March 2017 – In partnership with Piper & Heath Travel, Wilderness Safaris will be sponsoring ‘The Long Ride to Free Them’ initiative, which will see lifelong environmentalist, Matt Meyer, cycle over 3 000 kilometres (2 000 miles) down the West Coast of the USA from 17 April to 17 June 2017, while towing a life-size fibreglass rhino to raise much-needed awareness and funds for rhino conservation.
“A rhino is killed for its horn every eight hours. If this continues, this incredible and Critically Endangered animal will be extinct by 2027. Both Matt and I knew that we had to do something to not only raise awareness about the plight of endangered rhinos but to raise money for the organisations that support them; namely Care For Wild (CFW) rhino sanctuary in South Africa; Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) in Namibia; and Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya”, said Chris Liebenberg, Owner of Piper & Heath Travel.
‘Rhino Ride’ was therefore launched by Piper & Heath Travel in partnership with Wilderness Safaris, to empower people to speak up and act in support of anti-poaching efforts and rhino protection. “As a leading ecotourism company deeply committed to rhino conservation, we are thrilled to put our weight behind this event and to support our long-standing partners and friends as they embark on this exciting venture in support of such an important cause – one that has been close to our hearts for over 30 years”, said Simon Stobbs, Wilderness Safaris USA Business Unit Manager.
“We are also delighted that one of the three beneficiaries of the ‘Rhino Ride’ is Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) – one of our partners at Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp in Namibia’s Palmwag Concession. This three-way partnership between Wilderness Safaris, SRT and the local conservancies of Torra, Sesfontein and Anabeb is a prime example of how the private sector, NGOs and local communities can work together to ensure a future for Africa’s most threatened wildlife”, added Stobbs.
In addition to sponsoring the event, Wilderness Safaris has also donated three fabulous prizes comprising stays at its lodges in Namibia and Zambia to encourage people to actively take part in the campaign by helping to choose a name for the fibreglass rhino via Facebook or Twitter, posting selfies taken with Matt and the rhino along the way, or just by following Matt’s progress and donating to the project via www.rhinoride.org/get-involved-donate.
“The countdown to launch day has officially begun and we are looking forward to generating as much support and excitement for the ride as possible. With Wilderness Safaris and Piper & Heath Travel covering all the operating costs, funds raised from this project will be going directly to help protect the rhinos in Africa – we hope that you will come on board to support us on this exciting journey”, concluded Liebenberg.
The Long Ride to Free Them 2017 – Important Dates:
- 17 April: Departure from Blaine
- 21 April: Seattle
- 27-28 April: Portland
- 21-23 May: San Francisco
- 4-8 June: Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica
- 13-17 June: San Diego
The Long Ride to Free Them 2017 – Important Links: