Explorer and anthropologist Julian Monroe Fisher has completed his Equatoria – A Walk Across Africa expedition a few days back, reaching the coast of Angola after weeks in the field. Monroe Fisher made the walk in support of the Mines Advisory Group, an organization dedicated to removing explosives and other weaons left over from conflicts, and ultimately it was those very devices that had an impact on the final stages of the trek.
Monroe Fisher set off on his journey back in April, departing from the town of Pemba, located along the east coast of Mozambique. The plan was to travel 4000 miles from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, completely on foot, but at various stages of the journey, Julian was forced to travel under other means for safety reasons.
He had hoped to end the expedition in Angola, in the village of Lobito, after crossing through Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and Malawi. Unfortunately, he was forced to alter his plans to a degree, ending the trek a bit early in the Angolan village of Lucusse. The decision was made out of concerns for Julian’s safey, as he was hiking through the province of Moxico, which is amongst the most heavily mined regions in all of Africa. Just how bad is it there? Just a few days prior to his arrival, a MAG team removed eight land mines that they had discovered in the area. The devices had been in place since the early 1980’s.
After ending his trek in Lucusse, Julian did visit an Angolan beach along the Atlantic Ocean, where he was greeted by Antonio Lemos, Country Office Manager for MAG Angola. That meeting officially brought an end to the journey. Reflecting on the expedion, Monroe Fisher said: “Africa is a complexmixture of beauty and ugliness all wrapped up into one vast space. What MAG is doing is trying to reduce that ugliness and allow the opportunity for that natural beauty to shine! I applaud MAG Angola’s work and I am ever grateful for the warm hospitality they and the people of Angola have extended to me along with the amazing experience MAG Angola has provided me with.”
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