An unusual battle to save the continent’s rhinos begins on 20 August, when Afriplex CEO Danie Nel and two fellow cyclists will set off on the toughest cycle trail that Africa has ever seen.
Following the Drakensberg range, the Spine of the Dragon tour spans 3 650km from Beit Bridge to Cape Point – and the cyclists will have only 42 days to complete it. To add to the challenge, they will be the first to cycle the trail from end to end, so navigation will be a constant challenge.
Nel says this tour will be the equivalent of five Epic cycle tours, and he and his cohorts, Rohan Surridge and Craig Mackrory, will ride it without the benefit of medical or other support that Epic cyclists usually get. It will literally be an uphill battle – they will climb over 57 000m or 6.5 times the height of Mount Everest in the process – but ultimately it’s not about them. They’re doing it for Africa’s critically endangered rhinos.
The Spine of the Dragon trail is the brainchild of David Bristow and Steve Thomas, who decided to create a trail on par with The Great Divide in America, which is the longest off-road bike route in the world. They plan to use it to raise funds for The Maqubu Ntombela Foundation, a trust set up by Dr Ian Player as a promise made to his late mentor and friend, the ranger Magqubu Ntombela, that he would continue their mutual quest to preserve our natural environment. Currently the Foundation is actively involved in saving our rhino.
Join the campaign to save these precious animals from ruthless poachers by supporting the Detour Adventures For Good Foundation (the non-profit organisation of Detour Trails). David Bristow is writing a book on the amazing trail he helped create, entitled Riding the Spine of the Dragon and is set to launch by the time the cyclists end their tour in the Cape. Keep track of their odyssey via Twitter and Facebook.