TELLING AFRICAS’ STORY – ONE STEP AT A TIME

The Africa Coastal Odyssey is a future project that aims to mentor African journalists while hiking the coastlines of all 40 participating countries and ocean island states.

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About the Africa Coastal Odyssey

Led by Walk4Africa’s founder, Desmond Langkilde – an experienced South African travel writer and online content producer – the Africa Coastal Odyssey expedition will explore unique African stories, as told by local journalism students, on the topics of sustainable tourism and environmental impact while walking the coastlines of the continent.

The plan is to start from Cape Agulhas in the Western Cape province of South Africa and proceed in a clockwise direction to cover all 40 coastal countries over a period of ten years to end back at the southern tip of Africa.

Each year, the expedition will pause in the particular country for 2-4 months. During this time Desmond will write the next edition of a narrative non-fiction book series recounting that years’ experience.

SOUTH AFRICA ODDYSSEY NAMIBIA ODDYSSEY

About the Odyssey Journalism

Journalism, film and visual communications students enrolled at partner universities and education institutions in each of the 40 host countries will be fully hosted to gain practical storytelling/reporting skills and experience.

While walking the coastline, they will interview rural communities, conservation NGOs, and marine-related academics to report on these environmental stories.

Typical story angles will include:

  • Examining the complex relationships that coastal communities have with nature
  • Impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, plastic pollution, and marine resource extraction on local communities
  •  Ecosystem restoration projects and their current impact
  • Local heroes and how they are helping to protect the natural world.

HOW TO APPLY

WHAT HOSTING INCLUDES

Student hosting for 7-days will include:

  • Return economy-class airfare (if required)
  • Road transport from the nearest city/town/airport to the beach location
  • Tent accommodation
  • Meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Branded peak cap and T-shirt
  • Access to data and electronic battery charging
  • Instruction on the use of photographic, video, and drone equipment
  • Mentoring on story angles and content structure
  • Media exposure and possible story publication in media partner channels. 

Before applying, student candidates must bear in mind that they have to be physically able to take turns in hauling a custom-built expedition trailer loaded with about 100kg of equipment and provisions. However, this is “slow journalism” – the journey will set a moderate walking pace with frequent stop-overs for research and interviews along the way.

To assist with funding, all applicants will receive a personal tracking ID crowdfunding link. The top applicants who raise the most funding prior to each host country launch will earn their place in the Odyssey. There will also be prizes for runners-up who achieve pre-determined donation levels.

Applications for South African and Namibian students are now open.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

WHAT HOSTING EXCLUDES

Successful student candidates will be required to provide/carry their own:

  • Clothing, shoes, and foul weather gear suitable for 7-days of outdoor living/hiking
  • Hiking backpack
  • Sleeping bag/pillow
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Sunscreen lotion/block-out
  • Personal hygiene/vanity products
  • Mobile phone and airtime
  • Travel insurance & medical aid.

* Subject to sponsorship, some of these items may be included (country dependent).

WHAT HOSTED STUDENTS WILL LEARN

Our Odyssey Expedition Trailer

This custom-built trailer is an essential tool for the Odyssey team to haul about 100kg of equipment and supplies along some of the most remote and desolate coastlines in Africa.

Self-sufficiency in terms of extreme weather clothing, shelter, water, food, and first-aid is essential. The team will also be filming, photographing, documenting, and reporting live via satellite on a daily basis, so electrical power will be needed to recharge batteries.

Built using the latest carbon fibre technology to optimise weight and endurance, the trailer will include a wind generator to supplement power from solar panels to the power pack on overcast days and the power will be wired to a forward panel with USB ports and electrical plugs for ease of access.

The trailer lid and lockable access ports on all four side will be water-tight to allow for the boat shaped base to be floated across rivers and estuaries.

Artists impression of the Africa Coastal Odyssey expedition trailer

Our First Sponsor

Advanced FibreTech in Cape Town have committed to sponsoring 50 per cent of the trailer build costs in support of the Odyssey expedition. This $15,000 sponsorship has reduced our $80k crowdfunding campaign target considerably.

To reduce our target further, we need sponsors to donate in-kind items, such as laptops, tablets, cell phones, airtime, camera equipment, drones, pedometers, outdoor clothing, hiking shoes/gear, camping gear, transport (airport shuttle service), etcetera.