A few months back, I posted a story about British adventurer Chaz Powell who at the time was preparing to set out to walk the length of the Gambia River in Africa. Fast forward just three months and that journey is now complete, with Powell and his expedition companion Tim Roberts becoming the first people to walk the entire 695 miles (1120 km) from source to sea, completing the trek in just 46 days.
The duo set out on the expedition back on January 24, beginning at the source of the Gambia located in the Fouta Djallon highlands of central Guinea. From there, they trekked through Senegal and Gambia on their way to the city of Banjul located on the Atlantic Coast. Along the way they passed through incredibly challenging terrain at times, including deep gorges, rocky beaches, and difficult marshlands. Heat and humidity also conspired against them, with temperatures often rising above 40ºC (104ºF).
After wrapping up the journey last week, Powell and Roberts –– who served as expedition photographer as well –– had this to say:
“It was an incredible life changing expedition that’s taken us through, wild, rugged and breath-taking landscapes from day one! A challenging adventure that’s seen us trek through extreme temperatures and harsh landscapes, whilst enduring constant hunger, dehydration, and walking amongst the wildest of animals! But also it’s been the most incredible of journeys where we’ve experienced unending hospitality and kindness from the most humble of people.”
Chaz, who has done other long-distance treks in the past, hopes to use his adventurers to help raise awareness of the wildlife crimes that persist in Africa, even in the 21st century. Poaching remains a serious problem, with many endangered creatures being illegally killed on an almost daily basis. Powell’s goal is to help protect the wild lands so that these creatures can be preserved for future generations. To that end, he has partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation and is using his expeditions to raise funds for that organization.
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