Conservation the winner at iMfolozi MTB Challenge

The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve Anti-Poaching Unit and field rangers on route are an integral part of the Old Mutual Wild Series iMfolozi MTB Challenge. The field rangers clear dangerous animals off the route before the cyclists get there. They are also stationed at checkpoints along the way throughout the race. The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve Anti-Poaching Unit is also a beneficiary of the ride.

The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve Anti-Poaching Unit and field rangers on route are an integral part of the Old Mutual Wild Series iMfolozi MTB Challenge. The field rangers clear dangerous animals off the route before the cyclists get there. They are also stationed at checkpoints along the way throughout the race. The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve Anti-Poaching Unit is also a beneficiary of the ride.

This weekend, the 13th edition of the Old Mutual Wild Series iMfolozi MTB Challenge took place in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, home of the Big Five and the African Wild Dog. The men’s winner was Simon Rollo (2:35), while the first female rider home was Christie van der Ryst (3:13). 

However, this is an event that is about more than just winning. The iMfolozi MTB Challenge allows riders to not only cycle through Big Five country, but also allows them to contribute towards ongoing conservation efforts in the park. On the Saturday night auction after the 55km ride, R135 000 was raised for rhino orphans. A fitting cause after participants had passed the carcass of a poached rhino during the course of their ride. Happily, riders were also treated to the site of an elephant bull grazing in the reeds as they crossed the river at the final water point of the day. 

“Congratulations to everyone who completed this year’s iMfolozi Challenge, one of the most spectacular events our country has to offer. Thanks to the vision of Wildlands, the Wild Series events provide outdoor enthusiasts with the chance to run and cycle in special parts of the country, but also to contribute towards preserving our wilderness areas and wildlife,” says Karen Thomas, Old Mutual Head of Brand. “This is why Old Mutual partnered with Wildlands and Wild Series. We strongly believe in making a difference, and building a better future for all. Through events like the iMfolozi Challenge, we are able to achieve this in a way that is unique and fun at the same time.”