Living Traditions Expedition with Mike Eloff and SIRUI

Mike Eloff was recently invited by the Kingsley Holgate Foundation to join them on a 2 week leg of their expedition which started and ended in Durban, South Africa. He joined from Nairobi, Kenya through to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with his trip lasting 16 days.

The team left in late June and arrived back in KZN recently, so for them it was a couple of months of driving with a few goals in mind.

The main objective for the Chew Bahir Expedition was to get to the Chew Bahir Desert Pans in Southern Ethiopia and circumnavigate them using the land yachts in the photos below.

Land Sailing Chew Bahir 01

Land Sailing Chew Bahir 02

There are plenty of tribes throughout Africa that are still dressing in their traditional clothing and living in hut structures that date way back in time. They are sometimes completely cut off from civilisation with no cell phones or connection to the outside world, hence the term “Living Tradition”.


Then there is the humanitarian work Kingsley does and these are the projects focused on during this trip:

  • Handing out Mosquito Nets to villages in high Malaria zones throughout Africa. Nets are only handed out to mothers with children and pregnant mothers.
  • Mashozi’s Rite to Sight – This is where the team stop in villages throughout Africa and do eye tests on the elderly villagers that are 70 years and older. They use a pin with beads and ask them to thread the needle with the beads to see if they can see. They also have a eye test with animals on it that go from large to small. Mashozi is the nickname Kingsley’s late wife was given and it means “She who wears shorts”. The eye test was her initiative and has been going for years.
  • The Life Straws project is another project that has saved thousands of lives over the years in areas where the water is not fit for drinking at all, but because there is nothing else, villagers are forced to drink this dirty water. The Life Straws are a device that people suck the dirty water through and it’s immediately filtered into clean water and all the bad bacteria is removed. Each straw lasts a minimum of a year.

Mike’s objective for the trip was to assist in filming the 16 days while on the trip, then to take photos for his own use and to tell the story on his blog after the trip. Here are a few more pictures from his trip: