Conservation walker completes first lap, heads towards Zambia

Source: Conservation walker completes first lap, heads towards Zambia – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean conservationist Nick Holmes.

BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
UNITED Kingdom based conservationist Nick Holmes will be going into the last lap of his 800+km Walk4life journey next week on September 4 as he approaches the Zambian side of the border.

 

The journey which started, on World Ranger Day, at the Kariba dam wall on July 31 last month is aimed at giving support towards mental health and  conservation issues in the country.

Holmes is expected to finish his journey at the Kariba Dam wall at the end of September, and just in time for the World Tourism Day.

Speaking to NewsDay in Victoria Falls on Monday, Holmes said the journey has been good, although hard.

“Predominantly it has been good, some days hot and long. We have been covering between 10km to 30km per day. We have even encountered a lot of wildlife in the national parks, and some of the walk has included going through communal areas.  We have experienced a lot of kindness from the communities we met,” Holmes said.

“At the very beginning, I was not as fit as I thought I would be.  I have been training in the UK but I wasn’t prepared for the difference in terrain and weather conditions that we have here in Zimbabwe.

”My feet took quite a long time to become accustomed to walking; so  they were sore in the beginning and for the first couple of weeks, but I kept going,” he said.

Holmes continued:  “Something that I have not experienced for a long time is sleeping on the rough ground at night.  We also have to ensure that we keep our food locked away at night because it attracts wild animals.”

Walk4Life operations and logistics representative Ed Holmes said the team has really been strong, and flexible to the evolving pace of the walkers who have come up with alternative plans and are adapting to changes in access routes.

“They have been maintaining a degree of professionalism you would associate with a group of people who have been doing this for some time, but who in reality have only come together to help make this happen,” he said.

“Quite extraordinary, this is about ordinary people doing the extraordinary.  This shows that working together behind a common purpose binds us or unites us in the delivery of such demanding tasks to achieve our goals.  Working in the bush has no difference in backgrounds or social standing, faiths or preferences – the reduction to the common unifying purpose has meant that we have all pulled together to deliver the walker and his amazing ZimParks Rangers safely through some of the most dangerous bushes in the region.”

Holmes and his team will go into the Zambian side of the Lake and continue to re-connect with communities and nature.

This would be the world’s first on-foot navigation of Lake Kariba.

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