In August 2012, Ben, Joshua and Stephen Freeth (Mike Campbell's son-in-law and grandsons) aim to be the first people to sail across the Makgadikgadi salt pans in north-eastern Botswana – one of the largest salt pans in the world – in a craft, powered by a kite!They hope to raise £10,000 to aid the work of the Foundation, which is lobbying to re-instate the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Tribunal which was dissolved illegally in May 2011. This Tribunal was the only regional court where victims of human rights abuse could go when justice systems failed in their own countries. The work of the recently launched Foundation includes providing assistance to those who have lost everything through political violence and are forced to live in extreme poverty. It currently provides training and survival skills, medical assistance and educational support to a number of destitute Zimbabwean farm worker families and is endeavouring to extend this support.
The wooden craft – known as the ‘Mike Campbell Dune Dancer’ was designed and built by Mike’s grandchildren as a go-kart, originally with an Optimist dinghy sail. It can also float on water. The body of the craft is lightweight, with wheels large and wide enough to go over the pan’s thin crust as well as clearance to allow it to run over tussocks and rocky areas. For the Expedition it will be propelled by a 5-metre kite.
The Location:The craft will sail approximately 100 miles across the Makgadikgadi Pans, located on the fringes of the Kalahari Desert – close to the Zimbabwe border in north-eastern Botswana, covering a vast area of over 6,000 square miles. They are home to the second largest migration of zebra and wildebeest in the world with up to 75,000 animals crossing them each year.
The expedition, travelling across the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, symbolises the Foundation’s vision for Zimbabwe: To rebuild a nation decimated by the destruction of human rights and the collapse of the rule of law into a productive land where its people and world-renowned wildlife can once again thrive.