My name is Will Millard. I’m an expedition leader and journalist based in the UK and this is my blog ‘Downstream Chimp’ about my adventures in the jungles of Sierra Leone and Liberia in the spring of 2013.
I’m aiming to make a first packraft descent of a 100 mile section of the Mano River, right from the point it forms 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. I’ll 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 Society’s ‘Journey of a Lifetime’ grant (www.rgs.org/journeyofalifetime). If you want to find out more about me, my previous expeditions in West Papua, or just read some of my articles, then head over to www.willmillard.com for all the links, or if you want to get in touch, then please send an email to email@example.com and I’ll try and get back to you as soon as possible.