Category Archives: Education

Objectives of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017

On 15th January 2017, twelve intrepid ladies from around the UK set off on horseback across the Waterberg Plateau in South Africa to gain an understanding of this pristine wilderness and learn about challenges faced by the rural community. Lying three hours drive north of Johannesburg, the Waterberg is home to the third highest population of rhino in the world. As up to four rhino are being poached in South Africa every day, it is imperative to guard this upland area where they can be protected.

A challenging section of the Waterberg Charity Ride

Would you help us to raise funds for Save The Waterberg Rhino, who are combating anti-poaching, Lapalala Wilderness School, who help ensure local children grow up with an understanding of nature conservation, and other community projects in the region?

LWS pupils with python

The twelve riders paid their own way, so every penny raised in sponsorship will go straight to The Waterberg Trust, a UK registered charity who can send donations, plus any Gift Aid, to these small but effective projects in South Africa. Funds go a long way to really make a difference in the Waterberg where they are administered by trusted conservationists with years of experience. You can meet those who are striving to Save The Waterberg Rhino and protect the wilderness while uplifting communities in the Waterberg, here:

Those taking part in The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017 were able to observe a number of white rhino living on Ant’s Nest game reserve, while being updated on anti-poaching initiatives by Tess and her husband Ant Baber who is leading the six-day ride.

They then crossed the Waterberg hills on horseback, traversing Kwalata private game reserve to Lapalala Wilderness run by Anton Walker, who also appears in this film. He cares for wildlife reintroduced to the area thirty years ago by his father, the author and conservationist Clive Walker seen here speaking to TWT riders in 2016:

LWS meeting Clive Walker

While on this reserve, riders visited the Lapalala Wilderness School where teenagers from Vaalwater come for a residential course on wildlife conservation sponsored by TWT. Students testify how this experience changes their outlook on life, giving them an appreciation for their environment and the future of South Africa’s wild animals. The children take their enthusiasm into the community whose support is essential if poaching is to be combated.

After thirty-two hours in the saddle, the ride ended at the Palala River on Jembisa private game reserve.  Before leaving, riders visited Lethabo Kids Club in the local township of Lesiding who minister to the poorest of the poor and ensure all children attend primary school.

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TWT riders with Alastair Fothergill who gave a fundraising talk on his BBC series The Hunt

50% of funds raised by the sponsored ride are going to Save The Waterberg Rhino and 50% to support community projects in the area.

Riding safaris at Ant's (60)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

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As a UK registered charity, The Waterberg Trust can claim Gift Aid on eligible donations, and organise transfer of funds to South Africa efficiently. You can add a note to specify ‘Save the Waterberg Rhino’ or ‘Lapalala Wilderness School’ or another project with your donation.

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Coverage of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Rides 2016

TWT Ride 2016 newspaper article

TWT’s sponsored ride across the Waterberg on horseback, as well as TWT’s cycle ride through Norfolk on 12th March 2016, received favourable coverage from Marlene Vermaak in South African newspapers including Die Pos (above) with a colour photo in The Post:

TWT Ride 2016 newspaper article in The Post

Marilyn Cook wrote about TWT in The Source – the magazine of St John’s Church at 24 Rivers in the Waterberg – and we have a photo in the letters page of Cotswold Life, July issue:

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Barry Burles continued his TWT cycle ride initiative by holding another last Saturday! The cyclists came from the Cambridge Rugby Union Football Club and completed the same 82 mile route to Langham in north Norfolk. This time there was a head wind…
Barry was interviewed on Radio Cambridge, and did brilliantly, talking about the work of the Waterberg Trust. Jarrod Taylor, who took part, originates from South Africa and once played rugby for Border. Having just retired from the Cambridge rugby team, he was also interviewed on Radio Cambridge and gave his just giving link inspiring listeners to give.
To listen to the interview, broadcast at 15.45 on Radio Cambridge on 15th June, please click here
New bike and old bike
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A transcript of the article in The Post by Marlene Vermaak:

12 RIDERS – 180KM – 6 DAYS: THE WATERBERG TRUST CHALLENGE RIDE 2016

After the success of 2015’s inaugural event, The Waterberg Trust (TWT) organised the second annual Waterberg Challenge Ride, which took place in March 2016, hosted this year by Ant’s Nest and guided by Ant Baber.

This exciting event, held to raise funds for various Waterberg projects, involved 12 experienced riders crossing 180km of Waterberg wilderness in 6 days. This year’s route went through Ant’s Nest, Kwalata, Lapalala and Jembisa game reserves. Funds raised will be going to Save The Waterberg Rhino and other community projects including the sponsorship of 125 local underprivileged children to attend The Lapalala Wilderness School.

The Waterberg Trust has already been able to help Save The Waterberg Rhino by funding the purchase of vital equipment, such as radios and a metal detector for the police officer dedicated to working with rhino poaching incidents in the Waterberg. Being a UK registered charity, TWT are able to access grants that are not available directly to South African registered Non Profit Organisations, and is able to make increase some UK donations by adding 25% Gift Aid. A number of the UK Trustees have long-standing links with the Waterberg and are committed to helping the people who work so hard running grassroots projects.
The first event hosted by Horizon in 2015 went from Horizon, Koshari, Ant’s Nest, and Lindani, to Jembisa, thanks to support from Shane and Laura Dowinton, David Baber, Dean van Heerden, Ant and Tess Baber, Sam and Peggy van Coller and Charles Whitbread. This sponsored ride raised fund for HIV/Aids programme support, involving  nurse training and two year support for an after school club at the Waterberg Welfare Society. This includes the rental of a house in Vaalwater for the homework facility. TWT was also able to support the Northern Education Trust, sponsoring a Waterberg student through accounting studies at Pretoria University. They are also raising money for Lethabo Kids Club in Leseding who run a much needed Back to School programme, providing school uniforms and more for primary school pupils. Riders were able to visit this project and the Lapalala Wilderness School while they were in the Waterberg.

 

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Visiting Lethabo Kid’s Club in Leseding

TWT rider with Letabo Kids Club

TWT Riders were able to visit Lethabo Kids Club in the township of Leseding, which has been run for the last sixteen years by Marilyn Cook – seen here in purple.

Finding out about the Back to School project

As it was the weekend before Easter we handed out Easter eggs as a treat. The youth who help on the project organised games and dancing for the children with vibrant music.

The children normally receive a glass of fresh milk and a peanut butter sandwich when they come to the club for stories and other activities each Wednesday.

Letabo Kids Club uniform

The Waterberg Trust is supporting a ‘Back to School’ project here, which has been working well and ensures all the children are equipped for the new school year in January.

Letabo Kids ClubThe state provide schooling but require each child arrive dressed in uniform, bringing a school bag equipped with stationary. Some families battle to find the money for this.

Letabo Kids club school bag

Lethabo Kids Club help by providing one item of clothing for each child. They first ask the children’s guardians to complete a form confirming they need assistance. So far, more than eighty children have been aided but the need is ever present. Some children have lost their parents and are being brought up by grannys, aunties or older siblings.

If you would like to make a donation to this project, please click here for The Waterberg Trust Justgiving.com page labelling your gift ‘Letabo Kids Club’.

Marilyn Cook with some of the kids

Riding from Lapalala to Jembisa game reserve on Day 5 of the TWT Challenge Ride

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Visiting Lapalala Wilderness School was much appreciated by TWT Riders who could see that in four days children and their teachers are given an experience that is truly life changing.

Sophie's saddle

We drove back to find our horses that had been saddled up for us and heaved ourselves on board.

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Ant Baber led us through Lapalala, riding fast along the river and up through thick bushveldt until we stopped for break by the Palala River that cuts through the Waterberg

Ant Baber

on its way north to the Limpopo. Recent rain had swelled its capacity in the last week.

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The brave cooled off and all enjoyed a barbeque lunch in the bush.

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Here the horses had a good feed and were able to relax.

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We rode on through the reserve gates, into Louis Nel’s beautiful cattle farm

Becky Overy-Owen

before crossing onto Jembisa game reserve near Kingfisher Cottage. Here we rode past hippo and spotted vervet monkeys in the trees.

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The horses were fed at the manager’s house where there is a good garage for the tack.

Sophie Neville photo Susie Airy

The riders were driven up to Jembisa Lodge where they enjoyed deep baths and dinner on the thatched roof of the veranda. It was hugely appreciated by all.

Dinner at Jembisa

Please click here for The Waterberg Trust Facebook page

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Visiting Lapalala Wilderness School on Day 5 of the TWT Challenge Ride 2016

Lapalala Wilderness School

While the horses enjoyed their grazing the riders paid a visit to Lapalala Wilderness School.

Lapalala Wilderness School display

A number of rhino skulls were included in an environmental display in the lecture room.

LWS staff

We met staff working at the eco-school along with the writer and artist Clive Walker who founded the project with Dale Parker thirty years ago.

LWS meeting Clive Walker

Clive gave us an illustrated talk on the plight of the five different species of rhinoceros.

LSW Talk on Rhino

Having established Lapalala Wilderness as a rhino sanctuary, Clive also founded the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Elephant and Rhino Foundation and Chaired a number of other conservation bodies in South Africa.

LWS Clive with riders

Riders were then introduced to one of the schools teaching assistants – a Burmese python.

LWS python

Pupils at the school never forget handling such a large reptile.

LWS pupils with python

It is a highlight of their four-day residential course when they have fun while learning about the importance of nature conservation and re-cycling. Their stay leaves a lasting impression. Some pupils take up a career working in conservation as a result.

LWS pupil

Looking around the well-established project was certainly memorable for TWT riders

LWS looking around

and we are grateful to the Director, Mr Mashudu Makhokha, for making it possible. To find out more about Lapalala Wilderness School please click here.

LWS Mashudu

Learning about rhino conservation

Learning about rhino conservation

Before The Waterberg Trust Challenge team members set off on their epic ride they received an introductory talk about conservation from Tessa Baber, chairman of Save The Waterberg Rhino who gave t-shirts to each fundraiser.

Save The Waterberg Rhino T-shirts

Meeting the white rhino was an extraordinary experience. They are accompanied by armed guards 24 hours of the day and have had their horns saturated in poison to render them worthless in an extreme measure to prevent their illegal killing.

Rhino and calf

White Rhino

Riders were given an update on the poaching situation and urgent needs for extra protection in the Waterberg, which is home to the second highest population of white rhino in the world.

Talk on RhinoWhile there are a number of complex issues to take on board, we all determined to do what we can to protect this iconic species.

Raising awareness

Meeting the animals themselves is an unforgettable experience being made available to hundreds of children in the Waterberg as well as those fighting for their conservation.

Sophie Neville meeting several rhino

If you would like to get involved or find out more The Waterberg Trust have a Facebook page here. Riders are raising sponsorship on Justgiving.com here

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Report on the second Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016

Sophie Neville and wildebeeste

The dream of riding through the game reserves of South Africa became a reality for twelve British riders this March when they took up the challenge of raising £1,000 each for Save The Waterberg Rhino and local community projects.

Zebra by Sophie Neville

The team was made up of experienced riders

uphill

and, being led by Ant Baber,

Ant Baber

the pace was fast whenever the terrain allowed.

Cantering

The idea was to traverse 175kms  of remote country

Walking uphill

while taking the opportunity to learn about rhino conservation

Sophie Neville watching rhino

and discover more about the Waterberg. For further detail and more photos of this ride, please see subsequent posts.Photographing giraffe

If you would like to get involved or find out more The Waterberg Trust have a Facebook page here. Riders are raising sponsorship on Justgiving.com here

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