By Taddeo Bwambale
KAMPALA - Levison Wood, a British adventurer on a mission to walk the Nile River across six countries, arrived in Kampala on Sunday.
Levison entered the city at the Kibuye roundabout, accompanied by a guide, a group of bikers, a film crew and Police.
“We made it!” he shouted as he waved and stopped to take pictures with fans who surrounded him.
The 31 year- old explorer started his journey in Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda on December 3, 2013 and followed River Kagera, believed by some as the source of the Nile.
Throughout his journey on foot, Levison will cross six countries which are Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.
He aims to be the first man in history to walk the whole length of River Nile.
A writer and photographer, Levison co-founded Secret Compass, an exploration and adventure travel company that explores some of world’s wildest places.
The British adventurer is having Boston Beka (right) as his navigator on the ambitious expedtion. PHOTO/Abou Kisige
He has worked in over eighty countries and led teams across every kind of terrain and environment.
Levison was inspired by Africa from an early age, when he met painter and conservationist David Shepherd at a book signing.
Moved by Shepherd’s paintings, Levison grew up wanting to travel the world, documenting the wildlife and people he encountered.
In December 2013 Levison embarked on one of the world’s last great expeditions, attempting to walk the entire length of the River Nile.
He will be walking 4,250 miles across the six countries from source to delta through varying terrains over one year.
His expedition will be filmed for a four-part documentary to be aired on Channel 4 in the UK and Discovery Animal Planet in the USA 2014.
During his stay in Kampala, Levison will be blind-folded to take part in a boxing match with a blind boxer on Friday. He will also hang out with young people.
He says his expedition along the River Nile and subsequent activities will help change the narrative about African as a ‘continent of beggars.’
He will then walk to the source of River Nile in Jinja.
A travel note shows that Levison has a degree in History, and started out as a student journalist covering the invasion of Iraq in 2003. A year later, he was hitch-hiking from England to India, via the Caucasus, Iran, and Central Asia, where he lived at the mercy of Afghan gun runners and tribal warlords.
Navigator Beka's family receive him and Wood as they arrived at Kibuya roundabout in Kampala. PHOTO/Abou Kisige
When he returned home, Levison was accepted into the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment.
He spent several years as an Officer, leading several large expeditions including jungle trekking in Colombia and mountaineering in the Nepalese Himalayas.
In 2010 Levison left the army and worked for a charity project delivering ambulances to Malawi, driving the vehicles through 27 countries overland from London. Since then he has pioneered expeditionary travel in a number of post-conflict zones and remote areas.
He trekked to the source of the Oxus in Afghanistan; rafted the River Nile; has taken television crews into the wild bushland of South Sudan; completed a record breaking walk across the entire island of Madagascar and climbed unnamed peaks in the Zagros Mountains of Kurdistan.
Levison has dedicated his time to raising funds for a range of charities, often using his expeditions to bring much needed help to organisations in the field as well as in the UK.
His Nile expedition will raise funds for a variety of selected charities including Tusk Trust, AMECA and Space for Giants.
River Nile explorer arrives in Kampala