Cape Town – 24 March 2016: The world’s first trail running safari experience that traverses three African countries, in a three day, 92 km journey through big five game areas, has been announced by South African trail running event specialists, Wildrunner – The inaugural Mapungubwe Transfrontier Wildrun, will take place from 13 – 15 May 2016 and promises a wildlife rich running experience through the bushveld of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation area, where South Africa, Botswana & Zimbabwe intersect.
Following elephant paths and game trails, the route will take runners to the ancient Mapungubwe citadel in South Africa’s Mapungubwe National Park, the rolling savannah of Botswana’s Tuli Game Reserve, and the Maramani community lands & Sentinel Ranch in Zimbabwe. Highlights along the way include crossing the mighty Limpopo & Shashe Rivers, running through magnificent riverside forests, past huge Baobab trees, Khoisan rock paintings, dinosaur fossils, the rural villages of Maramani, and covering kilometers of ancient elephant trails etched into stone in Zimbabwe. Throughout the route runners will experience the thrill of seeing abundant wildlife, including elephant.
The daily distances over the three-day event are 30km, 34km and 28km. With challenges that include wilderness bushveld, wildlife encounters, rugged & hilly terrain, heat and remoteness, the event is not for the faint-hearted. Groups of runners will be led by an experienced bush ranger who in turn will be supported by assistant guides, will ensure that the experience for all runners is safe but still interactive with wildlife. Importantly, this event is not a race, so participants will be able to enjoy the scenery and soak up the intimacy of the African bushveld.
At the core of the event is the desire to support cross-border conservation efforts by leaving a tangible benefit to the rural communities in the area, unlocking future tourism benefits while reducing the pressure on the natural resources. “Zimbabwe’s Maramani Community are essential to the success of this venture and in turn are the largest beneficiaries – from employing camp staff, to growing vegetables for the event, we are sourcing 95% of our logistical support and suppliers from Zimbabwe rural communities,” says Wildrunner events director, Owen Middleton.
“This event is the result of two years of hard work, unlocking the intricate relationships that lie between countries,” comments Middleton.
At the heart of this event is Boundless Southern Africa, an organization focused on transfrontier conservation area tourism marketing in Southern Africa. “The incredible landscape of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area provides a unique trail running experience. Runners will traverse a pristine natural environment, be enlightened about rich the historical and cultural stories of the area, and be welcomed by the Maramani community in Zimbabwe which is the base camp during the tour. A diverse team from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe is working hard to prepare for this exciting new cross-border event,” says Roland Vorwerk, Marketing Manager, Boundless Southern Africa.
The Mapungubwe Transfrontier Wildrun is a full service event, with runners just carrying only what they need for each day’s run. “In camp, participants are housed in their own private tents and treated to hot showers, a hilltop gin bar, delicious food made over an African fire and the privilege of sitting under a star studded African night sky,” says Middleton.
This ultimate safari-on-the-run experience is limited and entries close at the end of March 2016. To enter and to find out more about this unique & truly African running experience, please visit: www.wildrun.com