The team of Aqua Planet Dive Centre and Charter had the privilege meeting Dean Swart. On his incredible and epic journey, 500 Sunsets, Dean managed to sneak in a couple of dives on Protea Banks.
500 Sunsets, here is Dean’s story in his own words:
“In January of 2018 I started a solo expedition to walk the entire coastline of South Africa and Mozambique, a distance of more than 5700km. This journey will take twenty months to two years to complete.
My main aim is to gather environmental data on the general health of the coast. I plan on achieving this through the taking of samples, photographing the wildlife and recording the levels of plastic pollution. Above all I wish to raise awareness about our coastal environment and the impact we as humans have on it. My other goal is just to share and enjoy the vast expanses of exquisite coastline we are so privileged to have.
My name is Dean Swart and I view myself as an ordinary 47 year old guy, with a passion for the great outdoors and a burning need to get out and do something to conserve our planet. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe and schooled in Kwazulu Natal South Africa. On completing my education I returned to Zimbabwe in order to farm. In 2004 my farm was appropriated by the government in Zimbabwe’s land grab, where upon I left for the UK and changed my profession, moving into the construction industry. Finally I returned to settle in South Africa and due to the ‘slow down’ in the economy and the construction industry; I decided that I needed to focus my energy on my passion for the outdoors. This has ultimately lead to this expedition.
There are a few people who have walked the South African coastline and none that I know of that have walked the Mozambican coastline, let alone both. The vast distance is not the challenge, for I have the time. The main challenges and possible barrier to success will be things like political stability in Mozambique, the medical risks involved with regard to physical injury and malaria. There is also the risk of crocodiles and treacherous water when crossing the many rivers that empty into the ocean. In order to mitigate the risks, I have undergone intensive survival training, wilderness first aid, rescue and navigation courses. I have also been doing extensive research, setting up emergency contingency plans, putting resources in place, and securing sponsors. I have met with scientists in order to understand what data is beneficial and who would best benefit. With only a few months to go, I am now in the final phases of preparation and starting the drive to raise interest and awareness.
If you have a passion for the environment and would like to follow me on this journey or contribute in any way, if you wish to do something to help save our oceans or you have a thrill for adventure, then please feel free to contact me. Let us do something to make a difference and change our current behaviour towards the environment …”