1 December 2013

Zambia: Lemon to Resume Zambezi Trek

AFTER more than a year of resting, David Lemon, the man who shocked the world by declaring to walk the entire length of the Zambezi, resumes part two of his Zambezi Cowbell Trek on April 18, 2014, from Siavonga where he left off.

Siavonga, a resort town by the banks of Lake Kariba is where David stopped after eight months of following the Zambezi from its source in Ikeleng'i, Zambia's North-Western Province.

He is coming back. Guess what? He is still very much obsessed with his passion of highlighting the plight of Elephants, which have become an endangered species due to their ivory tusks.

Mr Lemon, who many refer to as the modern day David Livingstone (legendary Scottish explorer and missionary), suspended exploration to recuperate after losing so much weight.

At the age of 67, adventurer Lemon decided to do something which he had never been done before so he decided to walk the entire length of the Zambezi River.

However, after eight months, and doing 1,838kilometres and weight loss, he was forced to return to the England for a 15 month break.

Now at 68, he is fired-up and ready to go and make history.

With only, six months remaining to pick up from where he left off, he cannot wait to venture into his adventurous epic journey.

"I am getting myself geared up for part two of the Trek. I know exactly what I am letting myself in for this time, so hopefully will be in better shape mentally," he said from his base in England.

With 1000 kilometres (KM) to cover, it would not be as far as Part One, which covered 1800KM but he has some fear-some countryside to negotiate.

During his break, he managed to achieve another milestone.

He has written a book, Cowbells Down the Zambezi, which is already selling in all Book-world stores countrywide.

It took him some six months to write the book and despite lack of marketing so far, sales have been very good.

Food would once again be a big problem as he has not been able to find a suitable compound to sustain him, a case in Part One.

He would need to carry everything on his back.

He would live off the land where possible, but he is fairly resigned to losing a lot of weight again.

It is a worry, but he feels strong enough to survive it yet again.

"I am learning Portuguese for this one as I don't think too many of the folks I will be walking along with can speak English.

"In some ways, that makes it all the more exciting. I don't know Mozambique at all, so it will be an exciting challenge," he said.

During the part one of his journey, he saw some few elephants, but did make contact with the people at Lilayi Elephant Orphanage outside Lusaka, as well as those from Conservation Lower Zambezi.

Part two of his journey would start from Siavonga on April 18, 2014 (Easter Saturday) and there would be a great deal of publicity.

Members of the public would be invited to accompany him over the first 36 kilometres on condition that they make a donation to the orphanage at Lilayi.

Hopefully, a lot of money would be raised for that organisation and it will also be fun.

There would also be back up vehicles for those who drop out or want to join him half way along.

Reflecting on his upcoming journey, he said "I will take each day as it comes and try to enjoy every moment of what might be my last adventure. The adventure 'bug' still draws me back for one last little fling."

For a man like Lemon, these sorts of adventures are very much off the cuff.

The current security situation in Mozambique is a bit of a worry, to him but he would look on it as just another hazard to be negotiated.

Part two of the trek would coincide with a music festival at Eagles Rest resort, in Savionga, which would lodge him, like before in his leg. Eagle Rest has been very supportive of Mr Lemon, by providing accommodation when he suspended his journey last year.

His first leg of the Zambezi Cowbell Trek took him through some of the most remotely beautiful parts of Zambia's countryside.

Although a major aim of the walk is to publicise the plight of elephants, David's efforts is a huge boost for Zambian tourism. The wonders of the Victoria Falls are known around the world, but they remain a hidden gem to many such as the Mongu River Market and the Sioma Ngonye Falls that are featured in this book.

As Andy Taylor, Promasidor Zambia managing director sponsors of his epic journey puts it, probably the best part of the adventure was our re-supply efforts.

"This took the team to many wonderful parts of Zambia that we probably would not have seen any other way. We have watched our adventurer lose a great deal of weight, while seemingly growing stronger by the day," he said.

Now that David is over halfway to the Indian Ocean and journey's end, the first part of his story needs to be told for the sake of education and the young children.

Thankfully, he has told the story with graphic memory.

Perhaps the young generation could do better by reading the book describing Zambia's beauty.

Well, David Lemon is very much an 'Elephant man' and it is with pride and excitement that Cowbell is giving him the support to his attempts to show the world what is happening to Africa's elephants.

Promasidor is the parent company of Cowbell and believes that the finest milk powder in the world kept David going on his walk.

Mr Taylor is happy that the history maker, who was recently in the country to prepare for part two of his journey, is eager to accomplish his mission.

The fourth longest river in Africa and by far and away the most romantic, the Zambezi meanders through the continent for 2400 miles and goes from Mwinilunga in the North-western corner of Zambia, north into Angola and then South again till it re-enters Zambia, heads east towards Mozambique and enters the sea at a remote settlement named Chinde.

All in all, David is very much looking forward to being 'on the 1'road' again.

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