Kingsley Holgate, A Modern Day Livingstone

I am prepared to go anywhere, as long as it is forward. – David Livingstone

Those words, easily authored but hard lived, epitomize the storied life of David Livingstone. The most renowned African explorer of this, or any other generation, Livingstone’s exploits in Africa are the stuff of legend and 140 years after his death, few have filled his traveled shoes. Few, save for Kingsley Holgate. If there is a contemporary Livingstone, Holgate is that man having dedicated his entire life to not just exploring, but serving his native African continent.

Known as the Grey Beard of Africa, Kingsley Holgate was born in 1946 in Natal, South Africa. A fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, an ardent philanthropist, and a restless wanderer, Holgate is said to be the most traveled man in Africa. His expeditions, many of which retraced the footsteps of Livingstone, Stanley, and other explorers are travels with immense scale an unabashed ambition. His Outside Edge Expedition traveled the entire perimeter of Africa spanning 448 days, traversing 33 countries. That journey, dedicated to malaria prevention, has been chronicled in one of his three books. He traveled from Cape Town to Cairo in open boats and his All Afrika Expedition set out to visit all 47 African countries to promote humanitarian aid. His foundation has done immeasurable good throughout Africa having distributed thousands of nets in the prevention of malaria. A talented writer, gifted with a gregarious demeanor, Holgate’s ability to share in his adventures has made him a larger than life figure. He set out to explore his homeland, retrace the routes of Livingstone, and in the process has become a legend of equal, if not greater significance.


To learn more about the adventures and humanitarian works of Kingsley Holgate, visit his impressive website:

Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.