Holgate Cape Union Mart team are off on their toughest challenge yet
Kingsley Holgate, Africa’s supreme Cape Union Mart adventurer and philanthropist is on his next world-first geographic and humanitarian expedition into some of the most dangerous and unexplored regions of Africa. Holgate is in search of Africa’s beating heart.
Located in the northern Congo, bordering one of the world’s largest impenetrable equatorial rainforests, lies the true centre of the African continent – an area described by National Geographic as ‘the last place on earth’.
“We’ve criss-crossed Mama Afrika from South to North, East to West and we have circumnavigated the outline of the continent in a single expedition through 33 countries. It’s only natural that our next challenge is to find her heart; Africa’s geographical centre,” says Holgate, Africa’s Greybeard of adventure.
The ‘centre of gravity’ method was used to determine Africa’s centre point; the same method used to determine the geographical centres of Australia and the United States of America. This is the geographical location as distinct from the extreme East, West, North and South points of the continent.
“The International Geographical Union has scrutinised the methodology used to compute the geographical coordinates of the place on the African continent that most closely corresponds to its Geographic Centre Point. They’ve confirms that Africa’s centre is located West of the Unbanji River and south-east of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in northern Republic of Congo,” says Michael Meadows, Secretary and Treasurer of the International Geographical Union.
Holgate is driving one of the last Land Rover Defenders to come off the Land Rover production line at Solihull, England. Through this journey into the geographical heart of Africa, Holgate celebrates the capability and history of this legendary vehicle.
The expedition route will take the team from South Africa through seldom-visited areas of Angola, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to the heart of Africa in the North of the Republic of Congo.
“It’s going to be our toughest expedition yet,” says Ross Holgate, the expedition’s operations leader. He is in charge of mapping and navigation.
“Satellite images show the sport as equatorial rainforest and to reach the geographic centre point of Africa we will use Land Rovers, mountain bikes, river boats, dugout canoe and finally on foot, and probably elbows and knees.”
During the expedition the team will carry out Cape Union Mart-supported humanitarian endeavours by distributing mosquito nets, water-purification ‘LifeStraws’ and spectacles for the poor-sighted through their ‘Rite to Sight’ campaign.
“It all promises to be a great adventure!” says Holgate.
The expedition set off on Sunday, 23 August 2015. They have passed through Botswana and are currently in Zambia, travelling through the Kafue National Park. Follow the team’s adventures through their Facebook page