September 2015 – Nedbank Tour de Tuli 2015 participants had the opportunity to meet some of the communities they are helping to uplift first hand, with each cyclist donating a Wilderness Safaris-sponsored schoolbag and supplies to Jalukange Primary School in Zimbabwe.
Organised by Tour de Wilderness, the Nedbank Tour de Tuli is an annual multi-stage mountain cycling event. The 11th edition saw 340 participants cycle across almost 300 km of remote and pristine wilderness terrain in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa between 13 and 18 August 2015.
“Giving the participants the chance to see the difference their contribution is making to the lives of rural schoolchildren is one of the main highlights of the event and gives unique insight into the daily lives of the people we support”, says Tour Director, Nicola Harris. “We include a visit to a Children in the Wilderness (CITW) school every year, and some participants have been so moved by this experience that they have continued to independently support the various schools after the Tour.”
All funds raised by the Tour are channelled directly into 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. Through Eco-Clubs at local schools and fun, educational camp programmes hosted at Wilderness Safaris and partner lodges, rural children are inspired to respect the environment and to appreciate the long-term value of conservation, becoming the future custodians of Africa’s pristine wilderness areas.
Over the years, the Tour has hosted over 2 700 cyclists and raised more than R14 million for CITW. In 2015, 540 children attended a CITW camp, while 2 271 children attended CITW Eco-Clubs.
“We are always thrilled to be able to give back to the communities that allow us to use their land for the Nedbank Tour de Tuli, who always offer a warm welcome to the cyclists, cheering them on heartily. It is always important to connect the event to the reason why this all happens – and this particular day of the event does just that,” says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Programme Director.