/ 19 July 2022

The Nedbank Tour de Tuli a wilderness adventure has cyclists biking for good

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The Nedbank Tour de Tuli is a world-class mountain bike adventure through the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The Nedbank Tour de Tuli is a world-class mountain bike adventure through the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area that includes Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. 

Besides enjoying the ride, the main purpose of the event, known for its extremely high standards of service and focus on good environmental practices, is to raise money for a nonprofit organisation, Children in the Wilderness. Funds are raised by participants making a minimum donation of R26 000 to enter the cycling tour.

The intention of Children in the Wilderness, backed by tourism company Wilderness Safaris, is to encourage sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of children about the natural environment and the development of life skills. This is done through eco-clubs at rural schools with local mentors.

Bikers, cycling from about 60km to 80km a day, will ride with like-minded individuals, enjoying privileged access to exclusive unmarked routes and ancient game trails for four days. The Nedbank Tour de Tuli, which has been running since 2006, will be held from 19 to 24 July this year.

The tour’s starting point is at Mapungubwe camp in South Africa at the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers. Cyclists follow reserved roads down to the crossing into Zimbabwe. They will ride for about 70km through the indigenous landscape to the Shashe Wilderness camp among huge riverine trees.

On the second day of the tour the 78km route runs more or less parallel to the Shashe River that, in its lower reaches, forms the border between Zimbabwe and Botswana. Then, at Fig Tree Crossing, they will enter Botswana and ride to Loensa where they will spend the night near the Limpopo River. 

The third day is a circular route of about 60km.  

The fourth and last day of the tour is a 66km ride all the way back to the confluence and crossing back into South Africa. 

Grant Woodrow, of Wilderness Safaris and spokesperson of the Nedbank Tour de Tuli, said the terrain is rough and strenuous but “riders are broken into small groups of 16 or more and each teams has two leaders one on the front and one at the back, to assist raiders in case of emergency. We have a very competent and very big medical team, and a helicopter to look after the riders in case medical attention is needed.” 

This year’s tour is to have a twist to it. Wilderness Safaris and the Nedbank Tour de Tuli are introducing a greener option to secure riders’ race numbers — replacing the plastic zip ties with reusable metal brackets that riders can use at other biking events. 

Bronwen Blunden, Nedbank Tour de Tuli tour director said, “Conservation and environmentalism are central to the goals and ethos of the Nedbank Tour de Tuli, which is the main fundraiser for our nonprofit, Children in the Wilderness. We are proud to continually look at ways to further positively contribute to the protection of our planet.” 

The Nedbank Tour de Tuli will officially start on 19 July 2022. For more information go to: https://tourdetuli.com/