When it comes to exercising, there is no better motivation than to do it for a good cause. When the exercise is heart-thumping, pedal-beating mountain biking and the cause is conserving African wild dogs, there is just no better reason to jump in the saddle! The Wild Series iMfolozi Mountain Bike Challenge offers the ride of a lifetime to adrenalin junkies, nature lovers, and mountain bikers all in the name of saving Africa’s second-most endangered large carnivore.
The prestigious Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa and it is a known safe haven to the largest population of white rhino on the continent. Contributing to this conservation area’s value as a wild, African sanctuary, is its protected population of some of the last remaining painted wolves. This historical game reserve in the heart of Zululand is driven towards conserving wild dogs and spreading awareness about their endangerment. The iMfolozi Mountain Bike Challenge is taking place this weekend 23 July for another consecutive year, and it is proving to be one of South Africa’s most popular outdoor events!
Keen adventurers and challenge-seeking mountain bikers take to the savannahs of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi, push through gruellingly soft riverbeds, and plunge into the water crossings with heart-felt determination. Mud splatter decorates the cyclists’ burning calves, and energetic smiles spread across their faces as they embark on one of the most privileged rides of their lives: a 55km cycle tour through one of South Africa’s most esteemed natural areas. What’s more, is that entry fees for the event contribute directly to the conservation of African wild dogs – a population that has plummeted to below 5000 individuals. In the world.
If you’re travelling to Kwazulu Natal’s celebrated iMfolozi to show your support for wild dog conservation, you may as well know what safari options lie ahead… The 96 000 hectare reserve is home to incredible fauna and flora, and some of the activities on offer may appeal to the non-riders of the group: quad biking, horse riding, game drives, and boat cruises. Bird-watching is world-renowned, and views are spectacular. Look at Hluhluwe River Lodge or Thula Thula Safari Lodge for memorable safari accommodation for the family, or opt for something closer to the iconic iSimangaliso Wetland Park, where Cape Vidal, Lake St. Lucia, and Sodwana Bay lie, waiting to be discovered.
The Wild Series iMfolozi Mountain Bike Challenge is just one of the ways in which the public can contribute to conserving one of the most endangered predators in Africa, while bringing fun-loving people together for the outdoor event of a lifetime. It just happens to be in one of the most revered safari destinations in the Southern Hemisphere!