Kingsley Holgate in Bloemfontein


Lerato Lelia

Renowned South African explorer, humanitarian and author, Kingsley Holgate, visited Bloemfontein last week. Known as ‘the most travelled man in Africa’, Holgate came in from Northern Kenya to give a talk at Mimosa Mall on his African adventures and how he and his team use these adventures as part of saving lives in Africa.
"We have just come back from an area called Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake. With a convoy of Land Rovers we have done
17 000kms, that’s all the way up to Mozambique, through Tanzania and through Kenya, all the way up to Ethiopia, on the way back via Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, doing malaria work with the provision of life-saving mosquito nets to pregnant moms and moms with children under the age of five," said Holgate.
Their year long "African Rainbow" expedition to the Somali border and back in an Arab sailing dhow allowed them to distribute tens of thousands of mosquito nets to pregnant mothers and to children under the age of five in a campaign called "One Net, One Life".
Holgate has done tremendous work combatting the malaria scourge in Africa. He has welcomed the news of a possible malaria vaccine being recently developed by GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals.
"It is really exciting news. Over the last fifteen years one has heard about a number of vaccines being developed. This time we are really holding thumbs that the tests will prove positive, because Africa desperately needs a solution to malaria," added Holgate.
In one of his latest projects he is involved in so-called "Rite to Sight", which is the distribution of spectacles to improve people’s sight and ensuring the provision of clean drinking water throughout Africa using straws the size of a small bicycle pump.
Holgate’s humanitarian adventures, many of which are world firsts, have included a Cape-to-Cairo crossing of Africa in open boats and a circumnavigation of Lake Turkana.