Cardboardbox Chad walks from the Hoanib to the Kunene for giraffe conservation
The owner of the Cardboardbox Backpackers in Windhoek, Chad Wratten is at it again. Come cooler weather in May, he and his favourit companion, Kuiseb his dog, accompanied by old friend and co-conservationist, Stephen van der Schyff, will embark on an epic pedestrian journey from the Hoanib to the Kunene.
This will be the fourth major journey on foot for Chadmanwalking, as his popular endeavours are known. This march brings attention to the plight of the giraffe population in the Skeleton Coast and adjacent areas in Damaraland and the Kaokoveld.
Chad started walking across Namibia in 2010, originally to find some peace and then he never stopped. To date he has walked over 2,000km through the Namib Desert from the Orange River to Twyfelfontein in Damaraland.
He now walks for the love of it and to experience the wonders of nature.
When out and about, Chad starts walking well before sunrise every morning to avoid the heat of the day. “Spending the day walking through this truly beautiful Namibian landscape is an absolute privilege.” he said.
“When you walk you see so much more of your surroundings. Your body, heart and mind start to heal. You live simply and according to the sun and have little need for excess.”
His sandwalker companion, Steve van der Schyff, is a well-known artist from South Africa. He plans to document their adventure with paintings that he will do on the way. All his work will be exhibited in Windhoek and Swakopmund afterwards.
The walking trio (man, man and dog) think they will be able to do the 300km trek from the Hoanib to the Kunene in about 20 days.
This time, Chad is not only walking for himself but also in support of giraffe conservation in Africa. All money raised during this adventure will be donated to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, a Namibian NGO dedicated to giraffe protection. It is Chad’s intention to stop Dr Flip Stander’s desert lions from chasing, harassing, catching and eating some of the hundreds of giraffe in the designated area. That is why he is taking his dog with him.
Since December 2016, giraffe are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) stated that it is the only non-governmental organisation in the world that concentrates solely on the conservation and management of giraffe in the wild throughout Africa.