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Written by: Simon Espley (Proud member of the Race for the Rhino 2013 team)

We all know that South Africa is losing 3 rhino a day to poaching.  There seems to be no end to the demand for horn in the Far East and countless greedy and ruthless people to supply that demand. 

So what is being done about it?!?

Lots, in fact. In the midst of all the posturing and bickering by governments, commercial rhino exploiters and the public, there are many worthy projects that are soldiering away at various levels to make things right again.

And so Capetonian Scott Irving, one of the founders of Ikstingkt, decided to get involved – to generate publicity and funds and to channel those funds to worthy rhino projects at ground level.

And so ‘Race for the Rhino’ was born.  “It started off as just me and some mates riding the Argus but now it’s growing in profile and size.  This year (2013) we had 80 riders that rode the Pick ‘n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, and we are on track to raise more than R150,000!  In fact one couple alone raised R30,000 on their own! These are just ordinary citizens getting stuck in to help. And our main sponsor (Rhino Africa Safaris) donated a substantial amount.” says Scott

Some of the Race for the Rhino team at Suikerbossie Hill
Some of the Race for the Rhino team at Suikerbossie Hill

“I wanted to make sure that the beneficiary rhino project was well-managed and worthy of public trust, so I searched for a long time before homing in on Wildlife Act”

Some stuff you need to know about Wildlife Act:

They are a team of experienced conservationists focused primarily on rhino, wild dog, cheetah and vultures.

They focus on 4 key areas of endangered species conservation:

  • Finding the right equipment for effective monitoring
  • Re-introduction expertise
  • Anti-poaching implementation
  • Community outreach, conservation education and economic development

Find Wildlife Act on Facebook

Where does the money go, specifically?

There are many people putting their lives on the line to help save our rhino population. One of these people is Zama Ncube, a passionate conservationist who educates children in his native Zululand about biodiversity, and rhinos in particular.  Zama’s passion for rhino is obvious and highly contagious.  He needs ongoing financial assistance to fund his work and so he is Race for Rhino’s main beneficiary at the moment.  Surplus money raised will go to closely allied work.  Visit the GivenGain project page to see Race for the Rhino’s current fund-raising progress.

Continues Scott:  [quote]Race for the Rhino’s core focus is to use the Argus cycle tour to drum up awareness about the plight of our rhinos, and to raise funds via sponsorship.  We train for the months leading up to race day – in groups of various sizes and riding skills – so that on the day we can all complete the 109 kms comfortably, and totally enjoy the experience.  Roadside public support is huge and it’s such a privilege to complete this great ride for such a worthy cause.  We get kids running alongside shouting for rhinos and giving us low fives – and we have adults of all ages egging us on and shouting out for rhinos – “give it horns!”  Totally awesome.  In future we want to involve more kids in the ride, and increase our group size substantially – to make a really massive impact emotionally and financially.  We can only do this with public support.[/quote]

Anybody wanting to join Race for the Rhino in 2014 or to provide corporate sponsorship should contact Scott Irving: scott@ikstingkt.org and 082-465-8444

At the start of the Pick 'n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2013
At the start of the Pick ‘n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2013
Race for the Rhino team in the starting pens
Race for the Rhino team in the starting pens
Race for the Rhino bikers do it for rhinos
Race for the Rhino bikers do it for rhinos
Race for the Rhino team leader Scott Irving
Race for the Rhino team leader Scott Irving
Race for the Rhino team member almost at the top of the legendary Suikerbossie Hill
Race for the Rhino team member almost at the top of the legendary Suikerbossie Hill
The famous white rhino bike
The famous white rhino bike
Rhino Africa Safaris
Rhino Africa Safaris
Beautiful views at Chapman's peak
Beautiful views at Chapman’s peak
Fun day for all Race for the Rhino team members
Fun day for all Race for the Rhino team members
Race for the Rhino team crossing the finish line of the 2013 PicknPay Cape Argus cycle tour.  Photo credit John Hishin
Race for the Rhino team crossing the finish line of the 2013 PicknPay Cape Argus cycle tour. Photo © John Hishin
Race for the Rhino - fun day for the whole family
Race for the Rhino – fun day for the whole family
A great day was had by all
A great day was had by all
Ikstingkt - lets keep our rhino horny, alive & free!
Ikstingkt – lets keep our rhino horny, alive & free!

Photos © Scott Irving / Race for the Rhinos

Ndumu River Lodge
Simon Espley

I am a proud African, of the digital tribe, and honoured to be CEO of Africa Geographic. My travels in Africa are in search of wilderness, real people with interesting stories and elusive birds. I live in Hoedspruit, next to the Kruger National Park, with my wife Lizz and 2 Jack Russells. When not travelling or working I am usually on my mountain bike somewhere out there. I qualified as a chartered account, but found my calling sharing Africa's incredibleness with you. My motto is "Live for now, have fun, be good, tread lightly and respect others. And embrace change". Connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on Twitter.