In the realm of modern overland exploration, South Africa boasts two notable, gray-bearded figures who have significantly contributed to the field. The first is Kingsley Holgate, a revered English and Zulu-speaking adventurer (soon to be interviewed by our publisher, Scott Brady), known for his extensive travels across Africa with Land Rovers, his dedication to improving the lives of Africans, and his commitment to conservation efforts.
The second is Johan Badenhorst, an affable and charismatic Afrikaner who has made a name for himself as the producer and presenter of the Voetspore television series. Badenhorst, unlike Holgate, prefers Toyota Land Cruisers, as many Afrikaners do, as they are excellent agricultural vehicles and double as equally capable overland vehicles. Afrikaners were historically collectively known as Boers, or farmers. (Full disclosure: I, the author, am an English-speaking South African with 50% Afrikaner blood, and I drive a classic Land Rover Defender).
Since 2000, Johan, a professional television executive and producer, has led 16 remarkable Voetspore adventures, traversing over 250,000 kilometers through 40 African nations and exploring India, Madagascar, and South America. His journeys have been extensive and profoundly influential in South Africa, offering a unique perspective on the varied landscapes and cultures he encounters.
Voetspore is a television production primarily targeting a South African audience, and the name translates to “footprints” in English, which aptly captures the essence of the series. While the team maintains a social media presence and offers promotional content on YouTube, their primary focus remains on the Voetspore TV series. Fans can access their content library through a subscription on the Voetspore website, where they can enjoy professionally filmed and edited episodes, presented and narrated in a deep Afrikaner voice. Although predominantly presented in Afrikaans, the series includes English subtitles, making it accessible to an international audience.
Initially, Voetspore concentrated on Africa’s diverse and remote regions, taking viewers through the continent’s magnificent landscapes and unique cultures. The series has documented a plethora of experiences, from the simple beauty of South African locales to the grandeur of the Zambezi River’s journey from source to sea. Their dedication to showcasing the African experience is consistent throughout their productions.
Voetspore ventured into Madagascar and India, expanding their scope and bringing the same sense of adventure and discovery to these new environments. This broadened the series’ geographical reach and enriched its content with diverse cultural insights and breathtaking scenery. In 2022 and 2023, Voetspore embarked on a journey through South America, continuing its mission to explore and document the world’s captivating and lesser-known regions. Beyond the screen, the Voetspore team extends their expertise to real-life adventures through Voetspore Safaris. This venture offers self-drive guided tours in Southern Africa, catering to novice and experienced overlanders.
The success of Voetspore in South Africa is a direct result of the dedication and talent of its team. Stefan, a key team member since 2005, contributes as an editor, photographer, and videographer. Nina, Johan’s daughter, joined Voetspore Safaris in 2018, infusing her passion for nature and people into the project. Norbert, a field guide from Riemvasmaak, enhances the team with his local knowledge and outdoor expertise. Lastly, Adam, the newest addition to the team, brings a fresh perspective with his background in acting and filmmaking.
As the leader and face of Voetspore, Johan Badenhorst embodies the spirit of adventure and exploration that the series promotes. His leadership and vision have guided the team through numerous expeditions, each marked by unique challenges and rewards. The adventures undertaken by Voetspore are meticulously planned and executed; their approach is not just about traversing landscapes but also about engaging with local communities, understanding their customs, and appreciating their way of life. This respectful and immersive approach has earned Voetspore a loyal following, with viewers drawn to the authenticity and depth of their experiences.
At its core, Voetspore is more than just a travel series. It celebrates the human spirit’s desire to explore, understand, and connect with the world. Each episode is a testament to the team’s passion for adventure and commitment to bringing the stories of distant lands and cultures to viewers’ living rooms. Through their eyes, audiences are transported to remote corners of the world, experiencing the thrill of discovery and the joy of understanding different ways of life. The series has also played a crucial role in promoting awareness about conservation and the need to protect our planet’s natural wonders. Through their travels, the Voetspore team highlights the beauty and fragility of the environments they explore, encouraging viewers to appreciate and preserve these precious ecosystems.
By subscribing for a reasonable $3.30 a month or $36.00 a year, subscribers earn access to the entire library of videos.
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