How will the Walkathons work?

There will be three groups of walkers; a Walking Group, an Advance Group, and a Support Group. Here’s a brief summary of each:

Walking Group:

These are the volunteers and hosted guests actually doing the day-to-day walking. Volunteers will most likely be locals who have registered to walk pre-defined distances/days and voluntarily elect to raise crowdfunding donations to sponsor their walk. 

Hosted guests will be both local and international eco-tourists who have purchased all-inclusive tour packages to participate in pre-defined distances/days. Hosted guests may also include celebrities or ambassadors, whose presence and support will be beneficial to raising awareness of the W4A project.

The number of walkers that participate in the Walking Group on a day-by-day basis will be limited and the total numbers determined by the Country Steering Committee. This number will include the Advance Team and Support Team member numbers.

The reasons for this limitation include; environmental impact (some stretches of coastline may be more sensitive than others), accessibility (some areas may be easier to get to than others, especially for shuttle services), capacity (the number of tents that can be set up at route over-night camping points may differ), and demand (scarcity creates higher demand and perceived value).

Advance Group:

These are the contracted suppliers. This group includes the mobile camping outfitter and catering supplier who will move ahead of the walking group to set-up facilities for the group’s arrival each day and break-camp the following morning for relocation.

Ideally, this supplier should be sourced locally with casual labour sourced from local communities. This group also includes the contracted private security team (an armed guard will accompany the walking group each day and patrol the campsite each night on a rotational basis, so they will need a base within the camp), and the medical first-aid team (to treat blisters, stings, cuts and grazes, etc (they may need a quad bike to transport patients along the beach to the base camp).

And then there’s hosted media groups who will need tech facilities at the camp such as satellite internet for sending social posts, etc. The advance group may also need to hire boats to ferry walkers across wide river estuaries or mangroves that block the way along parts of the coastline.  Some country routes may also have massage facilities available on the beach – assuming that trained masseuse are available locally.

Support Group:

The Support Group is an essential part of the walkathon effort. It is comprised of research academics, advisors, teachers, media, film crews, sponsors, etc, who will be fulfilling the actual Mission of the W4A project. 

For example, a university or society may want to send academics to conduct local research into marine/beach ecology issues or conduct anthropology research.

We’ll need tourism advisors to work with local communities to identify and develop new tourism products, or agricultural initiatives, for job creation.

We’ll need teachers to visit local schools and community halls along the routes and educate about the United Nations’ Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), why they matter, and what they can do to create a better future for the planet.

This team also includes hosted media such as bloggers, film crews, and journalists to report on progress and raise social media awareness of the W4A project. This team will also use the beach camp as their nightly base.

Note: Although the W4A concept aims to source all procurement (camping, catering, land transport, labour, etc) within each host country, some of these services may need to be brought in. In addition, allowance must be made for the transportation of international support groups between host countries.

What’s the Procedure?

Although walking speeds can vary greatly depending on many factors such as height, weight, age, terrain, surface, load, culture, effort, and fitness, the average human walking speed is about 5.0 kilometres per hour (km/h), or about 1.4 meters per second. 

Assuming then, that walkers average 5 km/h for a maximum of 6-hours, we can expect them to cover 30 km per day. Of course, this time and distance will vary according to the terrain and the best position to locate the overnight campsite. Some walk-days may, therefore, be longer than other walk-days.

In terms of actual procedures, the walk4africa.org website will detail each country’s route using Google Maps and showing estimated daily distances and overnight camp locations (as determined by the Coastal Odyssey expedition). Once each country walkathon goes live, the route progress will be plotted and updated hourly using live GPS data.

Registration for all walk entries will be free of charge (with an option to either make a one-off donation or to set up a crowdfunding page for pledges) and done in two phases; an Online Registration before the event, and an On-Site Registration on the day of the event.

Below is a rough guide on how this procedure works:

A. Online Registration

This website (walk4africa.org) will be the main portal for public registration to participate. There will also be pre-populated crowdfunding pages for walkers to raise donations for their walk. The procedure will be as follows:

  1. User Registration: Basic details for username/password creation with double-opt-in confirmation for security and T&C/Indemnity acceptance.
  2. Account Confirmation: User clicks on an email link, logs-in, and continues with the step-by-step registration process.
  3. How would you like to participate? Options:
    A. Self-Walk – Individual  (info icon: I’m registering to walk by myself without sponsors as part of the walkathon team). 
    B. Self-Walk – Group (info icon: I’m registering for a group to walk without sponsors as part of the walkathon team).
    C. Sponsored Walk – Individual (info icon: I want to get friends to sponsor my own walk as part of the walkathon team).
    D. Sponsored Walk – Group (info icon: I want to register for a group to walk as part of the walkathon team and to get sponsors).
  4. Would you like to make a donation? Selection options: Yes. No.
    If Yes, a pop-up window appears with amount options, which are added to a “shopping cart” for final step check-out via secure payment gateway (PayPal, Bank EFT, Visa, Mastercard, etc). If registering to get sponsors, a personalised crowdfunding page link is generated at the end of the registration steps.
  5. How many days would you like to walk? Selection options:
    Day Walker (info icon: day-walks last for about 6-8 hours and cover between 30-40 km starting at 09h00) or Multi-Day Walker (info icon: Multi-day walks require overnight camping on the beach).
  6. Select your walk day dates (calendar showing dates with distances)
  7. How will you get to the beach? Selection options:
    7.1. Self Drive (info icon: Make your own way to each day’s departure point). Upgrade options:
    7.1(a) Secure car parking with return shuttle (info icon: Price);
    7.11(b) Car delivered to selected end/exit point (info icon: Price).
    7.2. Shuttle Drive (info icon: Meet at the central point – see options and prices here – and be driven to your selected beach departure point and back to the central location after your walk).
  8. Will you carry your own gear or need assistance? Selection options:
    1. Self Assist (info icon: Carry your own kit i.e water, clothing, food and camping equipment).
    2. Hosted Assist (info icon: Have your kit transferred to each nights campsite and your tent erected, ready for your arrival at  XX price per day).
    3. Fully Hosted (info icon: Bring only your clothing, wash bag, towel, and water bottle/hydration pack. See Packaged Tours.

B. On-Site Registration

When walkers arrive at each day’s beach departure point, they will be registered on-site using their pre-issued number and given a colour coded material wristband to wear. These will be colour coded for ease of recognition; Green = Self-Assisted Walker, Purple = Assisted Walker, and Red = Hosted Walker. This will make it easier for the advance group to know which services are being provided for the walker.

Packaged Tours

The contracted supplier (advance team) will provide the required number of pre-booked 2-man tents for each night and erect these on the beach. Each tent will be kitted with quality foam mattress (1 or 2 depending on single or sharing), pillows, linen, washbasin, interior lamp, and exterior lamp (depending on the season, blankets/heater or fans and mosquito nets/repellent may be needed).

The tents will be numbered (walkers wristband/registration number) and erected side-by-side in rows, with netted ground-sheet pathways between rows, and leading to the ablution (mobile toilets), hot/cold showers (him & hers), and dining/refreshment facilities. All meals (breakfast, lunch pack, and dinner), facilities will be provided. Tea/coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (where permitted) will be available for sale at the campsite. Massage facilities may also be available. There could be an area allocated for locals to sell their arts & crafts at the campsite.

The packaged tour pricing will be determined by the local steering committees in each of the 40 host countries and will include registration, transport (shuttle transfers) from central city/town locations to the beach for locals, while return airfares, airport meet & greet, and beach transfers will be included for international packages. 

In total, we should have about 1,530-nights of beach “Walk & Glamp” (glamorous camping) eco-tours to sell across all countries as short, medium, long itinerary packages. Working on an average of 40-nights per country, and assuming that registration is capped at 100 walkers, this equates to a potential of about 4,000 bed-nights per country (of course, this number varies by country – see The Walkathons for more info).

Whoever the local steering appoints as the lead tour operator/ground-handler will cost the various package tour itinerary pricing (refer on-line registration procedure above).

Once itinerary pricing has been established, online bookings will be made available on this website, on the lead suppliers website, as well as on selected tour operator/travel agent partner websites (linked to this site). 

a tented camp

COUNTRY Walkathon SEQUENCE

If each of the 40 host country walkathons launched in continuous clockwise succession, one after the other in a pass-the-baton relay styled race, the 40,000 km journey would be completed in under 3 years.

But this is not a race. It’s a moderately paced walk at an average walking speed of 5 km/h for a maximum of 6-hours per day, thus 30 km per day. 

We need time for the Country Steering Committees to obtain the necessary government approvals, implement supplier logistics, and generate sufficient awareness for optimum walkathon registration numbers.

And, besides, the walkathons will follow in the Coastal Odyssey expeditions footsteps. This way, the Steering Committees will know exactly what to expect in terms of terrain, transport accessibility, and over-night camping locations.

The host country walkathon events will, therefore, be staged over 10 years to end in 2030. Starting from the southern tip of Africa and proceeding along the West coast, then North, East, and finally South to end back where the journey started, in South Africa. 

The country roll-out sequence by year, as listed below, may be adjusted after the Odyssey expedition along each country’s coastline has been concluded:

Year 1 (2021): Total distance = 2,712 km

1 South Africa (Launch Phase) – 1,142 km
2 Namibia – 1,570 km

The first of 52 million steps will be taken from the Southern tip of Africa, at Cape Agulhas on 27 September 2021 and participants will walk 360 km to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town for the official launch, to coincide with World Tourism Day.

Seeing as the launch ceremony is in Cape Town, it will be officiated by the City of Cape Town’s MEC for Economic Opportunities and Assets Management, Alderman James Vos. Of course, we will invite South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, the CEO of South African Tourism, and the SA Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, along with Ministers and W4A team members from participating countries, partners, sponsors, media, and, of course, participants from the first phase walk and those joining the second phase walk.

From the V&A Waterfront, participants will continue the second leg of the launch phase by walking ±782km to reach Alexander Bay on the Namibia border about 26-days later.

On the Namibia side, a new team of locals will take over the walk to continue the journey, from the Namib/Skeleton Coast all the way along the coastline to Angola.

And so the process will repeat itself in a clockwise direction, circumnavigating Africa’s coastline and islands, and ending back in South Africa at Cape Agulhas by 2030 to coincide with the conclusion of the United Nations’ Sustainable Tourism Development Goals (SDGs) objectives.

Year 2 (2022): Total distance = 2,904 km

3 Angola – 1,600 km
4 DRC – 40 km
5 Congo Republic – 170 km
6 Gabon – 885 km
7 São Tomé and Príncipe – 209 km

Year 3 (2023): Total distance = 3,347 km

8 Equatorial Guinea – 296 km
Cameroon – 402 km
10 Nigeria – 853 km
11 Benin – 121 km
12 Togo – 56 km
13 Ghana – 539 km
14 Cote d’Ivoire – 515 km
15 Liberia – 565 km

Year 4 (2024): Total distance = 3,402 km

15 Sierra Leone – 402 km
17 Guinea – 320 km
18 Guinea-Bissau – 350 km
19 Senegal  – 531 km
20 The Gambia – 80 km
21 Cape Verde – 965 km
22 Mauritania – 754 km

Year 5 (2025): Total distance = 5,715 km 

23 Western Sahara – 1,110 km
24 Morocco – 1,835 km
25 Algeria – 998 km
26 Tunisia – 1,148 km

Year 6 (2026): Total distance = 4,720 km

27 Libya  – 1,770 km
28 Egypt  – 2,234 km
29 Sudan  – 716 km

Year 7 (2027): Total distance = 5,881 km

30 Eritrea  – 2,234 km
31 Djibouti – 314 km
32 Somalia – 3,333 km

Year 8 (2028): Total distance = 4,430 km

33 Kenya – 536 km
34 Tanzania – 1,424 km
35 Mozambique – 2,470  km

Year 9 (2029): Total distance = 4,828 km

36 Madagascar – 4,828  km

Year 10 (2030): Total distance = 3,270 km

37 Mauritius – 442  km
38 Seychelles – 737  km
39 Comores – 340  km
40 Reunion – 207  km

South Africa – 1,656 km (the remaining distance from Northern KwaZulu-Natal to Cape Agulhas in the Western Cape). 

TOTAL DISTANCE: 41,209 km (25,606 miles)

Africas’ Islands

The continent has 341 islands (excluding European dependencies and territories i.e  Mayotte, Canary Islands, Madeira Islands, and Selvagens). The Country Steering Committees will decide whether these island coastlines are to be included in the Walk For Africa walkathon project or not. Some of the islands listed below are inland or just sandbanks, atolls, and rocky outcrops, and probably cannot be walked on anyway.

Cape Verde: 10

  1. Boa Vista
  2. Brava
  3. Fogo
  4. Maio
  5. Sal
  6. Santa Luzia
  7. Santo Antão
  8. São Nicolau
  9. Santiago
  10. São Vicente

Comores: 3

  1. Grande Comore 
  2. Moheli
  3. Anjouan

Djibouti: 3

  1. Maskali Island
  2. Moucha Island
  3. Sept Freres, Djibouti

Eritrea: 10

  1. Dahlak Archipelago
  2. Dahlak Kebir (formerly Dehalak Deset)
  3. Harmil
  4. Howakil
  5. Nahaleg
  6. Nora
  7. Fatuma
  8. Halib
  9. Howakil Islands
  10. Massawa Island

Equatorial Guinea: 5

  1. Annobón
  2. Bioko (formerly Fernando Po)
  3. Corisco
  4. Elobey Grande
  5. Elobey Chico

Guinea: 2

  1. Los Islands
  2. Tombo Island

Guinea-Bissau: 18

  1. Ilha de Melo
  2. Ilha Joao Vieira
  3. I.das Galinhas
  4. Canhabaque
  5. Ilha de Bubaque
  6. I. de Rubane
  7. I.de Soga
  8. Ilha de Orangozinho
  9. Ilha Bubaque
  10. Ilha de Orango
  11. Ilha de Uno
  12. I. de Uracane
  13. I. de Enu
  14. Galinhas
  15. Ilha de Carache
  16. Ilha Caravela
  17. Pecixe
  18. Jata

Kenya: 9

  1. Lamu Island
  2. Manda Island
  3. Pate Island
  4. Kiwayu Island
  5. Mombasa Island
  6. Chale Island
  7. Funzi Island
  8. Wasini Island
  9. Samuli Island

Liberia: 2

  1. Bushrod Island
  2. Providence Island (Liberia)

Madagascar: 2

  1. Île Sainte-Marie (Nosy Boraha)
  2. Nossi-Bé

Mauritius: 4

  1. Mauritius – 330 km 
  2. Rodrigues island – 80 km
  3. Agaléga Islands – 27 km
  4. Saint Brandon 1,66 km2 = 5,21 km (3 main islands)

Mozambique: 8

  1. Angoche Island
  2. Bazaruto Archipelago
  3. Chiloane Island
  4. Inhaca Island
  5. Island of Mozambique
  6. Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago
  7. Quirimbas Islands
  8. Vamizi Island

Namibia: 18

  1. Albatross Island
  2. Bird Island
  3. Black Rock Island
  4. False Plum Pudding Island
  5. Flamingo Island
  6. Halifax Island
  7. Mercury Island
  8. Impalila
  9. North Long Island
  10. Penguin Islands
  11. Plumpudding Island
  12. Pomona Island
  13. Possession Island
  14. Roastbeef Island
  15. Seal Island
  16. Shark Island
  17. Sinclair’s Island
  18. South Long Island

São Tomé and Príncipe: 3

  1. Príncipe
  2. São Tomé Island
  3. Rolas

Senegal: 3

  1. Gorée
  2. Îles des Madeleines
  3. Morfil

Sierra Leone: 4

  1. Banana Islands
  2. Bunce Island
  3. Sherbro Island (now Bonthe Island)
  4. Turtle Islands

Somalia: 11

  1. Addilo Island
  2. Ambuu Island
  3. Bandarka Island
  4. Bangadini Island
  5. Bantaabsi Island
  6. Bavadi Island
  7. Bawaadi Island
  8. Bengadiiene island
  9. Biramlide Island
  10. Koyama (island)
  11. Aibat Island

South Africa: 4

  1. Dassen Island
  2. Robben Island
  3. Seal Island
  4. Marion Island (Prince Edward Islands)

Sudan: 2

  1. Mukawwar Managed Nature Reserve
  2. Suakin Archipelago National Park

Seychelles: 199

Inner Islands:

  1. La Digue
  2. Félicité
  3. Marianne
  4. Grande Soeur
  5. Petite Soeur
  6. Ile aux Cocos
  7. Ile la Fouche
  8. Silhouette Island
  9. Ile du Nord
  10. Les Mamelles
  11. Ile aux Récifs
  12. Frégate
  13. L’Ilot
  14. Ile aux Vaches
  15. Vache Marine
  16. Chauve Souris
  17. Roche Canon
  18. Les Trois Dames
  19. Cocos Dans Trou
  20. Bird Island
  21. Ile Denis (Denis Island)
  22. Mahé
  23. Praslin
  24. Sainte Anne
  25. Ile Ronde
  26. Moyenne Island
  27. Therese
  28. Roche Tortue
  29. Ile Du Suete
  30. Conception
  31. Ile Hodoul
  32. Coco Dans Milieu
  33. Ile Longue
  34. Ile Malice
  35. L’Islette
  36. Roche Bouquet
  37. Baleise Island
  38. Beacon Island
  39. Roche Grande Maman
  40. Cousin
  41. Cousine
  42. Zave
  43. Aride
  44. Ile Seche
  45. Ile Cachee
  46. Cerf Island
  47. Ile Aux Rats
  48. Souris
  49. Capucins
  50. Ile De La Police
  51. Ilot Lascar
  52. Grosse Roche
  53. Reclaimed Island
  54. Grande Rocher
  55. Anonyme Island
  56. Curieuse
  57. Saint Pierre
  58. Faon
  59. Bastille Island
  60. Bonhomme Island
  61. Bonnefemme Island
  62. Lazare Islet
  63. Grosse Roche
  64. L’Amour Island
  65. Ile Consolation
  66. Matelot Island
  67. Maquereau Island
  68. Roche Du Sud
  69. Takamaka Island
  70. Ile Madge
  71. Pointe Cocos
  72. Ile Zanguille
  73. Kittery Island
  74. Parasole Island
  75. Ile De La Farine
  76. Ilot Capitaine
  77. Severe Island
  78. Cabris Island
  79. Roche Babri
  80. Cipaille Island
  81. Caimant Island
  82. Bonne Carre Island
  83. Brizare Rock
  84. Brule

Outer Islands:

  1. Ile Plate
  2. Coëtivy

Amirantes Group: 

  1. RémireD’Arros
  2. Desroches
  3. Sand
  4. Etoile
  5. Boudeuse
  6. Marie-Louise
  7. Desnoeufs

African Banks: 

  1. Bancs Africains
  2. Ile du Sud

St. Joseph’s Atoll: 

  1. St. Joseph
  2. Ile aux Fouquets
  3. Resource
  4. Petit Carcassaye
  5. Grand Carcassaye
  6. Benjamin
  7. Bancs Ferrari
  8. Chiens
  9. Pélicans
  10. Vars
  11. Residence Island
  12. Ile Paul
  13. Banc de Sable
  14. Bancs aux Cocos
  15. Ile aux Poules

Poivre Atoll: 

  1. Poivre
  2. Florentin
  3. Ile du Sud

Alphonse and St. François Atolls: 

  1. Alphonse Island
  2. Bijoutier
  3. St François

Farquhar Group:

Farquhar Atoll: 

  1. Ile du Nord
  2. Ile du Sud
  3. Manahas Nord
  4. Manahas Milieu
  5. Manahas Sud
  6. Ile aux Goëlettes
  7. Lapins
  8. Ile du Milieu
  9. Déposés
  10. Bancs de Sable

Providence Atoll: 

  1. Providence
  2. Bancs Providence
  3. St. Pierre
  4. Cerf Island

Aldabra Atoll:

  1. Grande Terre
  2. Picard
  3. Polymnie
  4. Malabar
  5. Ile Michel
  6. Ile Esprit
  7. Ile aux Moustiques
  8. Ilot Parc
  9. Ilot Emile
  10. Ilot Yangue
  11. Ilot Magnan
  12. Ile Lanier
  13. Champignon des Os
  14. Euphrates Islet
  15. Grand Mentor
  16. Grand Ilot
  17. Green Rock
  18. Gros Ilot Gionnet
  19. Gros Ilot Sésame
  20. Heron Rock
  21. Hide Island
  22. Ile aux Aigrettes
  23. Ile aux Cèdres
  24. Iles Chalands
  25. Ile Fangame
  26. Ile Héron
  27. le Michel
  28. Ile SuaccI
  29. Ile Sylvestre
  30. Ile Verte
  31. Ilot Déder
  32. Ilot du Sud
  33. Ilot du Milieu
  34. Ilot du Nord
  35. Ilot Dubois
  36. Ilot Macoa
  37. Ilot Marquoix
  38. Ilots Niçois
  39. Ilot Salade
  40. Middle Row Island
  41. Noddy Rock
  42. North Row Island
  43. Petit Mentor
  44. Petit Mentor Endans
  45. Petits Ilots
  46. Pink Rock
  47. South Row Island
  48. Table Ronde

Cosmoledo Atoll:

  1. Menai
  2. Ile du Nord
  3. Ile Nord-Est
  4. Ile du Trou
  5. Goëlettes
  6. Grand Polyte
  7. Petit Polyte
  8. Grand Ile (Wizard)
  9. Pagode
  10. Ile du Sud-Ouest
  11. Ile aux Moustiques
  12. Ile Baleine
  13. Ile aux Chauve-Souris
  14. Ile aux Macaques
  15. Ile aux Rats
  16. Ile du Nord-Ouest
  17. Ile Observation
  18. Ile Sud-Est
  19. Ilot la Croix
  20. Astove Island
  21. Assumption Island

Tanzania: 5

  1. Mafia Island
  2. Nabuyongo Island
  3. Pemba Island
  4. Ukerewe Island
  5. Zanzibar

Tunisia: 4

  1. Djerba (Jerba)
  2. Galite Islands
  3. Kerkennah Islands
    1. Chergui Island
    2. Gharbi Island
  4. Zembra Island