Cyclists ride for rhinos

2016-11-15 06:00
captioA group of mountain bikers are set to make a strong contribution to the protection of rhinos in KZN when they take on the 2016 uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge from Cadence Cycling Performance Centre in Hillcrest to Hluhluwe Game Reserve's Hilltop Camp on Saturday 10 December.nPhoto: supplied

captioA group of mountain bikers are set to make a strong contribution to the protection of rhinos in KZN when they take on the 2016 uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge from Cadence Cycling Performance Centre in Hillcrest to Hluhluwe Game Reserve's Hilltop Camp on Saturday 10 December.nPhoto: supplied

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A GROUP of mountain bikers are set to make a powerful contribution to the fight against rhino poaching in KwaZulu-Natal when they tackle the daunting task of cycling 340km from Hillcrest to Hilltop Camp in Hluhluwe Game Reserve during the 2016 uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge on Saturday 10 December.

The event is a combination of endurance, camaraderie and a unique bushveld cycling experience, all the while keeping the underlying purpose of helping protect the endangered species for generations to come top of mind.

“Two years ago a small group of us were looking to test ourselves with a really tough mountain biking endurance challenge and so the uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge was born,” explains event organiser, Mark Carroll.

“The uBhejane Xtreme is all about the journey and is a gruelling but social ride rather than a race.

“There is no entry fee – instead we ask for participants to collect and make a minimum R5000 donation to Project Rhino KZN – and participants are responsible for all their own expenses along the way.

“There’s no doubting just how far 340km on a bicycle really is and the speed required to get to the finish before sunset means we travel at a blistering pace throughout, however we also get to explore some of the province’s finest sights and scenery along the way,” he adds.

While taking in the views and digging deep to overcome the event’s challenge, riders also remain focused on the key task at hand – helping the rhino’s cause.

“Rhino conservation is something we are all passionate about and so from the get-go we aligned ourselves with Project Rhino KZN and the fantastic work they are doing to protect our rhinos throughout KwaZulu-Natal,” says Carroll.

“Over the past two years we’ve raised over a quarter of a million Rand that has been put to great use across Project Rhino KZN’s various projects and programmes, and we hope to raise well beyond that figure during this year’s third edition.”

Starting at Cadence Cycling Performance Centre in Hillcrest in the early hours of the morning, cyclists head for the Dolphin Coastal town of Ballito by sunrise before starting their trek towards Zululand’s great focal point – Hluhluwe Game Reserve.

“After a tough day’s slog, the unique opportunity to immerse one’s self in the African bush and it’s wildlife during those magical final 35km through Hluhluwe Game Reserve is just indescribable.

“Accompanied by trackers on vehicles, participants cycle their way through Big 5 country and we regularly see rhino, elephant and other wildlife along the way.

“It really is a special experience for all.”

Further highlighting the event’s growing stature on the South African cycling scene, 2007 Rugby World Cup winning duo, John Smit and Butch James together with their fellow former Sharks stalwarts, Jeremy Thomson and John Slade have confirmed their participation in 2016.

Global explorer and humanitarian Kingsley Holgate, world renowned mountain adventurer Sibusiso Vilane and ‘the voice of cycling’ Phil Liggett have also confirmed their involvement in this year’s event.

Vilane will complete the event’s 240km Short Horn option, Liggett joining participants for the final stretch through Hluhluwe Game Reserve and Holgate is set to welcome participants home at the completion of their gruelling challenge.

The evening then sees participants spend the night at the spectacular Hilltop Camp where they will be treated to the to the opportunity to listen to some of Holgate, Vilane and Liggett’s wealth of fascinating tales and while enjoying a hearty potjie supper.

The 2016 uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge takes place from Hillcrest to Hluhluwe Game Reserve on Saturday 10 December. Those interested in taking part may apply to enter, donations can be submitted and more information can be found via the event’s website,

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.


Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!

Hundreds of complaints are filed every year from victims who were scammed when buying a dog online.



WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
11 animals before and after they were adopted from shelters
Competition pet grooming – creative or too extreme?
5 Celebrities who are afraid of animals
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.