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Holgate's African epic tribute trek

2013-10-08 18:58

TRIBUTE TO A LEGEND: SA adventurer Kingsley Holgate will attempt to follow the same route through Africa previously travelled by 18th century explorer Joseph Thomson (inset). Image: QUICKPIC

Bearded adventurer Kingsley Holgate is at it again, his sights set on East Africa with an epic tribute adventure that will follow in the footsteps of 18th century explorer Joseph Thomson.

Intrepid explorer Kingsley Holgate is to set out on yet another journey through Africa, this time an attempt to follow the footsteps of geologist and explorer Joseph Thomson.

In 1882 Thompson became the first European to enter several regions of eastern Africa and greatly contributed to the geographical knowledge of the area through his records and surveys. The Thomson’s gazelle, the most common gazelle in east Africa, was named after this intrepid explorer.


Holgate and his team will not only attempt to follow the route of one of the most daring Royal Geographical Society expeditions but will provide humanitarian aid along the way by distributing mosquito nets to pregnant women.

Holgate said: "What a privilege to be able to tell this story. There is no doubt that Joseph Thomson was one of the greatest explorers to follow Livingstone’s call to Africa.  Using original journals, maps, sketches and photographs, we will follow in his footsteps. The Royal Geographical Society expedition was the first to cross Maasailand in the area that is now Kenya.”

The journey will also be emotional experience as the explorer will spread the ashes of his deceased wife Gill from her favourite place "on top of the Ololoolo escarpment overlooking the vast wildlife plains of the Maasai Mara".

The team will travel through Mombasa and Tsavo, past Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, to Amboseli, Naivasha, Bogoria, Baringo, Nakuru and Elmentaita.


In 1882 the Royal Geographical Society launched an expedition to try to find the shortest route from Zanzibar to Uganda. Traveling unarmed from Mombasa, Kenya, Thomson survived encounters with the Maasai people who had previously barred passage across Kilimanjaro.

His life was often threatened by the Maasai but by posing as a European Ole Liabon (witch doctor), using Eno’s Fruit Salts (antacid) to spit foamy blessings, parading his false teeth and performing a Scottish jig he was able to survive.

He was the first European to note the existence of Lake Baringo and reached Lake Victoria on December 10 1882.
Read more on:    kenya  |  adventure  |  4x4  |  good news  |  off-road

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