Van Graan walks over 1 200km

26 February 2019 | Environment

South African Dave van Graan, who is walking from Ruacana to Victoria Falls to raise awareness of anti-poaching and conservation efforts, has crossed the border into Zambia.

By Sunday morning, the 62-year-old tour guide was near Livingstone and had covered 1 261 kilometres of the 1 600-kilometre journey.

He started walking from Ruacana on 15 January and is pulling a homemade trolley carrying his luggage.

Talking to Namibian Sun before crossing the border, Van Graan said despite the scorching Namibian heat all went well and he received overwhelming support from the public.

“I am going strong, the support from people is good and the trolley is holding up without massive blisters either,” Van Graan said.

He added that throughout his journey he could get cold beer from cuca shops to stay hydrated.

“I was granted permission to walk through the Bwabwata National Park. Walking through this national park with four of the big five was a very exciting moment for me, and luckily nothing happened to me.”

At Eenhana he took an eight-day break to rest in a local guesthouse.

Although he was robbed of his phone near Rundu, it did not demoralise him.

He said while in Rundu, a Good Samaritan bought him two pairs of shoes that were transported from Windhoek to Rundu within a day.

“For 200 kilometres from Rundu to Divundu I walked on the gravel road alongside the Kavango River and it was a great experience,” he said.

Van Graan said he wanted to create awareness of all kinds of poaching, from the rosewood trees and elephants of the Zambezi Region and southern Zambia to the rhinos of the Kruger and Etosha national parks.

Throughout his journey he observed the wildlife and took notes and pictures of everything he found on his way.

This is Van Graan's third long-distance walk. In 2017 he walked from the Orange River to the Kunene River; the previous year he walked from Louis Trichardt to Cape Town to raise awareness of rhino poaching.



ILENI NANDJATO

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