Business Community Development Tourism Travel

Ride4Rangers cyclists launch a fundraising campaign in support of Tusk Trust

A team of British Amateur cyclists has started the Global 30,000KM Bike ride with Land’s End to John O’Groates Adventure to protect African Rangers and Wildlife.

  • 50+ African Travel professionals doing a joint bike ride Land’s End to John O’Groats
  • Thousands of people around the globe doing their own ‘virtual’ bike ride for Rangers
  • 874 miles Land’s End to John O’Groats
  • 30,000 miles cumulative distance target – equivalent of circumnavigating Africa
  • 5,000 Wildlife rangers will be kept in the field doing vital work to protect wildlife across Africa
  • 1,038 rangers have died in the field over the past 10 years which is one ranger losing his/her life every 3 days
  • Large increase in poaching as a direct result of COVID-19
  • US$10millon- the total Tusk aims to raise and put into the field to support African Rangers over next 6-9 months
  • JOIN THE RIDE – the initiative is inviting fellow wildlife and Africa lovers to join the team for part or all of LEJOG or in your own Ride 4 Rangers
  • NOMINATE – Cycle 10KM, Donate £10, Nominate 3 people

The African Travel Industry has come together to support African Rangers & wildlife by embarking on a cumulative bike ride which is being kick started with an initial Land’s End to John O’ Groats challenge starting at 9am on 15th August 2020 where a core peloton of 10 people will be joined by 40+ others, all of whom are combining mileage working towards a 30,000KM total – the equivalent of circumnavigating Africa.

Ride 4 Rangers is an initiative by the UK Africa Travel Industry in partnership with conservation charity Tusk which will see the team ride the 874 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats and is inviting hundreds of fellow Africa Travel industry professionals, Africa and wildlife lovers to join them on the way.

A GLOBAL INITIATIVE

Alongside the Land’s End to John O’Groats ride, 15th August also marks the start of a series of global Ride 4 Rangers events and activities where Africa and wildlife lovers across the UK, Europe and 9 African Nations (Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique) are getting involved clocking their own miles and raising vital funds. A team in South Africa’s Kruger National Park are doing a relay walk from north to south, in Northern Kenya another team are doing a horse ride for rangers traversing Borana conservancy into Lewa conservancy, in Botswana they are holding a club bike ride, in Malawi they are hosting a charity run in Lilongwe, in Tanzania a team are riding from Mount Kilimanjaro to Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, in Uganda a group are doing a 5km cycle around Entebbe, Namibia have a socially distanced hike and in Austria they have launched a series of 10KM bike rides. The initiative is gaining momentum daily.

THE ROUTE

The route will journey throughout the UK from Land’s End to John O’Groats via traditional LEJOG routes. For the full map visit https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33296734 and for a day by day schedule to find out when the ride is near you see below:

DateDayEnd atDay Distance (KM)
Saturday, August 151St Austell87
Sunday, August 162Okehampton90
Monday, August 173Taunton85
Tuesday, August 184Bath88
Wednesday, August 195Cheltenham78
Thursday, August 206Kidderminster73
Friday, August 217Congleton104
Saturday, August 228Preston95
Sunday, August 239Shap106
Monday, August 2410Lockerbie93
Tuesday, August 2511Livingston111
Wednesday, August 2612Blairgowrie100
Thursday, August 2713Grantown on Spey127
Friday, August 2814Dornoch132
Saturday, August 2915John O’Groats128

GET INVOLVED VISIT www.ride4rangers.com

  • 15 Aug – 29 Aug Join all or part of the ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats 
  • Do your own Ride 4 Rangers at home, in a park, around your garden 5, 10, 20, 50 KM
  • Ride 10KM,  Donate £10, Nominate 3 People
  • Sponsor the challenge and double your impact through match-funding
  • Tell your friends via social media and spread the word

#RIDE4RANGERS @RIDE4RANGERS #TOGETHERFORTUSK #FORWILDLIFERANGERS

BACKGROUND

Tourism is the key funder of conservation in Africa through park fees and a healthy wildlife population is what the industry is built on. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been very little money going into the conservation system. With most holidays on hold until next year, the Africa travel industry is in dire straits and the trickledown effect on the ground across the continent is already being felt.

Money to pay rangers in some of the world’s flagship wildlife areas in Africa is simply not there.  Prized wilderness areas such as Tanzania’s Serengeti, South Africa’s Kruger and many more are struggling to pay the salaries of the rangers that are critical to the safety of already highly endangered wildlife. The loss of park and conservancy fees from visiting tourist has meant that budgets have been cut dramatically.  Many people have been laid off which is not only having a devastating effect for the families of those rangers, many of whom have 8-10 dependants, but it is also already impacting on wildlife as a result of an widespread increase in reports of poaching. The role of rangers is vital to maintain the long term protection of these wild places. Across Africa wildlife rangers are the first line of defence against illegal poaching and without them many species like elephant, rhino, lion, giraffe and pangolin would be at even greater risk of extinction. Over the past 10 years 1,038 rangers have tragically lost their lives in the field, the equivalent to 1 losing their life every three days.

As we come out of lockdown we are starting to realise the effect of COVID-19 across the world, and no more so than in Africa where the economic impact of the global shut down has been devastating with the tourism and conservation sectors starved of vital revenue required to protect both wildlife and livelihoods.Charlie Mayhew MBE – CEO of conservation charity Tusk

The Africa Travel industry is and has always been passionate about recognising the vital role played by rangers on the frontline working to ensure the protection of Africa’s unique natural heritage. 

The interdependence between travel and conservation in Africa has been thrown into sharp relief.  I applaud every effort being made by my fellow Africa travel professionals and supporters in helping protect the livelihoods of rangers on the frontline who play such a vital role in ensuring the safety of Africa’s wildlife.” Chris Mears, CEO of the African Travel and Tourism Association commented

The Ride 4 Rangers Challenge aims to raise £100,000+ as part of a wider WILDLIFE RANGER CHALLENGE* being coordinated by Tusk and Natural State – a new initiative specifically designed to support the salaries and deployment of African Rangers during this crisis. The initiative has been established with the support of the Scheinberg Relief Fund which has pledged to generously match all monies raised up to $5m.  This means that Ride 4 Rangers has the potential to double its impact on the ground.

All funds raised will be distributed by Tusk across some 60+ reserves and protected areas throughout Africa. The fund aims to raise and disburse US$10 million into the field over the next 6-9 months supporting over 5000 rangers and their wider families. This month an initial US$2 million is being distributed.

Charlie Mayhew MBE, CEO of TUSK commented:

“We are delighted to support this inspiring challenge.  It is wonderful to see the drive and energy of the UK Africa Travel industry coming together to raise valuable funds to keep rangers on the frontline – recognising the extraordinary bravery and commitment they demonstrate on a daily basis in the protection of our natural world. “

RIDE4RANGERS IS BEING SUPPORTED BY LAND ROVER who are donating the use of one of their new 110 Defenders for the duration of the ride as a support vehicle.

The Wildlife Ranger Challenge is a new initiative by Tusk Trust and NATURAL STATE and is being overseen by an independent Steering Committee composed of conservation leaders from across Africato raise funds and support thousands of rangers in the field, enabling them to support local livelihoods and protect iconic African wildlife such as elephant, pangolin, rhino and lion. The Scheinberg Relief Fund, a philanthropic fund established by businessman and philanthropist Mark Scheinberg and his family in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, is the founding donor of the Wildlife Ranger Challenge.

Contact Mary Jane Attwood on [email protected] for more information

RELATED ARTICLES

BBC The wild animals at risk in lockdown

How the Covid-19 pandemic is threatening Africa’s wildlife

CNBC Poachers kill more animals as coronavirus crushes tourism to Africa

National Geographic Poaching threats loom as wildlife safaris put on hold due to COVID-19

Aljazeera How big a threat does coronavirus pose to wildlife in Africa?

ABC news Experts in Kenya fear poaching, deforestation are surging during COVID-19 lockdown

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende