Father Africa: Celebrating Kingsley Holgate

discoverafrica 08 January 2018
Part of the Tanzania Safari Collection
Back to the Our Blog

When we think about explorers and big Travel Channel stars, names like Bear Grylls, David Attenborough and Dominic Monaghan come to mind. With years of experience traveling the globe and coming face-to-face with some of nature’s most wondrous sights, these modern-day globetrotters inspire awe and a certain amount of envy when we look back at their lifetime of experience and adventure.

And then you hear about Kingsley Holgate, a South African-born adventurer with a passion for Africa; its beauty and it's people. It’s doubtful that anyone has explored Africa the way Holgate has. From intrepid expeditions to reaching out with his humanitarian efforts, Kingsley Holgate is Africa’s very own Indiana Jones.

Adventure Africa

Known as the bearded explorer, Holgate has been described by international magazines as the most traveled man in Africa. Born in 1946 in Natal, South Africa, Holgate explains that as a young boy, he would sit on his father’s knee, listening to stories about explorers such as David Livingstone and Sir Henry Morton Stanley. Inspired and intrigued by their fulfilling journeys, Holgate followed suit and has dedicated his life to tripping around this beautiful continent, extending a helping hand towards those who need it most.

Memories to last a lifetime

Whether it’s boating from Cape Town to Cairo, using only Africa’s rivers and bodies of water to transverse the continent, or circumnavigating the world following the Tropic of Capricorn, Holgate definitely knows how to keep people on their toes. He has followed original routes explored by H.M. Stanley, Livingstone himself and Frederick Courtenay Selous, touching the lives of locals along the way.

Holgate has led several National Geographic expeditions and written countless books about his experiences. Holgate explains that a constant thirst for adventure and the people he meets along the way has inspired him to continue his work.

A big heart

His foundation, Kingsley Holgate Foundation, is strongly linked to wildlife, nature and community conservation across Africa. He has dedicated his time campaigning against the poaching of Africa’s endangered rhinos as well as elephants. For instance, one of his campaigns known as “Rhino Art - Let our Children's Voices be Heard,” is undoubtedly Africa's most comprehensive children's conservation project ever. This campaign has also become one of the most successful projects, extending to other African countries affected by rhino poaching and drawing global attention to this ongoing problem.

A passion for people

During his lifetime, Holgate established his foundation to save and improve lives through adventure. He has been involved in a number of humanitarian expeditions throughout the African continent traveling by dhow, inflatable raft, canoe, foot, bicycle, and Land Rover. Some of his most recent expeditions include 'The Outside Edge Expedition' and the 'Africa Rainbow Expedition.' All these are aimed at giving out mosquito nets to help prevent malaria among some of the worst affected areas in Africa. He also runs another campaign known as the 'Right to Sight' whose main aim is to provide glasses to those with eye problems.

Other notable achievements

As one can imagine, such a life comes with plenty of its own challenges. Holgate’s journeys have seen him up against dangerous wildlife, bandits, pirates, malaria and epidemic cases of poaching. Having overcome these obstacles has made Kingsley Holgate an inspiration to so many people, while still remaining a deeply humble man.

Holgate was inducted into the Royal Geographical Society for his extensive knowledge and pushing the boundaries of expedition travel.

Image Credit: Land Rover Magazine UK

Kingsley Holgate is a legend in his own right and has certainly increased our thirst for traveling to Africa. His knowledge and never-give-up attitude puts him on our list as one of the most influential travelers of all time.

Follow in Kingsley Holgate’s footsteps and discover the costs of an African safari with us. The nifty Safari Cost Estimator helps you create your bespoke itinerary.

Some related info

Explore Elewana Collection’s Tarangire Treetops

If you’re looking for safari accommodation that blends serenity with service, luxury with laid-back flair, then a visit to Tarangire Treetops in Tanzania is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Located within the prestigious Tarangire National Park, Elewana Collection’s Tarangire Treetops lodge is a short drive from Arusha’s main airport. This is ‘glamping’ at it’s finest; with stilted rooms…

Five things to do in Rubondo Island National Park

Rubondo Island National Park is one of the largest of two Islands National Park in Tanzania - located on the South-west corner of Lake Victoria. However, the second largest Island Park is Saanane Island National Park. Rubondo Island National Park is 456,8 kilometers square - which is dry land and 220 kilometres square is water comprising of 11 small islets. The park offers a vast variety…

2014 Migration prediction: updated 08 April 2014

“There is no point in visiting just the Serengeti or just the Masai Mara; you have to do both (June to October).  With an easy flight, you can combine these two areas easily these days. The rest of the year you also have to ensure that you combine different areas to minimize risk. Spread the risk and make sure your park fees are paid so you have access to areas outside of the ordinary. …

February Latest Live Migration Updates

HerdTracker, a web application developed by Discover Africa in 2014, was launched to track the movement of the wildebeest migration in real-time. The web application has afforded wildlife enthusiasts and travellers the unique opportunity to explore the migration with accurate information based on the location of the migratory herds. The success of HerdTracker is not possible without the…

Escape winter with an island holiday in the Indian Ocean

As the winter season approaches in the Northern hemisphere, most people long to escape the cold and enjoy a warm and sunny end-of-year island safari. Africa enjoys warm tropical climates in most islands off the East coast which are characterized by hot sunny days and cool nights. African island safaris offer you the chance to escape from the cold and experience a seemingly endless…

Safari guide of the month [August] | Elia Edward

Elia Edward is a safari guide in the Northern Serengeti, working for the Sayari Camp. He's also a contributor to HerdTracker's migration updates.  ...