In a bid to raise money for elephant conservation projects, the 108 kilometre stretch between Botswana’s major northern dams, Letsibogo and Dikgathong, will be a hive of activity as the elephant epic charity challenge goes underway.
Among those expected to grace the fundraising event which is organised by Ecotourism Society of Botswana will be Botswana’s first citizen President Ian Khama. According to the Society’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jacob Mathapa, the challenge was conceived as a way to raise money for the elephant conservation projects and for the establishment of ecotourism community conservation fund.
“The elephant epic charity challenge’s long term aim is to advise and create policies that allow humans and elephants to co-exist. Primary objectives both the elephant epic charity challenge and the human-elephant conflict trail expedition is centred on four pillars: public awareness, community uplifting, youth conservation education and fundraising support,” he said.
He added that the initiative would help the Mmadinare Trust to continue important work to promote human-elephant coexistence by creating experiential and monetary benefits to people living with elephants.
Part of the indicative’s aim is to reduce elephant crop-raiding behaviour, offer both formal and informal educational opportunities for people of all ages to learn about the elephant poaching crisis and the importance of protecting elephants locally. While this will be a biking challenge, Mathapa said diverse sporting and entertainment activities have been planned for the day.
“It is a 20km race for quad bikes, 25km race for mountain bikes, 90 km race for two wheel motor bikes. Range Rover discovery sports association will do 20 km trails and speed boat race will be scheduled to be at both dams and the best six will compete for positions one to three and the fishing competitions will only be only at Letsibogo dam,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ecotourism Society of Botswana CEO has called on companies to come on board and partner them on their mission to save elephants.
He highlighted that they have already put in place sponsorship structures, which will range from Gold Sponsor, Sliver Sponsor and Bronze Sponsor for companies and business communities.
For companies wishing to exhibit their wares during the event, Mathapa said they will have stalls which companies could buy.
On other issues, Mathapa said should the epic be successful, their wish will be to buy 100 000 pairs of shoes for underprivileged children. They also intend upgrade facilities and donating clothing and toys to a needy cretche.