It is nearly 8 months since the end of my 2016 walk across southern Africa and I am itching to get back out there and take on my next challenge. In June I will be heading to Namibia to walk its length from the southern border with South Africa, up through the infamous Namib Desert, along the skeleton coast and up to the northern border with Angola.
The walk is about 1,850km long and will take me through some amazing yet very isolated terrain including the towering red sand dunes of the Namib Desert and the remarkable depths of the Sesriem Canyon. I will also visit the town of Luderitz, on one of the best harbours on the least hospitable coast in Africa, and the Kolmanskop Ghost Town, a now deserted diamond town slowly being reclaimed by the sands of the Namib.
After restocking in Walvis Bay I will head up the coast through Swakopmund to the spectacular Skeleton Coast where the winds blow from land to sea, rainfall rarely exceeds 10 mm annually and the climate is highly inhospitable. The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region “The Land God Made in Anger”, while Portuguese sailors once referred to it as “The Gates of Hell”.
My journey will finish about 7 weeks later at the Epupa Falls on the mighty Kunene River. The river is half a kilometer wide and drops in a series of spectacular waterfalls spread over a total of 1.5km, with the greatest single drop being 37 m.
I will again be kicking or carrying a soccer ball for the entire walk and will give out soccer balls to children along the way as a way of connecting with them through sport. The amazing 12 year old Mac Miller from Football Play it Forward has once again donated money to buy 120 soccerballs so I am really looking forward to seeing the smiles on kids faces when they get to play with a brand new ball.
Most importantly we will continue to raise funds for our Charity Partners so they can continue the great work of empowering communities to break the cycle of poverty. My walk last year improved the lives of many people in southern Africa through the projects we funded and I expect this year to do the same. I’ll provide more detail soon on the exact projects and hope you will support us through a donation.
This journey will test my mind and body in ways it has never been tested before. Although I will not be living under the poverty line on this journey (once is enough!) I will be taking on 250m high sand dunes and coping with the isolation and threats of wildlife along the Skeleton Coast. But I am really looking forward to the challenge, and changing the lives of some of the worlds poor for the better.