Iconic African expedition leader Kingsley Holgate is taking his latest trek, tracing the outline of his home nation of South Africa in new Defenders. This expedition, which works with COVID-related border closures by staying within a single nation, will be the first major South African expedition using the new Defender.
Holgate is a long-time lover of Land Rovers of all generations, has explored Africa in a multitude of different ways. He's traced all sorts of historical routes across the continent, tracing its edges and extremes. His Kingsley Holgate Foundation has made immense humanitarian strides in Africa, focusing on major issues such as Malaria, vision, clean water, education, and conservation. In recent years they have used Discovery 5s, proving their worth in Land Rover's traditional use case. Now with new Defenders online, it's time to put them to a proper test again.
Their expedition plans for 2020 were, of course, scuppered with the COVID-19 pandemic. So, with internal restrictions in South Africa starting to relax, the Mzansi Edge Expedition looks to trace the outline of home, following the very edges of South Africa's political borders. This even includes the outer edge of the independent nation of Lesotho, which is fully enclosed within South Africa's borders.
The Mzansi Edge Expedition will also continue the Kingsley Holgate Foundation's humanitarian pursuits, which will focus this time on the particular needs of the South African people in the COVID era. First, they will be acting on the Feeding the Wildlife Community intitative that they focused on during the lockdown period. This means they plan to distribute 250,000 nutritious meals to schools and needy families in the areas near wildlife reserves. They are also distributing face masks and digital thermometers.
The journey began on Friday from Kosi Bay, on the Indian Ocean in the east of South Africa, bordering Mozambique. They're going to then travel for 70 days counter-clockwise around the edge of the country, breaking from a point on the east coast to trace the inner Lesotho border before returning to the same point to finish. The whole trip should be around 10,000 kilometers, or 6200 miles.
The journey will inherently focus heavily on the South African coast, which takes up much of the country's edge. Its seascapes, lighthouses, and of course Cape Town will be focus areas. The northern edge will take them through much of South Africa's wild terrain, while the Lesotho element will bring them into the interior.
All in all, it's an exciting test of the new Defender in its natural habitat, and certainly, a creative way for the Holgate Foundation to continue their work and expeditions in the current moment. They will be keeping their social media channels up to date, so make sure to follow them on Facebook to keep up on the expedition.
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