Kings­ley’s quest for rhi­nos and Africa

Kings­ley uses the 2013 Landy Fes­ti­val as a launch pad for his African ex­pe­di­tion.

Land Rover AFRICA Magazine - - CONTENTS - An­ton Pre­to­rius

Africa’s favourite trav­eller Kings­ley Hol­gate talks to us about his lat­est ex­pe­di­tion trip, Pro­ject Rhino, Land Rovers and his role at this year’s Landy Fes­ti­val.

Ex­plorer, hu­man­i­tar­ian and author Kings­ley Hol­gate, de­scribed by many as the most trav­elled man in Africa is no stranger to the Land Rover fra­ter­nity. Kings­ley will be mak­ing an ap­pear­ance at the 2013 Landy Fes­ti­val where he’ll be ac­tively cam­paign­ing Pro­ject Rhino be­fore em­bark­ing on his next African ex­pe­di­tion. We get Kings­ley’s thoughts on Iz­intaba Zobombo, sav­ing the rhi­nos and why Land Rovers are the pre­ferred ve­hi­cle for the African ex­plorer.

Tell us about your lat­est planned ex­pe­di­tion.

For years it has been a dream of mine to tell the full story of the fas­ci­nat­ing Lubombo range of moun­tains – an area rich in wildlife, ar­chae­ol­ogy and folk­lore. The Iz­intaba Zobombo Ex­pe­di­tion will al­low just that. De­part­ing shortly af­ter the 2013 Landy Fes­ti­val, this is a 90-day hu­man­i­tar­ian, ge­o­graphic and con­ser­va­tion ex­pe­di­tion that will take us through three African coun­tries, from its his­toric start­ing point in the north of the Kruger National Park to Zu­l­u­land’s Ghost Moun­tain in the south. But we have some more au­then­tic Land Rover jour­neys up our sleeve in the near fu­ture, so you’ll need to watch this space.

Why use the Landy Fes­ti­val 2013 as a launch pad for your ex­pe­di­tion?

The Iz­intaba Zobombo Ex­pe­di­tion will be a Land Rover-based jour­ney in a fleet of Dis­cov­ery 4s and a Defender, which will be the hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­ply moth­er­ship. It is only ap­pro­pri­ate that we use the 2013 Landy Fes­ti­val as our launch pad for the ex­pe­di­tion, as 5 000 Land Rover en­thu­si­asts will be there to send us off. We have al­ways had great sup­port and good­will from our Land Rover friends in ad­ven­ture.

What’s the sig­nif­i­cance of the Pro­ject Rhino fundraiser at the Landy Fes­ti­val?

Rhino poach­ing statis­tics in Africa have be­com­ing fright­en­ing. This is also why we are do­ing an ex­pe­di­tion closer to home, link­ing the Iz­intaba Zobombo Ex­pe­di­tion to the con­ser­va­tion of the rhino. South­ern Africa is home to the last re­main­ing pop­u­la­tions of white and black rhino, the only two rhino species out of the five re­main­ing in the world that have a fight­ing chance of sur­vival. We need to work to­gether to en­sure they do. The ex­pe­di­tion will sup­port Pro­ject Rhino through an anti-rhino poach­ing aware­ness cam­paign; the han­dover of a fully equipped anti-poach­ing Land Rover Defender; the re­fur­bish­ment of an anti-rhino poach­ing camp at Hlatikulu in the Lubom­bos; as well as the han­dover of equip­ment and kit to an anti-poach­ing unit. To raise funds, we in­vite fes­ti­val-go­ers to make a dif­fer­ence in the fight against rhino poach­ing by vis­it­ing us at the Landy Fes­ti­val, and pledg­ing R300 to­wards the pur­chase of the much-needed, fully kit­ted anti-rhino poach­ing Land Rover Defender. In turn, you add your sig­na­ture to the Landy on dis­play at the fes­ti­val. This will al­low an au­to­graphed pho­to­graph with my­self and the first name out of the Pro­ject Rhino box gets the op­por­tu­nity to join me and my team on the next ex­pe­di­tion. Oth­ers will stand the chance of win­ning a set of Cooper tyres, Melvill and Moon seat cov­ers, 20 run­ner-up prizes of Melvill and Moon/Pro­ject Rhino spare wheel cov­ers and prizes from Nikon, 4x4 Me­ga­world and Cape Union Mart.

Are you sur­prised at how Africa smashed the World Record for the big­gest con­voy of Land Rovers last year?

The Landy Fes­ti­val is a great way to cel­e­brate Land Rovers and the ca­ma­raderie among their own­ers. It’s not sur­pris­ing that Africa smashed the world record again. In 2007, we ex­pe­ri­enced first-hand the pas­sion Landy own­ers’ have for their ve­hi­cles when we launched the 448-day Africa Out­side Edge ex­pe­di­tion de­part­ing from the Cape of Good Hope. We man­aged to smash the world record for the big­gest con­voy of Land Rovers back then. This team­work by Landy own­ers just goes from strength to strength – con­grat­u­la­tions to all in­volved.

What makes Land Rover such an ap­pro­pri­ate ve­hi­cle for African ad­ven­tures?

Land Rover has al­ways been my ve­hi­cle of choice, and has never missed a beat, even in the tough­est con­di­tions. Land Rover ve­hi­cles have taken me and my team along the en­tire out­line of Africa through 33 coun­tries and com­pleted a south to north jour­ney from the Cape of Good Hope to Alexan­dria and the mouth of the Nile. This was fol­lowed by an east to west cross­ing along the Zambezi and Congo Rivers in the foot­steps of early ex­plor­ers Liv­ing­stone and Stan­ley, and then a se­ries of jour­neys round the world fol­low­ing the Tropic of Capri­corn. Th­ese ve­hi­cles have sur­vived the mud slogs of Cameroon and war-torn Liberia in the rainy sea­son, the great Sa­hara Desert, the Danakil de­pres­sion in north-eastern Ethiopia and As­sal, the low­est point on the African con­ti­nent. Wher­ever our ge­o­graphic and hu­man­i­tar­ian ad­ven­ture takes us, Land Rover has never let us down, al­low­ing us to go above and be­yond.

What do you think of a ded­i­cated Land Rover AFRICA mag­a­zine to be launched in South Africa?

We all know that the heart­beat of Land Rover is in Mama Africa – the Kings­ley Hol­gate ex­pe­di­tion team wishes Land Rover AFRICA ev­ery suc­cess.

It’s only ap­pro­pri­ate that we use the Landy Fes­ti­val as our launch pad for the ex­pe­di­tion, as 5 000 Land Rover en­thu­si­asts will be there to send us off.

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