More than two years ago, Mario Rigby dropped everything to
head to South Africa for the start of an epic solo 12,000+ km walk (and kayak) through
8 countries. He called it Crossing Africa. Very few people have accomplished this
feat (the last person to do it was in the 19 th century). Mario is the only person on record
to walk side-by- side with the locals for such a lengthy stretch, every day. He lived where they live, embraced their cultures, and learned their stories, all while debunking stereotypes and possessing an unflinching belief in the good of strangers to help him along the way.
Mario's journey was not without incredible risk. Tested in ways that would make anyone
stop short, his perseverance and zest for adventure has garnered international attention; inspiring countless people across the globe to confront their fears and chase their dreams.
To prepare for his journey he completed a 15 day walk from the CN Tower in Toronto to the top of Mount Royal in Montreal, walking 12-15 hours each day, and covering more than 550 kilometres, all by foot. Along the way, Rigby was overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers who took him into their homes, providing warm meals and a place to sleep.
“The drive for curiosity and exploration is vanishing in today's fast-paced and digital world,” said Rigby. “I think unlike past generations, more people are hesitant to venture out and meet strangers. We are all filled with unimaginable potential -- perhaps my adventure will inspire others to move away from their comfort zones and unleash theirs.”
WHAT IS "CROSSING AFRICA"?
Crossing Africa is solo two year, 12,000 km voyage from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt, entirely by foot and kayak.
WHY DO THIS?
● To fulfill a burning drive for exploration and adventure and re-enforce my belief in
humanity, all while testing my body and mind to the absolute limit.
● Inspire: The drive for curiosity and exploration is vanishing in today's fast-paced
and digital world. I think unlike past generations, more people are hesitant to
venture out and meet strangers. We are all filled with unimaginable potential --
perhaps my adventure inspired others to move away from their comfort zones
and unleash theirs.
● Not only was it an exploration of the land, it’s also a genuine interest of the
people within it, and to learn from them.
● Only a few have done it from Cape Town to Cairo, and they have been
westerners. I wanted to take on a modern challenge and show Africa in a way
that’s unique by walking side by side with them (Africans), staying where they
● I wanted to explore the world in a unique way that allowed me to experience the
villages, tribes, and cultures without the convenience of just leaving any place at
any time. If you walk you can’t just leave at night and go somewhere else. You
have to arrive and then befriend strangers within minutes.
What did you learn?
● The Africa I saw on the news was very misinterpreted, in my experience.
● You can never go anywhere in Africa and be alone. There will always be
someone to take care of you and look after you.
● So many people have taken me into their homes. Anecdote: In South Africa, the
white / black question is still a huge issue, but both have taken me in. I stayed
with one guy who was like, “I was at war [with you], I used to shoot the blacks,
now I’m sitting with you and happy to get that past me.” Obviously he felt horrible
When dID your trip begin?
November 24th, 2015
How far WAS the walk?
12,000 Km (calculations based on flat terrain)
How long HAS your trip takeN?
Roughly 2 years
HAVE YOU HAD transportation?
Only foot and/or paddle/sail boat are my forms of transportation. No motor vehicles will be in this expedition
Who HAS JOINED?
This is a solo expedition. However anyone can join me for short duration at any point of the expedition
How can I help?
Is it safe?
It is as safe as I am prepared for.
Where will you be sleeping?
The homes of strangers, camping in the wild, schools and charitable organizations along my route.
How much DID THIS cost?
Roughly $20,000 from start to finish. I will be living on $3 to $5 a day on my walking expeditions