As we reported in summer last year, in September 2019, aspiring videographer, cyclist and member of LT&C, George Podaras took on an exciting journey across Africa’s most southern point to the most northern. His mission: to document the continent’s abundant wildlife and how tourism benefits nature conservation in its National Parks. On his way he has passed several members and LT&C-Examples including the Cape Whale Coast, South Africa, Friends of Karura Community Forest Association, Colors of Zanzibar and the Borana Conservancy and Lodge in Kenya.
After some ups and downs, setbacks and victories, George has made it to Sudan marking the challenging last thirds of his journey through Africa:
After cycling approximately 8000 KM, I had made it to Khartoum, Sudan all the way from the most southern point of Africa. It has been a journey of highs and lows but i have managed to keep pushing on, witnessing incredible landscapes and fascinsting cultures.
Kenya allowed me to dive deep into a few national parks including Borana park, which have done a magnificent job of maintaining the precious wildlife there, including both the white and black rhino. Thanks to Borana Lodge, they were kind enough to give me a roof over my head and take me to the vast protected lands which fun fact; lot of was what the Lion King was based on.
Entering Ethiopia seemed daunting due to the high altitudes i had to climb and reputation of people throwing stones but i was so pleasantly suprised by the frriendly people and though some of the mountains were certainly hard to climb; the view was worth every sweating moment. The amazing 5p coffee was a great source of energy. Another good motivation is that there are no mosquitos after 2000 feet!
Now in the realm of the Sahara, I am officialy in North Africa. The changing environment is refreshing but challenging due to the opposing winds. I try to look at it as Gods air condition for me! Sudan is huge with a low population which makes it easier to camp, and anyone I do come across always welcomes me in for a coffee and a warm bed. I feel I am now at the beginning of the end of my journey. Hard to beleive that I made it all the way up here and have 30 days left of cycling.
I have witnessed issues due to climate change, mainly drought, which explained the unprecedented amount of elephants in Botswana and Zambia looking for water holes, causing friction between humans. Locals had told me they had never seen Victoria Falls this dry for this long. People in Malwai were also concerned with the low water. Finally the locals of Kenya and Tanazania expected some rain in November; they assured me it had never been this intense with flooding – ever in their lifetime. As I am raising money for ocean life I thought it was relevant to include some of the issues I witnessed towards the environment, among the beautiful fragility of it.
Thank you for anyone who had sponsored and supported me this far. Remember its all for a good cause and from what I have seen I can assure you this planet is absolutely worth fighting for.
To support George on his mission, you are welcome to make a donation to LT&C’s Member, the Dyer Conservation Trust – a dedicated charity with the mission to protect marine life and tackle the fight against plastic and the decline of wildlife – on his GoFundMe page, or follow him on Strava.