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SA adventurer two weeks into latest African journey

Kingsley Holgate stands with his traditional Zulu gourd which carries the water from the Cradle of Human Kind that will be poured on the Heart of Africa once he arrives. Pic: Supplied

Kingsley Holgate stands with his traditional Zulu gourd which carries the water from the Cradle of Human Kind that will be poured on the Heart of Africa once he arrives. Pic: Supplied

Published Sep 7, 2015

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Ilanit Chernick

Explorer and adventurer Kingsley Holgate and his team are two weeks into their epic adventure to the Republic of Congo in a bid to make it to the “heart of Africa”.

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Holgate’s journey began on August 23 from the Landy Festival, the largest Land Rover event in the southern hemisphere.

From there, Holgate travelled to the Lesedi Cultural Village in Gauteng, which was punctuated with a Holgate tradition – he plans to carry a symbolic Zulu calabash from the village, filled with water from the Cradle of Humankind, to his journey’s end.

When he arrives, he will empty its contents on the spot that marks the beating heart of the continent, the place where humanity is alleged to have taken its first steps.

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The group were recently in the vast Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans of Botswana.

“They are behind us now, but aren’t border crossings sometimes a bloody pain in the a**e?

“Trucks have been backed up for days and one of the ferries is b******d, which is polite Zambian for not operational,” Holgate told the Cape Times’ sister paper The Star.

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“The prickly heat burns down, but then I remind myself that while the Swiss might have developed the clock, it is good old Mama Afrika that owns the time,” he added.

In his second update, Holgate said he was concerned about the number of people affected by malaria.

“All hands go up when I ask who has had malaria.

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“The numbers are frightening – every mum in the village has had malaria several times and each family has lost a child. Out here in the middle of nowhere, it remains the number one silent killer,” he said.

“It just seems so damn unnecessary… imagine if it were your child?

“The headman told us that the health ministry has not delivered nets to the area in years, so we move in to help… this is an integral part of our Heart of Africa expedition,” Holgate said.

The team camped for the night near an old mealie field to the right of the sand track that took them north.

Their trip includes visits to villages in Botswana, Zambia, crossing the Zambezi River into Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and will end in the Republic of Congo.

When The Star last spoke to him, Holgate was under a tree near the Angolan border.

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