January 31, 2023
Since 2019, Rolex has been embracing that changing landscape of exploration through its Perpetual Planet initiative, supporting the work of exploring conservationists.
Part of this project involves the work of Rolex Awards for Enterprise winners, who work to protect the livability of the planet and the welfare of people. Rolex is also working with the National Geographic Society, collecting data in the fight against climate change.
Dr. Boyes is a National Geographic Explorer, leading one of the Great Spine of Africa expeditions along over 500 miles of the Lungwevungu River.
The river is a tributary water source of the Zambezi River, which is vital to 20 million people and an inordinate amount of plants and animals, supporting Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The Great Spine of Africa Expeditions: Lungwevungu River – Ep. 2
Traversing the highlands of Angola to the border of Zambia, the team is collecting measurements and data on their journey. With his Rolex watch and team in tow, he is floating in dug-out “mekoro” canoes and camping along the river, documenting the data.
“It’s almost biblical,” said Dr. Boyes in a statement.
“During the day you are constantly stung, and at night beetles, flying ants and moths fill the air,” he said. “It’s a very difficult place to do science, to live, to do anything.”
Despite its importance, much of the Zambezi’s tributaries and life cycles is a mystery to scientists, making this expedition key in building local climate resilience. Being the birthplace of the Zambezi, the Lungwevungu is a key point in these conservation efforts.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="465"] Dr. Boyes takes measurements along the river, wearing his water-resistant watch. Image credit: Rolex[/caption]
The other expeditions taking place in the Spine of Africa will explore the Congo, Niger and Nile rivers– all just as important to 400 million Africans. Like this Lungwevungu expedition, much of the data collected is being sourced from places never studied by scientists before.
“If it’s measurable, we are absolutely going to measure it,” said Dr. Boyes in a statement.
“It is incredibly important for us to be able to measure change over time, to be able to pick up limits of acceptable change, then take those to the government and say that we need to change policy.”
Nature of luxury
Rolex is not alone in this undertaking of scientific exploration.
De Beers recently supported National Geographic’s conservation efforts in the Okavango Delta ( see story ).