The fifth edition of the Nedbank Tour De Tuli annual tourism expedition, which is held in the Greater Mapungubwe Mega Park that includes Zimbabwe, Botswana and south Africa, attracted over 500 tourists from across the globe. The megapark, which is held in the Tuli Circle, saw 150 new participants this year entering the biking expedition this year.
Tour de Tuli Mapungubwe is a mountain bike event whose route traverses through the Greater Mapungubwe Trans Frontier Conservation Area.
All monies raised, will directly benefit Children in the Wilderness. In this way, Tour de Wilderness will assist in ensuring the sustainability of the Children in the Wilderness programme through adventure tourism with a purpose!
The event started at the Northern Tuli Game Reserve last week and ended in South Africa yesterday.
The mountain biking and safari expedition is meant to market the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA as the best tourism destination in Southern Africa. The cyclists pass through the three countries during the course of the event.
The event is being held for the ninth year in the region and for the fifth time in Zimbabwe since 2009.
The cyclists among them business executives, tourism journalists and opinion leaders from over 17 countries entered Zimbabwe on Saturday morning through the Maramani area and left yesterday for the South African component of the mega park from the Kuduland area of Nottingham Estate yesterday.
Some of the countries include Angola, Australia, Botswana, Britain, Germany, Chile, India, United States, Belgium, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Netherlands and Ireland among others.
The Children in the Wilderness Organisation is the brains behind the project with the assistance of governments from the three participating nations.
|Fast facts about Tour de Tuli:|
|Tour de Tuli 2013||5th Edition of the event in Zimbabwe|
|Location where it was held||Greater Mapungubwe Park|
|Number of cyclists||Over 500|
|Purpose of the event||To market the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA as the best tourism destination in Southern Africa|
|Number of countries participants came from||Over 17|
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s head of Domestic Tourism Mrs Annah Moyo who was part of the entourage said in an interview yesterday that the event was a great success considering that it was held a few days after the historic harmonised elections.
“As the ZTA we are happy that we are just coming from an election and we get such an overwhelming response in tourists who are interested in visiting our country. This shows that our country is very safe and should remain the destination of choice in southern Africa.
“It is also interesting to note that the cyclists are spending more time in Zimbabwe which shows that we are still a destination of choice,” She said.
Mrs Moyo said the Zimbabwean component with communities living within the mega park and that gave the tourists an opportunity to interact with them.
She said the successful hosting of TDT was a good development for the country considering that Zimbabwe will jointly be hosting the UNWTO in a few days.
Children in the Wilderness managing director Mrs Rita Bachmann said they were very impressed with Zimbabwe’s state of preparedness during the event and the tranquil environment especially that the country was just coming from a major election.
She said since the start of the event 458 children have benefited from the child in the wilderness programmes across the country.
Mrs Bachmann said her organisation had also doubted some funds to assist in the construction of a primary school in Maramani area.
“The experience in Zimbabwe is very amazing especially that everyone is in high spirit. You will note that one third of the participants are coming in for first time. We hope that the vent will continue growing big with time.
“We are very grateful to the people of Zimbabwe with the hospitable reception they always give us during this event. We believe these tourists will go back to their countries and tell the real Zimbabwean story and promote this park as the best tourists’ destinations in the region,” she said.
One of Children in the Wilderness’ prime fundraising activities has been the cycle tours, which have proven both popular and life-changing for both the cyclists and the organizers!
Date: 8 August 2013