Tour de Wilderness is celebrating the conclusion of yet another successful Nedbank Tour de Tuli event, reinforcing its status as one of southern Africa’s premier mountain biking events. The 11th edition of the event saw 340 participants cycle across almost 300 km of challenging and remote terrain in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa between 13 and 18 August 2015.
“This year’s Tour attracted cyclists from across the globe, providing them with the life-changing opportunity to follow wildlife trails in pristine wilderness areas, encountering various wildlife and enjoying spectacular scenery along the way,” said Nicola Harris, Tour Director.
Starting from the Pont Drift border post between South Africa and Botswana, cyclists enjoyed two days’ cycling across Botswana’s Northern Tuli Game Reserve, exploring indigenous forest and sandstone ridges before crossing over into Zimbabwe. Here, one of the highlights included a visit to Jalukange Primary School, where cyclists received a warm welcome from the community. They also donated Wilderness Safaris-sponsored schoolbags and supplies. On day four, cyclists crossed back over the Limpopo and into South Africa where they cycled through the baobab-dotted Mapungubwe National Park – their final destination for the Tour.
“The Tour has become synonymous with adventure, serious single-track riding, and an incredible spirit of comradery and this year was certainly no exception. Despite this year’s hot and dusty conditions, the cyclists rose to the challenge and, along with the usual badges of honour in the form of a few cuts and scrapes, have travelled home with many special memories,” says Harris.
All monies raised by the Tour are channelled directly into Children in the Wilderness (CITW), a non-profit organisation that runs sustainable environmental education programmes to bridge the divide between communities and the wildlife areas they live next to. Over the last 10 years, the Tour has hosted more than 2 700 cyclists and raised over R14 million for CITW.
“Putting together an event of this magnitude is a logistical feat that would not be possible without the unwavering support we receive, year after year, from the Botswana, Zimbabwe and South African Governments. This, coupled with the generosity of our sponsors, cyclists and volunteers, is what makes the Nedbank Tour de Tuli the incredibly special event that it is and enables us to continue focusing on inspiring Africa’s next generation of environmental leaders”, says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Programme Director.