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Grand Traverse for Rhino

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The Rhino Army is on the move with half-a-dozen intrepid adventurers from the Qwantani Resort & Spa setting off on April 13 on a marathon hike which will cover 270 km of mountainous terrain.

The six hope to complete their trek in 14 days. The team will be led by Qwantani Resort general manager Gerhard van den Heever and he will be accompanied by Natasja van den Heever, Johan van den Heever, Oupa Sibeko, Lefuma Mofokeng and Dave Wright.

Their progress to different checkpoints can be followed on this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1569349996648871/permalink/1576885222562015/  and spectacular pictures of the Maluti-Drakensberg range will be posted. The Traversing for Rhino adventure will start at Qwantani Resort itself, about 40km from the Sentinel Car Park, then summiting Babangibona on the Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve before hiking the escarpment up to Sentinel car park.
Once up the chain ladders, the trail hugs the escarpment and meanders over hills and down valleys offering magnificent views of the major features of the Drakensberg. Apart from the well known passes and features, the trail includes the highest points in South and Southern Africa, Mafadi and Thabana Ntlenyana respectively, at elevations of just short of 3 500 metres.
The traverse is normally completed upon reaching Bushman’s Nek, a border control point between South Africa and Lesotho, some 230 km walking distance from the start. But the hikers will press another 40 km to the Bushman’s Nek Resort.

The six have been hard at training in recent weeks and months, and at altitude while detailed research has gone into the dietery requirements which provide balanced meals while keeping the backpacks to between 18-23 kg.

The good news is that the hikers will not have to carry water thanks to the recent rains. They have also taken advice on which are the safest routes – away from dangerous passes and trafficking.

Iceburg Security in Harrismith are sponsoring the group with two GPS phones (they will be used to track their advance) as well as a small solar panel to charge smartphones in order to upload pictures and news to our Facebook. Others sponsors include First Resorts,  CN Louwrens Butchery, Qwa Qwa Cash & Carry, ACS Contractors. Mariette from "The Chronicle" (the local Harrismith newspaper) has also published this march for rhino.

The adventurers hope to attract a large following, both of their progress and to the plight of the threatened species by displaying the Rhino Army Flag at all seven major checkpoints.

Remain posted.

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Wednesday the 18th.
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