November 2016 – Registrations have officially opened for the 13th edition of the Nedbank Tour de Tuli, set to take place from 27 July to 1 August 2017. Organised by Tour de Wilderness, next year’s event promises to deliver its one-of-a-kind multi-stage mountain bike tour, taking 350 participants through 250km of protected wilderness in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa – all to raise funds for non-profit organisation, Children in the Wilderness (CITW).
“The Nedbank Tour de Tuli is unique in that it provides cyclists with the opportunity to completely escape from the pressures of city life and instead spend five days exploring the pristine natural landscape of three African countries with nothing but their mountain bikes and passports”, says Tour Director, Nicola Harris.
The 2017 route will see participants cycle along ancient elephant trails and unmanicured single track in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area, while enjoying the magnificent scenery and interacting with communities. Opportunities to see wildlife within some of southern Africa’s most remote and pristine safari areas from the vantage point of a bicycle remains a huge drawcard for the event.
Participants are split into groups of no more than 20 cyclists, each led by a dedicated Cyclist Leader, also on a mountain bike. Given the comprehensive safety complexities of this wilderness environment, it is a tour, not a race. Camps are set up in idyllic settings, where cyclists can enjoy hot showers, freshly-prepared meals, single-occupancy tented accommodation and massages.
“We are known for delivering extremely high levels of personalised service, and we are confident that the 13th Tour will exceed expectations, not only for first-timers, but also our repeat participants, who can savour these unique trails and share life-changing experiences while at the same time contributing to a worthy cause,” adds Harris.
All funds raised go directly to Children in the Wilderness (CITW), a non-profit organisation that runs sustainable education programmes to bridge the divide between communities and the wildlife areas they live next to. This year, the Nedbank Tour de Tuli raised a record-breaking total of R4 million, a huge increase on 2015’s total of R2.5 million. This was largely due to the staggering amount of additional sponsorship raised by cyclists, amounting to some R1.5 million.
“We believe it is important for cyclists to witness CITW’s work firsthand by ensuring the cycle route travels through some of the villages where we’ve played an active role. Therefore, it is hugely encouraging that participants come away from the event forever changed and motivated to play a role in improving the lives of the communities that they encounter during the Tour – evidenced by the huge increase in funds raised. We are extremely grateful for their efforts, contribution and dedication to improving environmental education in our rural communities”, says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Programme Director.
For more information, or to register for the Nedbank Tour de Tuli, visit www.tourdewilderness.com.