Aspiring videographer, cyclist and member of LT&C, George Podaras takes on an exciting journey across Africa to document how tourism benefits nature conservation in National Parks within the continent. On his way, he will pass several members and LT&C-Examples, which he will make part of a mini-series, shared on LT&C’s social media and his website.
In this small interview, we asked him about his goals and ambitions and what his project is all about:
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am originally from Greece but born in London . Because of my mother’s job in government I grew up between the UK. Cyprus and the UAE. I eventually moved back to the UK for university and ended up working as a videographer in Oxford. This is where I really got into cycling. On a dare I cycled on an old single gear Raleigh bicycle from Southampton to Oxford and realised how much I loved the experience, so eventually decided to cycle the entire country. I ended up doing a lot of these challenges, including North Greece to South Greece, circulating Iceland, across the Persian Gulf and back, London to Paris, around Lake Ontario on a fold up bike and so on. After completing all these challenges the idea of Africa grew and grew to the point I couldn’t ignore it anymore and committed myself to prepare for cycling it.
What is your project Africa: Cape to Cape all about?
I want to cycle from the most southern part of Africa, Cape Agulhus in South Africa to the most northern, Cape Bon in Tunisia, covering the two ends of Africa and passing through Namibia, Botsawana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Libya in between.
What is the goal of this trip?
I want to experience the continent of Africa for the first time at my own pace and my own navigation. Using a 360 camera I will develop digital maps of undocumented routes. As a videographer I want to develop my own footage of wildlife and landscapes and use it to promote LT&C.
I aim to document as many national parks as possible in order to highlight conservation efforts sustained with tourism by spreading their story and help raise donations for these projects. LT&C is committed to support the creation of a network of protected areas in order to support this goal. Its a wonderful project and an important organisation in regards of promoting sustainable tourism.
What is your connection with LT&C?
I was introduced to LT&C through a friend of mine. They were very interested in my bike ride and thought it to be a great opportunity to partner up. I am passing through many LT&C examples and as a proud member, otherwise known as a penguin, I hope to recruit more along my way.
What are your personal ambitions regarding this trip?
I love cycling with my own itinerary and want to experience the ultimate freedom of exploration before it becomes more and more limited. This is why I am invested in collaborating with LT&C who see the vitality of preserving national parks as the human population is only growing and space for wildlife is becoming threatened.
Is there a message you would like to get across with this project?
To be perfectly honest I was never one to dictate messages to anyone. I am not doing this for any specific statement, but if there is something to take from this is to appreciate the wonderful playground our planet has given us and to nurture it.