An Audience With The Governor

Seven mekoro and hundreds of kilograms of batteries, food supplies, advanced research equipment, cameras and expedition gear being packed and re-packed…

We are currently at the HALO Trust base in Menongue, Angola, getting ready for the 2015 “Source-to-Sand” Okavango River Expedition that launches on 21st May from the source of Rio Cuito. Our team is just days away from a 10-week, 1,800km research expedition down the length of the Cuito River past the junction with the Cubango River, across the Okavango Delta, and all the way to the end of the Boteti River in our mekoro from “Source-to-Sand”…

Expedition Leader explains why we are using dug-out canoes or “mekoro” to undertake this megatransect down the length of Okavango River. (Photo: James Kydd)

Our Patron, General Francisco Higino Lopes Carneiro, Governor of Cuando Cubango Province, has notified Angola’s ambassadors around the world, as well as President José Eduardo dos Santos, and received their full support for the Okavango Wilderness Project. His support has been keystone in getting this initiative off the ground. John Hilton, the Project Director, points out: “The support shown by local government has exceeded all expectations and is going to be pivotal in the team’s success on the Cuito and Cubango Rivers. This will lay the foundations for the establishment of a multinational UNESCO World Heritage Site that celebrates the entire river basin”.

Our project partner, Dr John Mendelsohn sums it up: “In 10 years time when someone says they are going to the “Okavango” they will be talking about the entire river basin, not just the delta. Only through shared benefit from the river and tourism development in Angola will this enigmatic river system remain intact for future generations.”

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