We say goodbye to our Samburu team members near the Kenya border with Ethiopia, badlands of Ethiopia here we come

Legendary modern-day African explorer, Kingsley Holgate, and his team are currently on a 7 000km adventure trip through central and west Africa, along the shores of Lake Turkana in the Kenyan Rift Valley – the world’s largest desert lake – and Lake Chew Bahir in South-Western Ethiopia.

IMG_5374As part of Land Rover’s Hope Crosses Any Terrain (#HCAT) corporate social responsibility initiative, Kingsley and his crew are tasked with investigating and documenting the vanishing tribes (the ancient people of the Hamar Mountains) of Africa.

Along the way the convoy is spreading the message of goodwill, delivering humanitarian aid in the form of reading glasses (Mashozi’s Rite to Sight) while encouraging awareness and interaction around the Rhino and Elephant poaching crisis on the continent (Project Rhino and Elephant Art).

Mashozi’s Rite to Sight has, to date, distributed more than 126 000 spectacles, mostly to elderly poor-sighted people. In addtion, after a Land Rover-supported malaria prevention education session, every pregnant mother and mother with children under five years old received their long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets. The area is notorious for malaria deaths during the rainy season. IMG_5624

The geographic challenge of the expedition is to cross Ethiopia’s great salt ocean, Chew Bahir, in land yachts – wind-powered wheeled vehicles with sails. The crew managed to squeeze in a practice sail across the Chalbi Desert in Northern Kenya before reaching the famed Chew Bahir (formerly Lake Stephanie).

Kingsley and his crew’s expedition wheels, two Land Rover Discovery 4’s (nicknamed Phokot and Turkana after two warlike tribes) led the ‘Big Heart of Africa’ Defender 130 named Ndhlovukazi (She-Elephant) without so much as a hitch.

One of the tribes under the spotlight was the Samburu, a Nilotic people of north-central Kenya, who are related to (but distinct from) the Maasai. They speak Samburu, which is a Nilo-Saharan language. The leaping in the air by the Morane (age-old warriors) is part of a traditional dance to attract females.

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Kingsley Holgate sent us scribbles and bush notes, taken from his Living Traditions Expedition journal.

Catch Issue#22 to read them all.