About the iSimangaliso MTB 4 day event
This unique 4-day-stage, 260 km event, starting in the uMkhuze game reserve section and ending in the seaside resort of St Lucia within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park - a UNESCO World Heritage site - allows Mountain Bikers access to areas far off the normal tourist routes, enabling them to experience the values this Park has to offer. iSimangaliso is among the most diverse parks in the world with eight major interlinking ecosystems, one of the highest bird counts in the country, incredible plant and game species biodiversity (all of the Big Five) and superlative natural beauty. On the second day the route transits the ‘Big Five’ Phinda Private Game Reserve, then continues through the False Bay section of iSimangaliso and finally into the neighbouring Bonamanzi Private Game Reserve.
The iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day Event aims at raising awareness and funds towards the protection of rare and endangered species within this World Heritage Site. It will enable riders to experience the world heritage values for which iSimangaliso was inscribed - biodiversity, interlinking ecosystems and sense of place – using existing management tracks, animal paths, jeep tracks and secondary gravel roads.
All event entries, per teams of two sharing accommodation, include 4 nights fully catered (including the registration night).
Read more about the Accommodation choices under the Registration Info tab and Race Entries for the different pricing options.
The iSimangaliso Rare and Endangered Species Conservation Fund is designated exclusively for the introduction, protection, monitoring and conservation of rare and endangered species within the 332 000ha iSimangaliso Wetland Park, including black and white rhino. All iSimangaliso events include a compulsory donation towards this fund. The fund is managed by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, the Protected Area manager for the World Heritage Site.
To date funds raised through events have been used towards the purchase of foot collars for rhino, satellite collars for lion and tracking collars for 15 rare oribi introduced into the 66 000ha Ozabeni section of iSimangaliso.
Oribi are small antelope that occur on flood plains but are not water dependent. The long term survival of oribi is threatened through habitat transformation as their habitat coincides closely with the most suitable land for timber and crop farming. Currently there is no known surviving coastal population in South Africa and iSimangaliso is reintroducing them to try and re-establish a viable population.
The most recent project extends to the marine protected area of the Park, funding ground-breaking research and interventions to protect the coral reefs and spectacular biodiversity here.
Funds are also being allocated towards the reintroduction of another historically occurring species not currently found in iSimangaliso – eland. Like oribi, there is currently no known surviving coastal population in South Africa. The plan is to re-establish a viable coastal population of this iconic species after many generations of their absence by bringing in a starter population. Eland historically migrated seasonally from the Lebombo Mountains to the coastal plains; however the migration was cut off by human development. -“Since its inscription as South Africa’s first world heritage site and the amalgamation of 16 separate parcels of land, iSimangaliso has continued to expand, opening up new corridors for game migration from the Lebombo Mountains to the sea, making it possible to re-establish historically occurring species such as eland. The aim is to establish a viable coastal population of this iconic species.