The Run for Rangers weekend event from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 July, held at and hosted by Thanda Safari in partnership with the Sport for Lives movement and Project Rhino, was an enormous success according to John Louw, Chief Financial Officer, Thanda Group.
“From the outset, we at Thanda Safari were excited to host this worthy fundraising effort. The motivation and inspiration from the project initiator, Harry Bailey, a Grade 12 Hilton College learner with a passion for wildlife and a desire to champion the often forgotten, but true heroes – the rangers, was very hard to resist. And what a triumph it has been for this young man!”
Bailey’s aim to raise R100 000 by running 100km through Thanda Safari’s huge open spaces in Big 5 territory and to create awareness for the incredible work that the rangers do, was reached, and surpassed – to everyone’s great delight. A triumphant total of R160 000 was raised in 3 weeks.
Bailey, a self-confessed ‘not a natural runner,’ explained that he had wanted to challenge himself to run 100km in two days, and most important to get the public to sponsor this incredibly good cause. “Even though the run was hard, really hard – I am so glad I did this. I even managed to squeeze in a visit to a local community crèche that Thanda Sponsors, while on the run. The funds raised exceeded all our expectations. Another highlight for me was seeing Siyabonga Zulu’s smile and hearing his excited comment “today I am a rich man, I rode an eBike and flew in a Zapwing plane”.
Funds raised will towards training to assist the K9 unit, rangers and their families, aerial support, community education and engagement, as well as bringing awareness to the predicament that rangers face with regards to the effects of poaching; and also to create awareness for the significant work that Project Rhino is doing.
Bailey was accompanied by Keegan Daniel, former Sharks Captain and Springbok rugby player, Chris Kingsley, co-founder of Sport for Lives (www.sportforlives.org), Rory Steyn, former bodyguard of Nelson Mandela, and the armed Thanda Anti-Poaching Rangers, Vusi Gumede and Siyabonga Zulu, who escorted him and his team. The support crew included team members from @sportforlives, @expandasignsa, @projectrhinokzn, ZAPWing aerial support team and the Project Rhino K9 team.
The Run for Rangers weekend concluded with a rhino dehorning.
All around, it was an incredible weekend! 100kms of running, new friendships, amazing stories shared along the way, and memories that will never be forgotten. So many goals were reached this weekend and we are extremely proud of everyone who took part in the run and of those involved behind the scenes. Here’s to the next Run for Rangers at Thanda,” said Louw.
Thanda Safari is a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World, a multiple winner of The World’s Leading Luxury Lodge award, ranked as one of the 20 Top Resorts in South Africa in the 2020 Condé Nast Traveller Awards, winner at the 27th World Travel Awards for World’s Leading Luxury Private Villa 2020: Villa iZulu at Thanda Safari, South Africa and the World’s Leading Safari Lodge 2020: Thanda Safari Lodge at Thanda Safari, South Africa. More recently, at the recent 28th World Travel Awards in 2021, Villa iZulu at Thanda Safari again walked away with the award for Africa’s Leading Luxury Private Villa.