Welcome to another Passage to Africa newsletter. This month has been a whirlwind of activity (hence the late posting of this newsletter!) – preparing travel adventures for guests incorporating the June 2010 FIFA world Cup Soccer Tournament to be hosted in South Africa. It promises to be a most exciting time – the soccer action coupled with the exhilaration of a safari in wonderful locations throughout Southern Africa. We can’t wait!
Serengeti National Park - Tanzania
PASSAGE TO AFRICA SUPPORTS CHILDREN IN THE WILDERNESS
wildlife areas to visit wilderness camps and experience an
educational program aimed at future conservation of these
areas. Passage to Africa contributed by sponsoring my entry
to ride the tour and all funds raised go to Children in the
Wilderness. We were able to interact with rural school children
during the Zimbabwe stage of the tour and the joy on the
face of a little boy who received a ride on my bike was
something to see.
Another feature of this years tour was introducing the riders to
the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area,
part of the “Peace Parks” concept. The tour traversed
through three counties, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South
Africa, and who could forget the sight of customs and
immigration officials sitting at a table in the middle of the bush stamping passports as we passed from Botswana into Gary Boast, (husband to Barbara - our reservations consultant) Zimbabwe. took part in Wilderness Safaris’ Tour De Tuli 2009 held in August.
He had this to say about this worthwhile and unforgettable Day one was spent predominantly riding on nature’s single
event. track made by elephants in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve and what trail makers they are. Day two was also “I have seen hundreds, possibly thousands of elephants in the predominantly single track and jeep track, the highlight being bush, but was totally unprepared for the experience of seeing having to wait approximately 40 minutes for a herd of about them whilst riding a bicycle in their environment. It lent a new 200 elephants to cross the trail in front of us. We rode through dimension, a feeling that somehow I was closer to them and the historic Tuli Circle before camping that night in the Shashe probably could escape faster if I had to. Fortunately I didn’t river bed. A good night’s sleep prepared us for the third days have to and the experience was one of sheer exhilaration riding through communal lands in Zimbabwe and a and awe. This is just one of the unforgettable memories of the compulsory stop at a shebeen, where I am sure prices had Tour De Tuli Mapungubwe Route 2009 organised by been raised especially for the occasion. It also gave the faster Wilderness Safaris to raise funds for Children in the Wilderness. riders an opportunity to stretch their legs as we did not have to ride in a tight group, before reaching the Sentinel Ranch Children in the Wilderness provides an opportunity for campsite on the northern bank of the Limpopo River. The children from marginalized communities surrounding Africa’s Limpopo graced us with refreshingly clean flowing water and
all riders and the many helpers enjoyed a wonderful swim. The impala, steenbok, eland, kudu, black-backed jackal and fourth and final day comprised a circle through the varied warthog amongst others. Birdlife was prolific, the Kori Bustards and unspoilt terrain of Sentinel Ranch before returning to the being especially plentiful and the penetrating early morning Limpopo and wading across to South Africa, after once again whistle of the Pearl Spotted Owlets at Sentinel Ranch clearing customs on the banks of the river. A highlight of the unforgettable.
days ride was visiting the very clear and well preserved The Tour De Tuli Mapungubwe Route 2009 was an dinosaur fossil site on Sentinel Ranch. The tour finished all too unforgettable experience. The riding was relaxed, through soon in South Africa’s forgotten Mapungubwe National Park amazing scenery with abundant wildlife and to top it all for a where some more very close elephant encounters were worthwhile cause. I am extremely thankful to Passage to experienced. Africa for making it possible for me to ride this unique tour and
There is something about riding a bicycle in the bush with wild would suggest to anyone of moderate fitness levels who animals. We often had herds of gnu and zebra running wishes to contribute to Children in the Wilderness to get an parallel to us and were also fortunate to see many giraffe, entry for 2010”.
Amongst the several 'celebrities' who took part in the event, South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes (above right) was particularly enthusiastic: "Riding the Tour de
Tuli is incomparable to anything I have ever done! It was an amazing privilege to play cricket for my country for 11 years, but it was an even bigger privilege to be able to ride through some of the most amazing countryside that the Tour de Tuli had to offer." (Taken from Wilderness Safaris’ Sept newsletter)
New Black Rhino Baby born in the wild in Botswana!
by Kai Collins (Taken from Wilderness release 1 October 2009)
A survey in 1992 showed black rhino to be classified "locally extinct" in Botswana. In The animals had adapted very happily October 2003 collaboration between Wilderness Safaris, Wilderness Safaris Wilderness to their new surroundings, but as is Trust, Botswana's Department of Wildlife (DWNP) and the Botswana Government typical of black rhinos being realized a dream of reintroducing black rhino into the wild in Botswana. Four black reintroduced into the wild, they did not rhinos, two males and two females, were released into the Okavango Delta on breed as readily as the white rhinos Chiefs Island in the Moremi Game Reserve close to Wilderness Safaris Mombo camp. that were introduced previously.
On Tuesday 22nd September 2009, a
tracking team consisting of Wilderness
Safaris Rhino monitoring officer, Poster
Mpho Malongwa, and 3 members of
the DWNP Anti Poaching
Unit set off on a rhino patrol to check
up on some of the reintroduced black
rhinos in the Okavango Delta. They
spent several days searching, following
tracks and trying to locate the owners
of the tracks, until on Friday 26th
2009 they stumbled across a sleeping
black rhino female with her calf. The
calf is estimated to be between 3‐6
months old. The name of the new calf
is‘Boipuso’– meaning ‘Independence’,
as it was located during Botswana’s
Independence week Picture of the new black rhino baby ‘Boipuso’ sleeping next to its mother
Sunset over the Luangwa River - Zambia
Regards from all of us – the Passage to Africa team