Supported by the governments of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, we reached tens of thousands of rural community residents and:
· Distributed 100 mobile educational libraries and handed out thousands of lap-top desks to remote rural schools along with World Health Organisation-approved LifeStraw® water purifiers, which have been developed as a practical way of preventing disease and saving lives.
· Initiated the Boundless Art competition that that introduced children to the important links between nature, culture and community
· Distributed more than 10,000 ‘One Net One Life’ mosquito nets and gave malaria prevention education to pregnant mothers and children under the age of 5 years in high risk malaria area
· Distributed thousands of reading glasses to poor-sighted community members as part of the ‘Rite to Sight’ campaign
· Upgraded seven Transfrontier Conservation Area community soccer fields and erected two permanent 40ft container libraries/environmental centres at Tembe Elephant Park and Ncemaneni in Zululand.
The journey ended after a blessing of rain at the southern extreme of the great sand ocean of the ancient Namib, at a gathering of four Presidents representing Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia, the South African High Commissioner to Namibia, and other SADC conservation leaders. As part of the ‘end of expedition’ ceremony, seven Ministers of Environmental Affairs and Tourism from across Southern Africa walked in their finery down the beach to the mouth of the Orange River where it runs into the cold South Atlantic at Oranjemund, to empty the symbolic calabash filled with water collected from iconic wild places during the Boundless expedition. In typical Holgate Foundation fashion, the tide came in and we all got wet.
At a later function at the Oranjemund Cricket Club, Botswana’s conservation-minded President Ian Khama jokingly commented that Kingsley’s out-of-control beard needed trimming with an industrial lawnmower. Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe responded by saying he would be happy to protect the ‘Grey Beard’ and even offered it Zimbabwean citizenship!
We are proud to have played a role in extending the Peace Parks Foundation vision of transfrontier conservation – one that was shared by Nelson Mandela and other African leaders.