Barefoot Adventurers Club

Expedition for Endangered Species

The Barefoot Adventurers Club was set up to raise funds to promote conservation, education and sustainability by doing extraordinary expeditions that raise awareness for issues that effect the African Continent.

The goal of the expedition is to break the current world record for the longest distance covered in a Tuk Tuk, a whopping 43,000km all for the plight of conservation. We are raising funds and awareness for endangered species, particularly the African rhino and elephant as well as endangered tree species due to deforestation.

A rough unaided expedition through the African continent and beyond, we will push to break the world record in our Tuk Tuk, a venture that will be attempted without vehicular support as the team would rely on themselves to maintain and repair the Tuk Tuk, as well as accommodate themselves.

Goals

1. To highlight conservation efforts and initiatives in each country traveled through

2. To promote educational initiatives on endangered species

3. To promote sustainable environmental practice

5. To break the African record for longest cross country distance driven in a Tuk Tuk, a minimum 13,000km all in the name of conservation

Beneficiaries

For more information on the beneficiaries, click the respective images. Each of our beneficiaries are making significant steps in preserving and conserving Africa’s endangered species as well as the educational and environmental aspects of conservation.

Elephants Without Borders (EWB)

EWB is a charitable organisation based in Kazungula in Northern Botswana that is dedicated to conserving wildlife and natural resources. They play a key role in opening up and maintaining the natural migration corridors of Elephants in this region. Scientific studies on elephant migration patterns and behaviour allows EWB to address and attempt to mitigate the issues facing elephants and preserve biodiversity and a healthy landscape. Led by Principal investigator Mike Chase and EWB conducted the first ever pan-African survey of savanna elephants called the Great Elephant Census, which surveyed over 18 countries on the African continent providing extremely valuable information on elephant populations.

Being from Botswana we believe strongly in the valuable work being done by EWB to not only protect elephants and the Botswana environment from over population but also to educate local communities on living amongst these great animals, avoiding land conflicts.

Having met Mike Chase and Kelly Landen of EWB, we had a chance to talk and discuss the work they do in person and we were seriously impressed and are proud to be associated with them.

Greenpop

Greenpop is a social enterprise, which plants indigenous trees through urban greening and reforestation projects, spreading environmental awareness, and activate people through green festivals and workshops. Greenpop was founded in 2010 and has since planted over 57,000 trees at schools and other urban sites as well as forests and farms across South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania.The cost of sponsoring an indigenous tree is R 120, which includes a two-year monitoring project to ensure the best possible survival rate. We aim to plant as many trees as possible, with a minimum goal of 50 trees.

Mokolodi Nature Reserve

Mokolodi Nature Reserve was established in 1994 and hosts a wide variety of animals and plants that are endemic to south-eastern Botswana, of which some are extremely rare or endangered. Mokolodi plays a vital role in the conservation and education of rhino and cheetah, and using their purpose-built education center which accommodates more than 9,000 school children a year, they are making positive steps in conservation for the area and greater Botswana.

Our aim is to raise funds that would directly go towards their conservation and education programmes, a cause that is always looking for funding to increase their effectiveness.

Donate to The Expedition for Endangered Species where 100% of money raised goes directly to our beneficiaries!

Goal 1: Tuk Tuk Expedition from Cape Town to Nairobi (COMPLETE!)

The Barefoot Adventurers Club expedition will take the team over 8000km through a minimum of six African countries in a 3 wheeled beast or ‘Tuk Tuk.’ These machines have a speed limit of under 50km/h and are quite the unsuitable vehicle for such an expedition, hence why it is going to be an incredible adventure.

Starting in Cape Town South Africa on the 5th of June 2017, the team will cruise up the mountains out of Cape Town heading towards Botswana through South Africa. The team will pass by the Central Kalahari and enter Zambia. Following a number of weeks in Zambia we will make our way to Malawi and drive up parallel to the western side of Lake Malawi. From there we will head into Tanzania going inland and make our way to the east coast. Following the coast line, we will enter Kenya maintaining our route on the coast and eventually curving around to Nairobi.

Goal 2: Break the African record for the longest cross country distance traveled in a Tuk Tuk

After achieving our initial goal by reaching Kenya, we will then attempt to break the African record for the longest cross country distance traveled in a Tuk Tuk a distance of over 13,000km. This will see the team entering Uganda before turning south into Western Tanzania. From there, we will check out Lake Tanganyika and continue south into north central Zambia making our way towards Botswana again. We will then enter South Africa heading towards Durban and make the last haul towards Cape Town to officially finish the expedition. Our goals will remain the same and we will continue to raise funds and awareness whilst stopping at various conservation initiatives along route. We will at all times possible, try to not backtrack on our route coming north to avoid repetition and to explore other routes.

The Team

Calum Buckmaster

Calum was born in Botswana and graduated from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with a BSc in Geography in 2015. He has traveled to more than 10 African countries, and has a hankering for adventure in its many forms. He is returning to Africa to complete further expeditions, this time doing it to raise awareness and promote conservation and education in Africa

Willie Badenhorst

Willie was born in South Africa, a conservationist by trade. He is a level two guide with experience in over landing and has been working on conservation projects for the past five years, including forming a pride for Sylvester the lion in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. He has traveled Africa extensively further fueling his desire to promote sustainability in Africa.

The Tuk-Tuk

Meet the Bruski, our beast! Our ATUL three-wheeled beast that will carry us through the African Continent. This 436cc engine has a max speed of 45km/h and can do roughly 30km per liter, holding 10.5 liters of diesel in its belly. This means we should be able to get close to 300km per tank depending on weight and hills.

With its 12V battery, it has an electric start and ciggy lighter for charging, and if that is stolen or broken we have a back up pull starter to keep us moving.

Features:

  • 436cc Four Stroke Single Cylinder Direct Injection Diesel workhorse with fuel consumption of 30km / liter.
  • Powerful engine uses advanced technology with extra horsepower for a smooth drive on rough on hilly terrain.
  • Engineered for low wear and tear and longer intervals between check-up and services.
  • Monocoque chassis takes more loads and absorbs shock and impact.
  • Dual circuit self-adjusting hydraulic brakes with tandem master cylinder avoids brake failure.
  • Provided with door lock, steering lock and fuel tank lock to safeguard against theft and pilferage.
  • Electric self-start for convenient and effortless starting.
  • Large load bin doors for easy access.
  • Load bin dimensions L1475mm x W1470mm x H1250mm = Volume of 2710 Liters.
  • 500kg / half ton certified load capacity.

Endangered Species

To name a few

The rhino population is facing huge threats of poaching as a result of illegal trade and habitat loss. In just a decade, more than 7100 African rhinos have been lost to poaching. In South Africa alone more than 1,050 rhino were killed during 2016, which works out close to three rhinos being killed a day for their ivory. Not only is South Africa being hit hard other African nations such as Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya are suffering devastating losses as a result of poaching and the ivory trade. Without sufficient support and protection, the effect poaching is having on rhino populations could mean extinction in only a few years.

Although large tracts of continuous elephant range remain in parts of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, elephant distribution is becoming increasingly fragmented across the continent. Poaching for ivory has been one of the major causes of the elephants decline and although illegal hunting remains a significant factor in some areas, particularly in Central Africa, currently the most important perceived threat is the loss and fragmentation of habitat caused by ongoing human population expansion and rapid land conversion. An increase in human-elephant conflict further aggravates the threat to elephant populations. Organisations such as Elephants Without Borders is doing fantastic work in maintaining natural migration routes whilst educating local communities to live along side these majestic animals.

Drivers of decline, such as conflict, loss of prey and habitat change have caused the cheetah population to decline and as a result are regarded by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as ‘vulnerable.’ It is said that the cheetahs habitat is only 25% of its former size with less than 7000 adults remaining in the wild. Cheetahs tend to encounter conflict with farmers when loss of their natural prey leads them to attack livestock, and as a result farmers retaliate by killing them to avoid loss of valuable livestock. Cheetah, a hunter by the day is often blamed for livestock destruction whereas the leopard who alternatively hunts at night is often the culprit for such attacks. Here education of local communities is key to understanding the difference and avoiding such conflicts.

The lion population has decresed by 42% in the last 21 years and have become regionally extinct in 7 African nations, leading the ICUN Red List of Threatened Species to declare it vulnerable. We all need to act early enough in these cases to avoid a species threatening scenario which is currently occurring to species such as the rhino and elephant at a time when it could just be too late. Populations are in decline in West, Central and East Africa where as populations are increasing in Southern Africa. Habitat loss occurs due to expanding human populations and the resulting growth of agriculture, settlements, and roads. Because of this lions are being forced into closer quarters with humans. This, coupled with a decrease in their natural prey, causes lions to attack livestock. In turn, farmers, often retaliate and kill the lions to remove the threat.

There are less than 6500 Wild dogs left in the wild throughout Africa as a result of human animal conflict where wild dogs have been shot and poisoned by farmers, who often blame them when a leopard or hyena kills livestock. When human populations and settlements expand the African Wild Dog looses the wide space they require to roam freely and expand. Education is the key aspect to ensure this conflict stops occurring, with organisations such as the African Wildlife Foundation is working hard to achieve.

 

Bateleur Eagles are considered to have a declining population as a result of habitat loss, just as is the case with a number of other increasingly endangered species. Bateleurs and other eagles often suffer from collateral poisoning on carcasses, usually done in retaliation by local communities to rid of a pest that kills their livestock. Education on the negative effects of these tactics is important to explain to locals as having a trained local wildlife unit to act in response will greatly improve damage done to these populations