Kingsley’s quest for rhinos and Africa
Kingsley uses the 2013 Landy Festival as a launch pad for his African expedition.
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.