An explorer has completed his journey from coast to coast across Africa.
Julian Monroe Fisher arrived in Angola after travelling across the continent, largely on foot, from Mozambique.
The journey was called Equatoria – a walk across Africa but in the event Fisher was unable to walk the whole way. Earlier in the expedition he was forced to take a motorbike for some sections because of danger from elephants and the last section through the province of Moxico, Angola was deemed too heavily land mined to be safe to walk through.
One of the objectives of this expedition was to raise awareness of landmines.
Fisher said: “I wanted to bring global awareness of MAG International and their work to save lives and build futures. I hope that someone reading this will put pressure on the permanent members of the UN Security Council that have not signed the Ottawa Treaty to ban land mines. If they continue to refuse to sign the treaty, they should at least start designing land mines that have a shelf life, mines that are biodegradable, that disappear in time.”
The remains of conflicts pose a huge threat to people living in the area. In the few days before Fisher arrived the MAG Angola field team had removed eight land mines from the ground.
Fisher describes his trip as one of the great adventures of his life.
He said: “Walking across the South Luangwa National Park with Robin Pope Safaris was something I will never forget. Stalking a herd of buffalo only to realise at the same time we were being stalked by a lion, certainly makes your heart skip a beat or two.”
He said a low point was witnessing a motorbike crash and even having a couple himself.
Fisher said what really impressed him was the people he met along the way.
Photo courtesy of Julian Monroe Fisher
Julian Monroe Fisher and Antonio Lemos, Country Office Manager for MAG Angola.
He said: “The men and women you pass along the roads of Africa are not explorers there by choice or travel writers getting paid to be there, these are people in a daily struggle to carve out a meagre existence. They’ve been walking for lifetimes, for generations. I had the honour to walk with them for a few months.”