ve grown to deeply appreciate Africa’s unique biodiversity and iconic wildlife – sadly now under immense threat. The frightening decimation of endangered species such as elephant and rhino, and the destruction of vast tracts of pristine forests, wetlands and grasslands don’t make the headlines anymore – there’s too much doom and gloom.

So, for many years, we’ve been asking the question: where can one find stories of hope for Africa’s critically needed wild places? Thankfully, there are powerful, positive stories emerging from across the African continent – uplifting narratives that need to be told.

And so, in a unique collaboration with African Parks, AFRIKA ODYSSEY – the 41st Kingsley Holgate geographic and humanitarian expedition – is a Legacy journey-of-purpose with a conservation and communities theme. Departing in June 2023 from a vibrant traditional African send-off at Lesedi Cultural Village in the Cradle of Humankind, it is dedicated to showcasing the inspiring revival of 22 critical landscapes – 20million hectares of protected areas – that form the backbone of the continent’s biodiversity.

African Parks was founded in 2000 in response to the dramatic decline of protected areas due to poor management and lack of funding. As a non-profit conservation organisation, they take complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks, in partnership with governments and local communities. Read more here: https://www.africanparks.org/

This estimated 18-month-long expedition will follow an adventure-filled, chapter-by-chapter route to connect all 22 African Parks across the continent. It will also document ancient indigenous cultures, traditions and historic places of interest on a challenging journey into the wild heart of 12 diverse African countries. 

Afrika Odyssey will be the first, real-life expedition test on African soil for Land Rover’s new Defender 130. Expertly kitted by our loyal friends at 4×4 Megaworld and FrontRunner, and shod once again with tough Cooper Tires, the two new long-wheel-base expedition Defender 130s will be tackling +30,000 kilometres of some of the harshest terrain and off-road routes on the African continent. 

It’s not going to be easy; most of the parks, especially those in central, north and west Africa, are in isolated, difficult-to-reach regions – rainforests, deserts, wetlands that become inaccessible during rainy seasons – and there will be geopolitical issues to overcome.

As always, we will be providing humanitarian support to people living in the deeply remote communities alongside these wildlife-rich regions through:

  • Malaria prevention and education for pregnant women and mothers with young children, and indoor residual spraying and community education in partnership with Goodbye Malaria in Mozambique.
  • Mashozi’s Rite to Sight: provision of eye-tests and reading glasses to poor-sighted, mostly elderly people.
  • Youth conservation education: vibrant Wildlife Art events with school children to instil a passion for protecting Africa’s iconic wildlife in the hearts and minds of future leaders.
  • Additional support to augment African Parks’ existing community development efforts, particularly their ‘Umuganda’ outreach work with local schools, clinics and community projects.

In partnership with African Parks and Africa Geographic, we’ll also collect authentic and powerful stories of hope from each park, as told by rangers, community beneficiaries and others. These will become an enduring archive of positive, grassroots narratives in support of conservation across Africa.

The main goal of the Afrika Odyssey expedition is to highlight the outstanding conservation and community work being achieved on an ongoing basis by African Parks and their country partners, and the incredible commitment that this takes towards reaching the achievable goal of 30 protected areas under African Parks management by 2030. Ultimately, this expedition will showcase the inspirational potential of Africa’s wild places and people.

Our well-travelled Zulu Calabash will once again collect symbolic water from iconic rivers and lakes in each Park on this Afrika Odyssey journey, and will be emptied at the end over a symbolic ‘Isivivane’ (stone cairn) at African Parks’ head office – a fitting finale to this legacy expedition to unite people and parks across the continent.

And, as with all our expeditions, we will be carrying a new, handcrafted Scroll of Peace and Goodwill, created once again by our great friends at Melvill and Moon. The Afrika Odyssey Scroll is dedicated to conservation in Africa and will be carried like an Olympic flame to all 22 parks, collecting messages of support from traditional leaders, community beneficiaries, park rangers, conservation partners, government envoys, VIPs and other supporters met all along the way. This unique journal of an exceptional journey will be presented to African Parks at the conclusion of the expedition, as a historic artefact that celebrates the ‘Gold standard of conservation at scale’.

Please join us on this epic new journey by following our photo-blogs via the Kingsley Holgate Foundation Facebook page, as well as updates and stories published by Africa Geographic and African Parks. 

A NOTE ABOUT THE EXPEDITION NAME AND LOGO

The name ‘Afrika Odyssey’ and logo has special significance. They are a revival of the name and logo of the very first big expedition undertaken by the Kingsley Holgate family in 1993, when they became the first South African expedition team to travel from Cape Agulhas to Alexandria in Egypt along the wild waterways of Africa. 30 years later, they’ve been revived to celebrate this 41st geographic and humanitarian journey for Kingsley Holgate, Africa’s renowned and much-loved modern-day explorer.

Our thanks to the following key expedition supporters:

African Parks
Defender
4×4 Megaworld
FrontRunner
Cooper Tires
Melvill and Moon
Nando’s
Goodbye Malaria
Vestergaard
Africa Geographic
Versfeld & Associates
Market IQ
AHA/Lesedi Cultural Village
Brad Hansen Safaris
Patron: Ken D Wilcox
Ian Gourley/P21
Ian Signs
New Property Ventures and the Jerry Can Club