June 2022 – Organisers have proudly unveiled the awe-inspiring route for the exclusive 2022 Nedbank Tour de Tuli, the internationally acclaimed mountain bike tour, and one-of-a-kind wilderness adventure that traverses three countries, namely South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Kicking off on 19 July, the Tour serves as the primary fundraiser for Children in the Wilderness (CITW), Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, which facilitates sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of rural children in Africa.
Like many other events over the last two years, the editions of the Nedbank Tour de Tuli planned for 2019 and 2020 had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various restrictions brought in to control it. These postponements have meant that the much-anticipated 16th anniversary edition of the Tour will now take place in 2022. Each year, the route is tailored to ensure that the Tour remains exciting, and continues to incorporate new regions and cultural sites.
This year’s route will once again traverse the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. Upholding its 16-year tradition, the riders predominantly follow ancient elephant trails and rural tracks, allowing participants the opportunity to experience cultural interactions with villagers, while also spotting wildlife against the backdrop of Africa’s unspoilt natural wilderness – a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list journey. Starting and ending at the World Heritage Site in South Africa, the riding route takes adventure-seekers through two protected wilderness areas – the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, in Botswana, and the multi-country Mapungubwe National Park. Riders cover between 60 km and 85 km per day, over a course of four consecutive days, by which time they will have covered approximately 300 km of mountain biking trails.
“As the sole beneficiary of the Tour, the Children in the Wilderness programme is an environmental and life skills, educational initiative for children that is focused on producing the next generation of decision-makers. The programme is intended to inspire them to care for their natural heritage and to become the custodians of these areas in the future”, noted Tour Director, Bronwen Blunden.
Bronwen points out that corporate sponsorship remains the backbone for the work done by CITW, which primarily focuses on the natural heritage within communities to develop proactive skills and leadership for children. It utilises an organised structure covering mentor training, Eco-Clubs, annual educational camps, youth stewardship programmes and scholarships for schooling and tertiary education.
“Nedbank is proud to have been associated with this unique and exciting African adventure for the past decade. Supporting the Tour and the work done by CITW aligns directly with the ethos of our brand, and we are actively involved in supporting surrounding communities”, added Kelly Thompson, Sponsorship Manager at Nedbank Conservation remains top of mind for Nedbank, and all funds raised by the Tour de Tuli are channelled into the CITW programme, helping to ensure the sustainability of the programme across all the regions within which it operates.
“Over the last 16 years, the Tour has hosted approximately 3 900 participants and raised over R20 million for CITW. This, in turn, has enabled over 5 600 children to be hosted on our CITW camp programme , and over 11 000 children on the Eco-Club programme”, commented Grant Woodrow, COO of Wilderness Business Development and Children in the Wilderness South Africa board member.
This world-class mountain bike tour is renowned for the unique experience it offers, riding through some of Africa’s most pristine wildlife and geologically rich areas. The event follows strict environmental practices, working with communities and traversing unforgettable routes, allowing participants to fully immerse themselves in their amazing wilderness surroundings.