Critically acclaimed author and public speaker Fran Sandham took on the challenge of a lifetime by walking coast-to-coast across Africa, from the Atlantic on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast to the Indian Ocean near Zanzibar.
This was the first time on record anyone has crossed Africa solo entirely on foot by this route - or at least solo apart from a disastrous donkey.
He undertook this 3,000-mile journey with no backup, no support team, no sponsors, no film crew, and no strings attached.
A very experienced public speaker and lecturer, Fran is available for humorous and inspiring illustrated lectures, motivational speaking, after-dinner speaking, and various talks on exploration in history.
For several hundred testimonials about his talks please visit www.traversa.co.uk.
'An excellent and entertaining speaker - people were very impressed. Fran grabbed the attention of our audience and left us with a unique and lasting impression of his travels across Africa.' Norbert Wurm, DELOITTE AND TOUCHE, LONDON
‘Thank you very much for your very interesting, informative and amusing talk at our monthly meeting. It was fascinating to hear about your epic journey across Africa and you don’t need me tell you that you are a natural as a speaker. You could hear a pin drop as you took us through the journey. It is always a feather in my cap, as Speakers’ Secretary, when a speaker holds everyone’s attention and the feedback already has been very good.’ Joy Harding, Speakers’ Secretary, SHENFIELD U3A
'Fran's talk was highly entertaining, extremely informative and kept our group fascinated throughout. I'd recommend him to anyone looking for an experienced and highly professional speaker.' Rachael Thornton, WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA W.I.
‘Fran gave a great, riveting lecture and the audience was spellbound. He is a wonderful communicator and really knows how to tell a story and hold everyone’s attention. There was not a sound in the whole room while he was speaking: we could have listened to him all night, and we will certainly be asking him back in the near future.' Kerri Fox, Head of Sixth Form, WYCOMBE ABBEY SCHOOL
‘Fran gave us a fresh perspective on the solo trek with a lively, informative and entertaining examination of motivation as well as process in this mammoth undertaking – a highly recommended, enjoyable lecture.’ Sue Chambers, President, HULL LITERARY & PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
‘What a superb talk you gave us, I had so many of our members telling me how much they had enjoyed all you had to say – it meant we ended our year on a mighty high. A big thank you again for a splendid afternoon and also for a fascinating read.’ Meg Alun-Jones, Programme Secretary, CROSBY U3A
'A fantastic adventure and inspirational story, told with great humour.' Ian Chandler, THE OUTDOORS SHOW, LONDON EXCEL
‘We greatly enjoyed your talk. The feedback from the members was very appreciative – in fact some said it was the best talk that they had been to. Give yourself a gold star!’ Connie Doody, Speaker Secretary, WALSALL U3A
'Fran’s talk to the Society definitely "hit the spot" with all the members.' Rod Allman, Lecture Secretary, MANCHESTER GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY
'Fran Sandham has a superb discernment for the detail of what makes people listening to him be interested, amused and thoroughly entertained – an excellent talk and a great evening.' John Lake, BARBICAN CENTRE, CITY OF LONDON
‘A big thank you for today as the feedback was very positive – I believe it wasn't just the presentation but also your personality and humour that impressed.’ David Stevens, Monthly Meetings Organiser, CARLISLE U3A
'I really enjoyed Fran's talk and the audience did too. A great event.' Marion Judson/Sharon Houghton, SCARBOROUGH LITERATURE FESTIVAL
‘A brilliant talk – Fran Sandham was amazing in his delivery of his story of trekking solo across Africa. All parents and students in the room were spellbound by the account of his adventures and I would have no hesitation in recommending Fran to other schools or organisations.' Annie Hughes, Development Director, GORDON’S SCHOOL, SURREY
'Fran's talk for us at the Times London Destinations Travel Show at Earls Court was very entertaining and humorous. Fran is an engaging speaker who is full of energy – I highly recommend going to one of his talks.' Karen Black, NAMIBIA TOURISM
'Fran Sandham gave us a brilliant insight into the dangers, sights, and practical problems of completing a walk across Africa. His talk covered a lot, history, wildlife, issues with pack animals and so on, and his storytelling ability kept the audience of Year 11 students enthralled. A very enjoyable session.' Trevor Allen, Head of Sixth Form, LEICESTER GRAMMAR SCHOOL
‘You really did enchant us with your story of the walk across Africa and we really would like you to come again some time.’ Shirley McConnell, Speakers Secretary, ROMILEY U3A
‘Super talk - thank you - it obviously went down well and that was a big turn out for us.’ Tessa Gayford, Chair, CAMELOT U3A
'What a brilliant talk! Fran is warm and witty and an all round entertaining speaker who captivated the audience with tales of his trek across Africa. Inspirational as well as informative and very, very amusing! A very successful and enjoyable event.' Janette Fleming, HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL
‘Everyone enjoyed your talk, filled with interesting stories and humour.’ Karen Mace, Co-Speakers and Events, The WIGS, COLCHESTER
‘Thank you for coming to give us such a well-received talk - I will certainly have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone looking for an engaging and professional speaker.’ Margaret Harkup, Speakers Secretary, MAIDSTONE U3A
'Thank you for your amazing talk today, everybody really enjoyed it and we had a good turn out as well.' Hanna Bastiaansen, CHESTER GLOBETROTTERS
‘Thanks for the lovely talk about your walk - everyone enjoyed it very much.’ Hilary Hough, Speakers' Secretary, WOKINGHAM U3A
‘Thank you so much for your inspiring talk last night. It was a massive hit with the kids – they really did love it – lots of feedback flying this morning.’ Owen Moelwyn-Hughes, Head of Politics, KINGS SCHOOL, CANTERBURY
‘I have had many reports of how much your talk was enjoyed – thank you so much for an interesting and entertaining presentation.’ Margaret Croft, Speakers Secretary, RODING VALLEY U3A
‘Thanks for the lecture – we all very much enjoyed and it would be great to have you along again at Ashville at some point in the future.’ Gary Kurczij, Head of English and Gifted and Talented Enrichment Co-ordinator, ASHVILLE COLLEGE, HARROGATE
'A very big thanks for a truly interesting and entertaining talk. The feedback has been most positive.' Pat Murfet, Speaker Secretary, KEYWORTH U3A
'Thanks again for an illuminating and humorous talk yesterday. We hope to see you again in the future.' Jeremy Waters, Chairman, GOUDHURST U3A
‘Your talk was very well received yesterday.’ Jan Warrender, Speakers Secretary, ABERGAVENNY U3A
'It was a pleasure meeting you last Wednesday, and your talk went down very well with our members.' Geraldine Sperritt, Speakers Secretary, NORTH WILTSHIRE U3A
'Thank you very much for your excellent talk. We enjoyed it very much and I have many letters of thanks both from our own members and members of other U3As.' Doug Jones, Speaker Secretary, PORTHCAWL U3A
'Thank you for your enthralling description of your amazing feat. The feedback has been very good, and I’ll certainly be recommending you to other societies. Tony Ord, Chairman, CHESTER LECTURE SOCIETY
'Fran's talk was extremely entertaining, amusing and informative.' Deborah Wallis, Cultural services, CORNWALL COUNCIL
'Thank you for another very interesting lecture last Wednesday. You certainly could not have packed-in more information into an hour's talk! I'm sure that most of the audience were (like me) almost totally ignorant of the lead-up to the encounter between Stanley and Livingstone, so you gave us an "educational" lecture in the best sense – both informative and interesting.' John Beynon, Chairman, RETIRED MEMBERS SURREYViews: 960 | Enquiries: 17
Lecturer and freelance writer Fran Sandham is the author of the non-fiction book 'Traversa: A solo walk across Africa' (see www.traversa.co.uk), which was serialised in the Sunday Times.
He has written for many newspapers, magazines and travel publications, including the Sunday Times, NBC News, the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, the Financial Times, inflight magazines for KLM and Gulf Air, Adventure Travel, Traveller magazine, Travel Africa and Country Walking.
Fran has travelled in over fifty countries, and was an editor at Rough Guides for several years.
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