Cyclist to share his journey of saving rhinos

2016-07-20 06:00
Wayne Bolton of One Land Love It with orphaned rhino calves at Care for Wild Africa, a wildlife rehabilitation centre.                                                                    Photo: SUPPLIED

Wayne Bolton of One Land Love It with orphaned rhino calves at Care for Wild Africa, a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THOSE committed to the fight against rhino poachers, can be part of the live audience for the One Land Love It (OLLI) Expedition Documentary on Friday, August 5 at the Boardwalk Amphitheatre.

The audience will hear first-hand from intrepid cyclist Wayne Bolton and his support team, the tales of adventure and inspiration in aid of rhino and natural heritage.

The One Land Love It Expedition 2015/2016, which ended at Addo Elephant National Park in February, was a successful fundraising and awareness cycle.

Port Elizabeth businessman, Bolton, cycled 6000 km over 80 days to all 19 South African National Parks (SANParks), where he interacted with staff from all the parks.

Upon his return, one of the things he was concerned about was how prevalent the threat to the rhino and the natural heritage is.

The escalation of poaching in South Africa and the continent as a whole is alarming, with statistics showing that Africa has lost 90% of its elephant population in the last century and if nothing changes the elephant, along with the rhino, could be extinct by 2025.

“The Eastern Cape is home to the largest population (of) Black Rhino subspecies bicornis bicornis (meaning two-horned), the desert rhino. Any rhino lost is a disaster, but losing one desert rhino could equate to 150 white rhino lost. This is purely based on numbers and the threatened status of the species. For this reason we value the support and awareness created by OLLI,” said to John Adendorff, Addo Elephant National Park’s Conservation Manager,

Wayne, who considers himself just another ordinary South African, said, “Ordinary people have to make a difference. We can contribute to the cause in any number of ways - from investing money in suitable organisations, to lobbying government for a stronger response; even by creating awareness through education to those that don’t yet know; even if it is just a like or a share on social media.”

Wayne Bolton and his family will be taking to the stage at the Sun Boardwalk Amphitheatre and they are inviting everyone to be a part of the journey through their #jointcustody campaign.

The evening will take the format of a winter campfire setting where the Boltons will recount stories of their journey. His wife, Nikki, headed up the support team that included their retired parents and children who joined their parents at various points of the expedition to cycle with their father and assist in the support roles.

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO, Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, said, “We need to value and protect our delicate and endangered species such as the rhinoceros in order to foster a sustainable tourism industry. Wildlife and natural open spaces provide great value not only as a unique tourist attraction globally but for local visitors as well.”

OLLI gained significant exposure in a friendly media environment and much financial support from a generous public and supportive corporate environment.

The community is still able to support OLLI’s registered beneficiaries, the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Care for Wild Africa, for whom they have, to date, raised over R140 000.

The Honorary Rangers are using the funds towards their counter-poaching initiatives, while Care for Wild takes care of the other end of the story by raising and rehabilitating orphaned rhino calves.

Adventurers and celebrities, including Kingsley Holgate, Ashley Dowds, Braam Malherbe, Peter van Kets and more have endorsed OLLI and Wayne’s efforts.

To join their journey of #jointcustody, purchase a ticket to their Homecoming Campfire from Alpha Labour Solutions or contact Nikki at nikki@oneland.co.za.

Tickets cost R120. The evening will begin with a hot venison potjie meal from 6pm, with musical entertainment, followed by the family recounting the expedition for guests.

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