Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 28 Jan 2018

Expedition details (GPF2018a-002)

Expedition Name (& Club): Kaokoland 2018 (Gloucester Speleological Society)
Destination country: Namibia
Region: Kunene Province
Lat: -18.6878 Long: 13.7424 Elevation: 1514 m
MEF funding: none

Leader: Dr Mark Tringham
Total cavers: 5
Cavers ≤25 yrs old: 0
Cavers 25-35 yrs old: 0
UK/nonUK cavers: 4/1
Eligible for grant aid: 0
Alex Pitcher nominations: 0
Expedition dates: 5th May 2018 - 26th May 2018
Duration (days): 22
Man-days in field: 80 Man-days travelling: 30
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

To explore, survey, photograph and study new caves in the Kunene Province, NW of Namibia.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

Please explain the aspects of the trip which make it eligible for Ghar Parau funding.

Grant aid is wanted from GPF to assist with equipment purchase and travel costs to Namibia for UK participants. GPF support would help publicise the caving activities and potentially help attract future visitors to this very undeveloped area. A successful expedition would likely help provide inward investment to native Himba and Herero village communities and encourage them into eco-tourism instead of goat and cattle farming that is presently harming the environment.
Detailed description of objectives:

Give a more detailed account of the purpose of the trip, including any particular known caves you intend to visit, specific areas where you will explore for new cave, and scientific experiments you will attempt.

Since the previous expedition in 2015 nearby areas of interest have been identified that were not reached before. Local village conservancies have been recording new unexplored cave entrances for evaluation. Additionally Google earth image data and geological publications are being used to search for further promising areas. The purpose of the 2018 expedition will be to evaluate these caves, survey, photograph, study them and publish the results. Local Conservancies will be advised of the conservation requirements to protect the caves and advised if there is any potential cave tourism resource.
Of particular interest will be to determine the speleogenesis in this arid area. The caves are found in very ancient Neoproterozoic dolomites and limestones and the ones explored in 2015 are mostly interpreted to be of hypogenic origin formed by hydrothermal waters migrating upwards mostly on faults. Some of the caves found in 2015 contained mummified antelope remains and there is potential in this region for archeological finds including early hominid remains.
Previous work in this area:

Give details of any previous work in this area by your own and other teams. Include references to reports and articles published on the area, and the names of any local cavers or academics with whom you have discussed the Expedition.

A small team of South African and Namibian cavers visited this area twice in the 1990's and using aerial photos identified larger cave entrances and explored them. No other explorations are known to have occurred until 2015 when a small UK/French expedition took place that GPF supported. Key to success in this area is good local liaison to help find often quite small entrances that expand out downwards and which bear little or no relationship to present day surface topography and drainage. The 2015 and 2018 teams have liaised with local village Conservancies through the Namibian NGO 'IRDNC' (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation) to help locate cave entrances. The findings from 1990's are listed below. The 2015 expedition results were published on GPF website and presented at the Yorkshire Eurospeleo Meeting in 2016. The full report of the 2015 Expedition is presently in final preparation for publication by GSS.
Martini, J.E.J, Marais, J.C.E, and Irish, J., (1990) Kaokoveld Karst, Namibia, The 1990 SWAKNO Kaokoveld Speleological Expedition. Bull. S. African Speleologial Association, Vol. 31, p.25-41.
J.E.J. Martini et J.C.E. Marais (1996) Grottes hydrothermales dans le Nord-Ouest de la Namibie. Karstologia No. 28-2, p. 13-18.
J.E.J. Martini, J.C.E. Marais, et J. Irish, (1999) Contribution à l’étude du karst et des grottes du Kaokoland (Namibie), Karstologia No. 34-2, p. 1-8.
Tringham M.E.(Ed.) Kunene Region Namibia 2015, Kaokoland Speleological Expedition Report. Gloucester Speleological Society Spec. Publ. (In Press)

Expedition Finances


Travel plans:
For UK people; Bus Gloucester to London Heathrow, Qatar Airlines LHR to Windhoek via Doha. 4WD vehicle from Windhoek to Opuwo area (800Km) to be provided by IRDNC. Reverse of same on return journey.
Serbian participant flight Belgrade to Doha to join rest of party.

# from UK: 4 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £2,345 Bus from Glos to LHR £80, £2265 for 4 UK return flight tickets LHR to WDH

# from outside UK: 1 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £810 Around £810 flight Belgrade to WDH (to be provided by Serbian Sports Council)

Travel total: £3,155 Travel p.p. from UK: £586
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £810


Total: £1,500 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £300 Approx £15/day per person for 20 days (5 x 15 x 20= 1500).


Total: £300 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £60 Most gear will be loaned from GSS, RFDCC, and GCRG. Around £300 will be required for consumables (dust masks, safety glasses etc and donation to GCRG for loan of CO2/O2 gas monitors) and for possible purchase of a light weight drill,
Exped Total: £4,955 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £946
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £1,170
Mean Exped cost per person: £991

Other Funding

Total: £2,310 Comments:
IRDNC should cover the cost of 4WD cars, food and camping £1500.
Serbian sports council will likely cover travel costs for Uros Aksamovic £810.
Total shortfall: £2,645 Mean shortfall per person: £529

Referees and Report

Please give the names, addresses and phone numbers of two suitably qualified people whom the Committee can contact. You should ensure that they are aware of the objectives of your trip, and that you have their permission for the Committee to contact them.

Referee 1: Mr Jonathan Maisey
Affiliation: Chairman GSS

Reason: He is well known to all the UK participants and senior officer in GSS.

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Mr Chris Binding
Affiliation: WCC/UBSS

Reason: He has attended expeditions with nearly all the participants before in Montenegro and has known them for many years.

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Mark Tringham