Bonitas Wild Series
In 2007, Wildlands launched the WILD SERIES, with a view to profiling South Africa’s spectacular natural heritage whilst raising funds for key core conservation projects. The WILD SERIES was established off the back of two long-standing sporting events that the Trust had founded, namely the Mont-Aux-Sources Trail Run and the Giants Castle MTB Challenge. These two events provided South Africans with the opportunity of running or mountain biking in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage area, and have raised millions for conservation in the process.
Wildlands approached the BONITAS MEDICAL FUND with a view to securing their commitment to support the establishment of a series of mountain biking and trail running events. BONITAS and Wildlands shared an association with the Comrades Marathon and the WILD SERIES concept presented a logical extension of this association. They have been Series and event co-title sponsor ever since.
The Bonitas Radox iMfolozi MTB Challenge presented by Mondi
This is a 1 day, 50 km ride in iMfolozi Game Reserve. This July event is extremely popular with entries reaching their limit within a few days every year. The event is limited to a field of 300 riders. The 2012 event was staged on the 28th July. Funds raised through this event support conservation activities in the iconic Hluhluwe – iMfolozi Park and the conservation of the seriously threatened Wild Dog.
uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park Wild Series Events
Wildlands hosts two Wild Series events in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, namely the Bonitas Sunday Tribune Giants Castle MTB Challenge and the Bonitas Sunday Tribune Mount Aux Sources trail run. The funds raised from these events are collectively used for improving the management of the Park, as well as activities to monitor and conserve the threatened bearded vulture.
The Bonitas Sunday Tribune Giants Castle MTB Challenge
This is a 1 day, 75 km ride in and around the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage area. This March event is one of South Africa’s oldest MTB events, drawing a limited field of 400 riders. The 2012 event was staged on the 28th April. Funds raised through this event support conservation activities in the World Heritage area and the conservation of the endangered Bearded Vulture.
The Bonitas Sunday Tribune Mont-Aux-Sources Trail Run
This is a 1 day trail run from the Royal Natal Campsite up into Lesotho and back. This 50 km trail run was once of South Africa’s first trail runs and is widely regarded as a must do amongst serious off road runners. The event field is limited to 250 runners. Funds raised through this event also support conservation activities in the World Heritage area and the conservation of the seriously threatened Bearded Vulture
The Bonitas Sunday Tribune 3 Cranes Challenge
This is a 3 day trail run at the top of the Karkloof Valley. This event has become one of South Africa’s signature trail running events, drawing a limited field of 220 runners, who enjoy great running through a diversity of natural grassland and forest systems. The 2012 event was staged from the 23 – 26th February. Funds raised through this event support Crane conservation (Wattled, Blue and Grey Crowned Cranes) and the establishment of a new conservation area at the top of the Karkloof Valley.
The Bonitas Sunday Tribune Cowan House Trail Run & MTB Challenge
This is a 2 day family festival event in the spectacular countryside around Hilton Village. This August event is one of the oldest family MTB events and was drawn into the Wild Series for the first time in 2011. The event field is limited to 1000 cyclists spread across a 40 km, 20 km and 10 km challenge. In 2012 we plan to introduce a trail Run: 42km (Comrades qualifier), 20km and a 10km fun run/walk. The 2012 event is set to be staged on the 11th & 12th August 2012. Funds raised through this event support the Cowan house Schools education outreach activities and the activities of the Winterskloof Conservancy.
The Bonitas Radox Golden Gate
This is a 3 day Trail Run in the magnificent Golden Gate National park. This event was staged for the first time in 2011 and was a massive hit in the trail running community. The field is limited to 220 runners. Funds raised through this event will support conservation efforts within the Park.
The Bonitas Radox Somkhanda Rhino Run
This is a 1 Day Ultra Trail Challenge will take runners through the breathtaking and wild Somkhanda Nature Reserve. This is the newest addition to the Bonitas Wild Series and we are aiming for a limited exclusive field. This is a true “Bush” trail run where runners can take their time and just enjoy the wild surroundings
With the current Rhino poaching crisis gripping South Africa, Somkhanda Game Reserve provides a significant refuge for both White and Black Rhino. The Somkhanda Trail Run has raised much needed funding to support the ever growing security requirements for these Rhino populations. Wildlands Conservation Trust is partnering with Wildlife Act Fund to ensure the intensive and regular monitoring of these valuable Rhino populations, allowing this event to contribute to the expenses of the Rhino monitors, many of whom kept the runners safe during the event.