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Tracks of Giants

1,000 km done, 4,000 to go: First leg of Tracks of Giants expedition successfully completed

23 May 2012

Three weeks into this epic 5-month-long, 5000 km expedition, the conservation results are already beginning to accumulate…and the team is getting accustomed to the physical demands of the course as well as the harsh Namibian environment.

The Tracks of Giants expedition kicked off on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast (Atlantic Ocean) of Southern Africa in Namibia on Tuesday, 1 May 2012. The team will traverse Southern Africa to finish their journey on the Indian Ocean in KwaZulu Natal on 5 September, 2012. Following the ancient migration routes of elephants, they will travel through formal protected areas and ecological corridors–highlighting the importance of “transfrontier conservation” and the need to connect these areas to allow wildlife to roam freely and human communities to prosper.

Expedition leaders  Ian McCallum and Ian Michler lead a small, multi-generational, multi-racial, and gender diverse team, including at times two wilderness rangers from the Wilderness Foundation’s Wilderness Leadership School (South Africa) : Lihle Mbokazi and Mandla Mbekezeli Buthelezi.   They are joined on all sectors by “conservation giants,” people working and succeeding at ground level on local and regional conservation challenges. Another important aspect of the journey is to daily document the challenges and accomplishments of these dedicated “conservation giants” to show that conservation is working in Southern Africa.

First milestone reached!  The team reached the 1,000 km milestone on Saturday, May 19 —  one fifth of the journey!

The toughest part of the journey so far has been dealing with the extremely high daytime temperatures which have forced the team to travel in the early hours of the morning, rest during the heat of the day, and continue their travels in the early evening. The average daytime temperature has ranged between 38 and 42 degrees Celsius.

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