Put Foot Rally joins Project Rhino KZN campaign

The Thanda Foundation and Thanda Private Game Reserve, both founding members of Project Rhino KZN, a provincial anti-poaching association that was founded in 2011 in response to the escalating rhino poaching crisis, are excited to be participating in the 2012 Put Foot Rally.

Towards the end of 2011, Project Rhino KZN was approached by the Put Foot Rally organisers, offering to adopt the organisation as an official rally charity, alongside the Put Foot Foundation for the 2012 social adventure. Project Rhino KZN is thrilled to be a part of this epic social rally across Southern Africa. The rally will take place from 20 June until 6 July, where participants will attempt to reach the finish line in Mozambique after travelling through South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. The Put Foot Rally takes participants across six countries to six checkpoints in 17 days using routes and vehicles of the crews’ choice.

The Put Foot Rally is immensely popular and 60 crew places were sold out in 28-minutes of opening the entries. The organisers have sponsored two places to participate in the rally. This will enable them to highlight the rhino poaching crisis to all the crews and media participating, while also raising awareness during the 17-day event. Project Rhino KZN is honoured to be able to participate and is sending eight ambassadors on the 7000km adventure of a lifetime.

The crew members include individuals from a few member organisations: African Conservation Trust, Thanda Foundation, Thanda Private Game Reserve, Space For Elephants, WESSA, KZN Rhino Security and Phinda Private Game Reserve. The goal of the two crews during the 2012 Put Foot Rally is to fly the rhino flag high and to generate additional awareness and funding for the efforts of Project Rhino KZN. The hope is that sufficient funds will be raised so that the Put Foot Rally and Project Rhino KZN can sponsor a fully equipped rhino anti-poaching unit for a year.

All eight ambassadors are committed to using this opportunity afforded to them by Put Foot Rally, for the fight against rhino poaching in a similar five ways in which rhinos use their horns:

Greeting – the ambassadors are committed to rubbing shoulders with all the Put Foot Rally crews.

Attack – the crews will share as much knowledge as possible about rhino poaching and the obstacles faced in protecting rhinos.

Defense – the two crews will share key initiatives and strategies that have been put in place by Project Rhino KZN with as many people and media as possible.

Guiding – the eight ambassadors will guide and assist individuals and companies who want to get involved in the mission to protect the rhinos.

Feeding – The crews invite other Put Foot Rally crews to share a drink and meal together along the race journey.

The project brings together organisations with a common vision and goal, identifies synergies through an integrated common approach and has therefore collectively become a representative body which carries powerful leverage ability. Project members, including Thanda, want to reach an ultimate goal of eliminating rhino poaching in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Put Foot Rally generates extensive media coverage including the online mediums of social networking. Members will be Facebooking, blogging and Tweeting throughout the 17 day race. The rally has created interest among many high-profile companies and individuals who will be meeting the participating crews at various checkpoints throughout the race.

The two crews need sponsorship to cover the costs of fuel, accommodation, food, border crossing costs, third party, travel and vehicle insurance and allowance for emergencies and breakdowns during the rally. If you would like to help in sponsoring equipment and supplies for the crews, please contact Melanie van Biljon on melanie@thanda.co.za.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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