After two years of pandemic turmoil and uncertainty for events, and by extension, the communities they serve, now in its eighteenth year, Nedbank’s Tour de Tuli saw a record sell out for adventure seekers. An internationally acclaimed mountain bike tour, the Tour de Tuli migrates across pristine African wilderness, over three days spanning three different nations of Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. These globally premier wildlife destinations that take riders through a true African experience navigating landscapes, single track, and ancient unmarked game trails via bike is the ultimate privilege.
Starting and finishing in South Africa at the World Heritage site of Mapungubwe National Park, riders can look forward to a memorable four days of riding and five camp nights under the stars. The three regions’ route falls within the Greater Mapungubwe Trans-frontier Conservation Area, taking riders along mostly elephant trails. Traversing thick sand, rocky hills, thickets of mopane bushveld, baobabs and wildlife sightings such as elephant, if you’re sharp eyed, giraffe and impala.
Hosted in July, the event fulfils a vital community and conservation tourism role as the primary fundraiser for Children In The Wilderness (CITW) and is supported by Wildnerness Safaris, an established eco-tourism company. Using the natural heritage within communities the programme is geared to the development of proactive skills and leadership for children. Utilising an organised structure covering; mentor training, eco clubs, annual educational camps, stewardship programmes and scholarships towards schooling and tertiary education.
With over twenty million rands raised, the programme has hosted 7800 children on annual CITW camps, trained over 1000 eco teachers and mentors, reached 3300 children across regions through weekly eco-clubs and supports at least 600 annually on the scholarship programme. Given how rural communities have suffered an acute vulnerability to the pandemic, both in terms of health and impact on livelihoods. Organisers have, as part of the 18th edition, brought forward a focus on community driven SMEs and entrepreneurs to expand their operations and broaden the core purpose of Tour de Tuli. Key support roles, nutrition and logistical support shall form part of these SME and entrepreneur responsibilities in partnership with Wilderness Safaris.
While there are some new exciting developments to this year’s tour, the team are currently involved with final route recon and preparation in the wild, to ensure as seamless as possible an experience for all. Keep an eye out for the news and route launch shortly.