Expedition Unknown – The African Gold Hoard – S02E12

imageFor our next exciting adventure we’re off to Africa in search of gold. Josh is on the trail of gold coins that were buried at the behest of Paul Kruger when he fears the loot will fall into the hands of the invading British. To secure the wealth of his fledgling republic, Kruger stashes the coins on a train wherein the gold and all records of it are lost. But there are a few new leads and several new groups out looking for the gold which could be worth nearly a billion dollars in today’s money.

Paul Kruger was the president of a small republic in the very early 1900s. His group had found a wealth of gold in Africa and had been using it to mint coins. Trouble erupted in the area which ultimately lead to the Boer’s War. Sensing trouble and not wanting to lose his newly minted wealth, the coins are loaded on a train so that Kruger and the lootcan exit the country. They leave Pretoria by train and head for Machadodorp. That was the last time the gold was scene. Kruger leaves the country, but he never meets up with his gold reserves.

The first order of business is to follow the money. Josh follows the route to the last place the gold was scene. The landscape and the train station have changed to the point where Josh heads to the old track and tunnel to have a look around. Pretty much a den of junk with no significant signs the gold would be hidden inside. A vagrant, yes, gold, no.

With the end of the line being the real end of the line, Josh heads to the mint to see how the coin would have been made as well as get some insight about a recently authenticated coin. Turns out Kruger stamped his own money with his own image and it had some exacting details. The coin will have a specific weight and gold content. Any coin they find will have to match in order to be authentic.

Josh then heads out to meet another treasure who has chosen to investigate a cave system where he’s found Kruger era artifacts and weapons. There is some evidence to suggest the gold was hidden within the caves, so Josh suits up to get down and dirty. Dirty indeed as he slugs his way through all sorts of much and narrow spaces. With nothing more than a face full of mud, and perhaps an old coin, Josh makes a layover in an impressive safari hotel.

After a cold beverage and a good night’s sleep, Josh meets up with some hunters who found an authentic Kruger gold coin. They are searching across the plains of the Kruger National Park, a nearly 8000 square mile reserve. But you can’t just go walking in and digging holes, you need to ask permission. With that, he’s off to meet the tribal chief. After a brief talk and Josh getting a tribal spear to protect himself with, he’s back on the road and heading deeper into the park.

Not only does Josh meet the treasure hunters, but their armed and military trained entourage. This is no joke, these guys have a heavily armed anti-poaching force coming along for the ride and they armed with enough weapons to make you pucker. Their goal is to stop poachers who still slaughter rhinos for their horns. Not to mention protecting the team from wandering animals. Although, I’m quite convinced they won’t shoot the animals.

During the evening, the hunters launch an aerial drone with sensitive cameras to locate metal objects heated by the sun. The military team is also at the ready as this is a prime time for poaching. While there are some noises to be heard under the cover of darkness, everything goes without incident, which is good, because Josh will spending the night out there.

In the morning, the team goes to each GPS marked location to see what the drone spotted. They pull out a horseshoe, part of a bridle and even an old pistol. They collect quite a few relics from what they believe to be a British used during the Boer War. Not quite the pot of gold they’re looking for, but great museum pieces and proof they’re looking in the right place.

Is the gold going to be found on plains of the Kruger National Park? Or is it hidden in a cave? Did it still exist at all? It certainly did at one point, there is no doubt about that, but considering the lack of details and the area they need to look in, it seems an almost impossile task to find it. But the lure is millions, possibly billions, so you know they are going to keep at it. And perhaps, if it keeps people out in the plains and thwarts the efforts of poachers, then the hunt won’t be in vain.

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One Response to Expedition Unknown – The African Gold Hoard – S02E12

  • Martin Austin says:

    Hello Mr. Gates. My name is Martin Austin. And I reside in Fallon Nevada. The reason for this letter is that I was very interested in your show you did in Africa. ( Kruger National Park) I noticed in your film that two gentlemen assisted you on your search for the gold coins. What interested me was the thermal imaging. And the type of Drone that was used. I have a similar story that happened here years ago. The have story I have that was passed down to me from my father and his father. This story talks about gold coins that the paiute people had taken. But didn’t have use for it. These coins were never found except one. I thank you for your time. And if you would like to hear the whole story. I would like to share it with you. Any questions call (775) 420-1798.

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