May 2016 – Tour de Wilderness, the organiser of the acclaimed annual Nedbank Tour de Tuli multi-stage mountain bike event, has launched the route for 2016, which will see 350 riders cycle across 275km of challenging and remote terrain in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa between 28 July and 2 August.
The Nedbank Tour de Tuli attracts cyclists from across the globe and provides them with an unforgettable opportunity to follow wildlife trails in pristine, wilderness areas. Mountain bikers not only have the opportunity of encountering a variety of wildlife, but the route includes magnificent scenery and cultural interactions with the local communities living on the boundaries of these protected areas.
“As we make our final preparations for the 12th edition of the Tour, we are excited to deliver yet another life-changing and one-of-a-kind experience to all our participants, from our seasoned regulars to first-timers. Cyclists can look forward to plenty of adventure, camaraderie, and total immersion in some of Africa’s most pristine and spectacular wilderness areas, along with the incredible hospitality that has become synonymous with the Nedbank Tour de Tuli”, says Tour Director, Nicola Harris.
Itinerary highlights over the four days of cycling include:
Day 1: Limpopo Valley Airfield (Botswana) to Amphitheatre Bush Camp (Botswana) – approximately 75km
The first day’s highlights include a dramatic section of sandstone ridges, where riders will head along elephant tracks that have been carved into the rock over centuries, as well as brunch on the banks of the Limpopo River. Along the way, they will be able to view impressive geological formations, such as Lentswe le Moriti and Solomon’s Wall. While there are some sandy sections and climbs, riders will be rewarded with plenty of scenic, unmanicured single track, while keeping a careful look-out for elephant, which are plentiful along this part of the route.
Day 2: Amphitheatre Bush Camp (Botswana) to Maramani Camp (Zimbabwe) – approximately 75km
With enough sand to put cyclists’ riding skills to the test, and plenty of river crossings, the second day starts off with a single-track climb up to the tea stop, where riders will be able to enjoy incredible views. This is followed by fast and flowing terrain through undulating landscapes towards the first border crossing of the Tour, at Shashe River. Once in Zimbabwe, it’s a short ride through community farm lands to the overnight camp.
Day 3: Maramani Camp (Zimbabwe) to Fly Camp (Zimbabwe) – approximately 55km
This is the day where riders can relax and take it easy, heading out on donkey track through communal lands. Once over the Pazhi River, cyclists will head into mopane veld, where plenty of zebra, eland, giraffe and wildebeest can be seen. A short, steep descent, followed by a stony ascent leads into Fly Camp, a favourite route for elephants who visit to feast on the left-over oranges from Nottingham Estate.
Day 4: Fly Camp (Zimbabwe) to Mapungubwe Camp (South Africa) – approximately 55km
While the route may be short, the final day’s cycling packs a punch, with some challenging riverbed crossings, sandy sections and climbs, but riders can expect to enjoy plenty of spectacular scenery, including perennial rivers, fever tree forests and Mapungubwe’s endless baobabs. Once over the border and into South Africa, it’s just a few short kilometres to the finish line.
All funds 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 adjoining wildlife areas they live next to. Through Eco-Clubs and fun, educational camp programmes, rural children are inspired to respect their environment and to appreciate the long-term value of conservation, becoming the future custodians of Africa’s pristine wilderness areas.
“The Tour is one of the main fundraisers for CITW and it is largely thanks to the incredible generosity of our sponsors and participants that we are able to play a meaningful role in developing Africa’s next generation of environmental leaders. We are looking forward to giving cyclists the opportunity to see the difference they are making in people’s lives as they interact with some of the communities that CITW supports along the way”, says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Regional Programme Director.
Click here to watch a short video showing the highlights of last year’s Nedbank Tour de Tuli.
The 2016 route will offer incredible cultural interactions, single track through wildlife-rich areas and superlative hospitality