April 2017 – Tour de Wilderness is delighted to announce that the Nedbank Tour de Tuli – a premier mountain bike event in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe and the main fundraiser for non-profit organisation, Children in the Wilderness (CITW) – has won a Silver African Responsible Tourism Award (ARTA) in the Best Responsible Event category.
“We are delighted to have received this prestigious recognition from some of the world’s experts in responsible tourism, showcasing just how unique and incredible the Nedbank Tour de Tuli event is. The opportunity to cycle through the diverse habitats of three beautiful countries, while at the same time raising awareness of the importance of Transfrontier Conservation Areas and providing benefits to the children of communities living around conservation areas, is definitely something to be proud of,” says Tour Director, Nicola Harris.
Now in its 13th year, the Nedbank Tour de Tuli is an annual four-day mountain bike event that takes 350 participants through 250km of protected wilderness in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa with the primary aim of raising funds for Children in the Wilderness (CITW). The ARTA judges recognised the skill and commitment which has created a signature event raising R3.5 million alone in 2016 for CITW’s environmental education programmes throughout southern Africa.
According to Harold Goodwin, Chair of the ARTA judging panel, “The Gold and Silver Award winners should be particularly proud of what they have achieved; they have been recognised as being leaders in a Responsible Tourism movement where more is expected each year.”
ARTA Founder and managing director of Better Tourism Africa, Heidi van der Watt, further pinpointed what made the Award winners leaders in responsible tourism in Africa: “Our winners have a vision that extends beyond the commercial – linking business success with the wellbeing of local communities and the longevity of their environments. They want to make profits with principles, communicate balance sheets alongside beliefs, and won’t undermine passion in the pursuit of professionalism. They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They are the future of tourism in Africa.”
Over the last 13 years, the Tour has hosted over 3 500 cyclists and raised just over R20 million for Children in the Wilderness. It is renowned for its extremely high standards of service, tented accommodation in beautiful wilderness locations and provides cyclists with the unforgettable opportunity to follow ancient elephant and other wildlife trails in remote, wilderness-protected areas. Cyclists not only have the opportunity to see wildlife, but the route also includes magnificent scenery and rare cultural interactions with the local communities living on the boundaries of these protected areas.
Click here to see the full list of 2017 ARTA winners or for more information about the Nedbank Tour de Tuli, visit www.tourdewilderness.com. To watch a short video of the 2016 Tour, click here, and here to watch an inspirational clip about Children in the Wilderness.