African adventurer Kingsley Holgate is about to launch a new expedition to find ‘the beating heart of Africa.’ Kingsley will drive one of the latest Land Rover Defenders into the northern Congo where the true centre of the African continent lies in one of the world’s largest impenetrable equatorial rainforests. National Geographic describes it as ‘the last place on earth.’
‘We’ve criss-crossed Mama Afrika from South to North, East to West and then circumnavigated the outline of the continent in a single expedition through 33 countries,” said Kingsley. “It’s only natural that our next Land Rover challenge is to find her heart, Africa’s geographical centre.”
So where is the centre of Africa? (click here to see)
“The International Geographical Union confirms Africa’s centre point is located (coordinates confidential) west of the Unbanji River and southeast of the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in northern Republic of Congo,” said Michael Meadows, secretary of the ICU.
The expedition will depart on 23 August from Landy Festival, the largest Land Rover event in the southern hemisphere. Hundreds of Defender owners will escort Kingsley and his team as they set off on the Heart of Africa Expedition.
The expedition route will take the team from South Africa through seldom-visited areas of Angola, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the heart of Africa in northern Republic of Congo.
“It’s going to be our toughest expedition yet. Satellite images show the spot 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,” says Ross Holgate, the expedition’s operations leader who is also in charge of mapping and navigation.
As per Holgate custom, a traditional Zulu calabash will be filled with symbolic water at the Cradle of Humankind near Lesedi Cultural Village, to be emptied at the Heart of Africa coordinates in the Congo to mark the end of the expedition. The team will also carry a Scroll of Peace and Goodwill to be messaged along the way.
As with all Holgate expeditions the team will carry out humanitarian endeavours, including malaria prevention and distribution of water purification LifeStraws and spectacles for the poor sighted.
“If all goes according to plan,” said Kingsley, “a beacon will for the first time in history be placed at the geographic centre of Mama Afrika. It all promises to be a great adventure!”