Explorers Connect

Downstream in Salone and Liberia

OtherJames Hipkiss

My name is Will Millard and I'm an expedition leader and journalist based in the Norfolk Fens. This spring I'm aiming to make a first pack-raft descent of a 100 mile section of the Mano and Moro rivers, right from the point they form the Sierra Leone Liberia border, through the Gola forest, and down into the Atlantic.

This is a journey deep into the fragile Upper Guinean belt ecosystem, home to some of the most endangered species on the planet including pygmy hippos, chimps and forest elephants, and under major threat from logging and mining, which has seen more than 70% of the forest cover disappear in the last 50 years. Ill be meeting policy makers, ecologists and the local people who live in and around the forest to try and gain a greater understanding of the challenges in establishing conservation initiatives here, and then broadcasting a documentary of my experiences for BBC Radio 4.

This project is very kindly supported by the Royal Geographical Societys Journey of a Lifetime grant (www.rgs.org/journeyofalifetime) and is raising money for Street Child of Sierra Leone. Please do get in touch through my website www.willmillard.com if you have any interest in the project or know of anyone you think might be able to help the story of my journey in West Africa as I would love to hear from you. Join the Downstream Chimp community on Facebook, read the blog to learn more or follow me on Twitter @MillardWill for all the latest news.