The South African-based Kingsley Holgate team has officially completed their 35 000km ‘Hot Cape to Cold Cape’ transcontinental expedition, travelling from Cape Agulhas on the southern tip of the African continent and arriving in Nordkapp in Norway’s Arctic Circle.
Cape Agulhas to Arctic Circle: Not for the faint-hearted
Legendary explorer, Kingsley Holgate, has led a South African-based team on epic nine-month, 35 000km journey from Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of Africa, to the Nordkapp in Norway’s Arctic Circle.
The Defender Transcontinental Expedition saw the team travelling in three customised Land Rover Defenders, while conducting humanitarian work that assisted some 300 000 people along the route through Africa.
According to Tourism Update, this was the first ‘Hot Cape to Cold Cape’ transcontinental expedition to travel the entire length of Africa and Europe in recent years, and the 40th geographic and humanitarian odyssey for the renowned Holgate and his experienced team.
Holgate said that they had arrived in the midst of an unseasonal Arctic storm with howling winds, thick mist, freezing rain and near-zero temperatures. But despite the severe conditions and over 270 days of hard travel since leaving Cape Agulhas, it was a momentous moment for the entire team as they proudly flew the South African flag at Nordkapp’s famous Globe monument, which marks the ‘top’ of the world.
“At the latitude of 71 degrees north, this is the most northern extremity of Europe you can drive to. Here, 300-metre-high sheer cliffs plunge down into the Arctic Ocean, which stretches to the North Pole.” Holgate said.
The South African team brought a little bit of South African flair to the arrival, by building an isivivane (stone cairn) on the Nordkapp cliffs, topped with pebbles from Cape Agulhas, and symbolically emptied seawater collected from Africa’s southern tip where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, which had been carried in a well-travelled Zulu calabash.