On 13 January 2017, Charles Butler set off on a 12,000km cycle from the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt to Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. The cycle would see Charles tackle 11 countries in 120 days as he wound his way through Africa’s incredibly diverse interior.
For Charles, the journey was twofold:
- To witness the chaotic energy of Africa on a bicycle, but also,
- To raise awareness and funding for rhino conservation and hopefully slow down the species’ march to extinction.
We caught up with Charles post completing the ride and he was able share a couple of his highlights of the trip.
All the countries we cycled through were very different from each other which makes selecting favourite country quite difficult. That said, Namibia was a cyclist’s dream with tough roads and hilly terrain which was matched by incredibly dramatic scenery of red dunes and wildlife running next to you. It certainly wasn't easy but the experience was unparalleled throughout the trip.
The trip was an emotional roller-coaster and I think the toughest challenge I faced was the relentless uncomfortable nature of camping and cycling in remote, inhospitable locations. It was a bit of a novelty at first but the lack of facilities like showers and clean toilets – basics that you’ve taken for granted your whole life – wore me down after while. The riding was probably the easiest component of the tour but I had a period in the south of Sudan where my bike broke down and I had to borrow a series of staff bikes to complete the next few days of riding. This was done in temperatures of plus 40 degrees, on bad roads and with a stomach bug…
Why rhino conservation?
In recent years rhinos have come under increasing levels of poaching to the point where it is expected that wild rhinos will be extinct by 2024. Having spent many a game drive viewing these amazing creatures I refuse to believe that the only way the next generation will only be able to view these animals is in zoos and not in their natural habitat.In addition to this, I feel that the fight to keep the rhinos alive and in the wild represents a flash point for all wildlife conservation because if we can’t prevent one of the most iconic African animals from extinction then what hope do we have preventing other animals from a similar fate?
Thanks to some very generous donations Charles was able to raise US$9,000 for Helping Rhinos which will going towards the Black Mamba anti-poaching service.
The money raised by Charles will help to fund essentional communication tools that will increase thesafety of the Mambas and also allow them to work effectively with colleagues across the Greater Kruger Park.
Cairo to Cape Town
Northern tip of Arica...
Through central Africa...
To the southern tip of Africa
Some amazing Wildlife
And friendly locals
Congratulations from cycling legend and Helping Rhinos Patron, Phil Liggett