GABORONE, Botswana, April 2020/ — Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Nedbank Tour de Tuli (NTDT) has cancelled its 2020 mountain bike tour, which was set to take place from the 21st to the 26th of July. The pandemic has created numerous uncertainties, including that of cross-border travel, leading to the decision. As the primary fundraiser for Children in the Wilderness (CITW), the cancellation of the tour impacts many of those involved, including the riders, local businesses and most importantly, the beneficiaries – the children.
“At this critical time for survival in the tourism industry, we cannot emphasise enough how important the monies raised through riders’ entries are for CITW, Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit environmental, life-skills and education programme for children living alongside our areas of operation”, says Tour Director, Nicola Harris.
“While we are ready and willing to refund all registered 2020 event riders, we are appealing to all participants to consider transferring their entry to 2021, which will be honoured at the 2020 NTDT rate. We thank all our riders for understanding, and appeal to them to communicate their decision soonest, to help us to assess the extent of the supplementary fundraising we may need to plan for 2020”, continues Nicola.
Over the last 14 years, the Tour has hosted some 3 900 cyclists and raised more than R25 million for CITW. These monies have helped to provide scholarships for more than 600 children and contributed to weekly environmental Eco-Clubs based in rural schools across seven countries, impacting 3 300 children each year. In addition, the programme has trained over 1 000 teachers and Eco-Mentors, ensuring that they are fully equipped to run the programme successfully. Some 7 800 children have also had the amazing opportunity to participate in the annual CITW camps since 2001.
“We hope that when we come out of this crisis together – stronger and more unified – our riders will continue to participate in our world-renowned annual mountain bike event, and in turn contribute to changing the lives of thousands of children in the rural areas of Africa. It is thanks to Tour participants that we have been able to positively influence the lives of so many children, a number of whom are now employed in ecotourism – actively contributing to the biodiversity conservation of pristine wilderness areas”, concludes Nicola.
The Nedbank Tour de Tuli is a superb four-day adventure, with riders traversing unspoiled wilderness areas in the three African countries that contribute to the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTCA). This year’s Tour would have been the 15th event comprising endless kilometres of flowing single track along game trails in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.