Tag Archives: Horseback

Meet the people striving to Save The Waterberg Rhino

Tessa Baber, who appears in this short film, started ‘Save The Waterberg Rhino’ in 2013.

Those taking part in The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride in March 2016 will be 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.

The plan is to cross the Waterberg on horseback, traversing Kwalata private game reserve to Lapalala Wilderness where riders will meet the warden Anton Walker, who also appears on this film. He cares for both black and white rhino re-introduced to the area by his father, the author and wildlife artist Clive Walker when he was warden about thirty years ago.

While on this reserve riders from the UK will visit the Lapalala Wilderness School where children, often from deprived communities, come for a week’s residential course on wildlife conservation. Many of them 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.

The ride will end at the Palala River on Jembisa private game reserve who have been supporting Save The Waterberg Rhino and the Lapalala Wilderness School for some time.

The Waterberg Challenge Ride 2016 promises to be quite an intrepid adventure. The route has not attempted on horseback before. The riders face early starts and long hours in the saddle but they are busy getting fit and packing carefully in preparation for the challenge.

Riding safaris at Ant's (60)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

 

Find out about Save The Waterberg Rhino

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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. Add a note to specify ‘Save the Waterberg Rhino’ or ‘Lapalala Wilderness School’ with your donation.

Riders are gaining sponsorship on individual pages:

Anne Lester – https://www.justgiving.com/Anne-Lester

Susie Airy – http://www.justgiving.com/SusieAiryTheWaterbergTrust

Fiona Worlidge – https://www.justgiving.com/fiona-worlidge

Belinda Fordy – http://www.justgiving.com/Belindalfordy

Becky Overy Owen https://www.justgiving.com/bexoo

Belinda Chaffer – http://www.justgiving.com/Belinda-ChafferTWT

Sophie Neville – http://www.justgiving.com/Sophie-Neville-TWT2016

  • If you’d like to organise your own fundraising event, and learn more about the charity contact sophie@sophieneville.co.uk
  • makeapage_your_white justgiving

 

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Making a Difference: Teaching Conservation Skills at Lapalala Wilderness School in South Africa

Lapalala Wilderness School wins Eco School Award and inspires others

The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 is currently raising funds and looking for sponsorship to help this award winning eco-school on the Palala River in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Crossing the Palala River

The Lapalala Wilderness School was established thirty years ago to give children from disadvantaged areas to have the opportunity to spend a week learning about nature conservation while gaining practical skills in the African bush.

Learning about Wildlife

If you would like to support this excellent educational project, you can make a donation on JustGiving via The Waterberg Trust and add a note with your donation specifying “Lapalala Wilderness School”

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Swimming in the Palala River

Help fight rhino poaching in the Waterberg

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Photo of new baby rhino by Ant Baber at Ant’s Nest

The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 is being organised to raise funds for Save the Waterberg Rhino along with associated community education projects, to help fight rhino poaching and teach local children about the conservation of these amazing animals at the Lapalala Wilderness School.

Over 5,000 rhino have been killed by poachers in South Africa alone. The Waterberg is home to a signification concentration of rhino, second only to Kruger National Park.

PROJECTS REQUIRING FUNDING & STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
Rhino horn treatment
Tracking devices for rhinos
Equipment, such as:
• Binoculars
• Night vision
• Thermal vision
• Hi Tech solutions
• Bullet proof vests
• Crime scene equipment
• Uniforms and kit for scouts
Anti-poaching scouts for rhino protection
Tracker Dogs
Training for Anti-Poaching UNITS
Management Courses for Rhino Owners

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

donate_white Justgiving button

As a UK registered charity, we can claim Gift Aid on eligible donations, and organise transfer of funds to South Africa efficiently. Add a note to specify ‘Save the Waterberg Rhino’ with your donation.

Belinda Chaffer – http://www.justgiving.com/Belinda-ChafferTWT

Sophie Neville – http://www.justgiving.com/Sophie-Neville-TWT2016

Sophie Neville in the Waterberg -1

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To find out about Save The Waterberg Rhino, click on the banner below:

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Reporting back on the Waterberg Charity Ride 2015 – Part 4

Thanks to our dedicated group of riders and their donors, the Waterberg Charity Ride 2015 raised more money in sponsorship than ever imagined.

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Preparing to set off from Horizon Lodge

The ride finished on 31st January 2015. By mid-March we thought a total of £16,000 had come in. This far exceeded the original £1,000 that each rider had been challenged to find, on top of paying for their own flights, travel insurance and the cost of their food, accommodation, transfers and horses.

Waterberg Charity Ride sets off from Horizon
Riders and guides ready to set off from Horizon Horseback on Triple B Ranch in the Waterberg

However thanks to press coverage and huge generosity from supporters, cheques and Justgiving.com donations have kept coming in. One rider raised funds by selling some of her shoes, another, who lives in deepest darkest Herefordshire asked her friends to help her to sell home-grown mistletoe for Christmas decorations. A rider from Perthshire in Scotland threw a party and asked for sponsorship instead of gifts for her 50th Birthday.

Perthshire Advertiser

Together with some matched funding and the Gift Aid now recovered we are able to send £22,784 to help people of the Waterberg. Of this sum £10,000 is allocated for the education of children in need and £12,784 for training auxiliary nurses, in line with the requests received from the donors themselves. If more money comes in, we will forward it to South Africa where it really will transform lives. Our Justgiving.com page is still open!

Two boys at Kids Club
Children of the Waterberg

It is a huge amount, received with enormous gratitude. The riders were all so enthusiastic and all gave so much of themselves.  A sponsored ride demands a great deal. The effort involved isn’t immediately apparent as it ranges from getting fit to organising fund-raising activities while making arrangements for animals and families to be looked after in the rider’s absence. It wasn’t quite the same as going on holiday!

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Torrential rain at the end of the ride!

The organisers of the Waterberg Charity Ride would like to extend their grateful thanks to all those who supported the challenge in the Waterberg, especially Laura Dowinton, the directors, guides, drivers and staff at Horizon Horseback Adventures who hosted the ride.

The lodge at Horizon Horseback
The lodge at Horizon Horseback

We owe thanks to David Baber for allowing us to traverse Summer Place Farm and Koshari Game Reserve who put the riders up for the first two nights, amazing us with the sight of a debra – a cross between a donkey and zebra.

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A tame debra on Koshari Game Reserve

The riders were not only guided through Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill Game Reserves, where they learnt about wildlife management, but were treated to a drinks party where they met an orphaned rhino and his friend before being driven off to find four more white rhino in the bush, which was very special.

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White rhino in a mud wallow at Ant’s Nest

The group arrived at Lindani soaking wet from having ridden through a rain storm and were grateful for comfortable beds and hot showers.

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Coping with wet equipment

Refreshed by swims in the pool and the sight of great herds of game the next day, spirits were high by the time the riders reached Jembisa, a private game reserve on the Palala River. After a tough climb up the escapement they were greeted by a well deserved lunch.

Feeling the miles covered!
Feeling the miles covered!

After spending a night at Kingfisher Cottage where they watched hippo wallowing in the river, the riders pressed on to the most northerly point on the property and were truly grateful for the hospitality extended to them by everyone who looked after them at Jembisa Bush Home at the end of the ride.

Arriving at Jembisa after a long day in the saddle
Arriving at Jembisa after a long day in the saddle

The lodge staff at Jembisa put on a special celebratory dinner under the stars, relished by the hungry riders. We worked out that they had covered approximately 200km on their exploratory journey across the Waterberg Plateau from the Melk River to the Palala River.

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The group much enjoyed visiting the Waterberg Welfare Society hospice where they met nurses, staff inspiring to become nurses and a number of young people at Timothy House who entertained us with cultural dancing.

Cultural Dancers
Cultural Dancers at WWS

The support and enthusiasm we were given has spurred us on to consider mounting other rides next year! Contact us via the Comments box if you’d like to come.

One of the riders wrote saying, ‘Thank Goodness I had that wonderful adventure in January with you r riding safari in the Waterberg – it was so much fun and such lovely people! An experience of a life time!’

Sophie Neville in South Africa

Reporting back on the Waterberg Charity Ride 2015

Waterberg Charity Ride sets off from HorizonTen riders from Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland and the Netherlands gathered at Horizon Horseback Safaris on 25th January 2015.

Sarah Potter

After an evening ride to ensure everyone was happy with their mounts,

Kate we set off over the hills, taking on the challenge to find a route across the Waterberg plateau on horseback. Our week in the saddle proved quite an adventure.

Leading the Waterberg Charity Ride We had some wonderful game viewing.

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Being on horseback we could get remarkably close to animals

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especially zebra used to grazing with the horses.

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Some sections were challenging

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and we crossed through territory new to the horses.

Crossing a streamThere were other stretches where we pushed on

Waterberg Charity Ride 2015 and picked up speed.

A fast section There were mornings when we cantered for miles, afternoons when we had to dismount to walk up stony hillsides – all be good for the inner thigh.

A challenging section of the Waterberg Charity RideWe found ourselves going through very beautiful country.

a beautiful section of the Watberg Charity Ride We spent long days in the heat,

Alex with zebra

but it was high summer in South Africa and the bush was verdant.

groupandlandscape005_zps12ba856cMaking our way through the game rserves, crossing rivers

groupandlandscape030_zpscc9589f6 and plains where herds of wild animals were grazing was exciting.

sophie000b_zps31e9891dWe rode with zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, warthog, jackal, red heartebeest, blesbok, impala, greater kudu, waterbuck, mountain reed buck, duiker, eland, oryx and saw nyala, sable, springbok, baboon, vervet monkey, slender mongoose, tree squirrel, ostrich, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, crocodile and even a debra – the hybrid foal of a zebra mare and donkey stallion.

Game viewing on the Waterberg Charity Ride We saw amazing creatures, great

White rhino at Ant's Nest and small.

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Some saw sable antelope

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and we even came across other horses, grazing in the Africa bush.

sparkie002_zpsd0da621a After six days on horseback we made it to the Palala River and could celebrate the fact that we had covered somewhere in the region of 200kms.

Bucks fizz Everyone agreed that it had been a great expedition accomplished by a wonderful team.

ready to goBefore flying home we had time to meet staff at the Waterberg Welfare Society

Learning about WWS and see around the hospice and Timothy House children’s centre.

The Waterberg Charity Ride visits WWS Very many thanks go to all those who sponsored the riders and supported such a good cause. Funds are still coming in but we hope to let you know the total raised soon and report on the details of projects we will be able to finance. The riders all paid their own expenses and brought generous donations, with gifts for the local children.

Alex's donation I was able to take beautiful books, stationary and clothing to the farm school where they were very much appreciated.

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If you would like to add a donation via our Justgiving page please click here.

Grateful hanks also go to those who hosted us and looked after the riders so beautifully: Horizon Horseback Safaris, Koshari Game Reserve, Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill, Lindani Game Reserve and Jembisa, who treated us to dinner under the stars on our last night.

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If you would like to join us on another Waterberg Charity Ride, please contact us using the Comments box below.

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Waterberg Charity Ride in January 2015

Would you like to join us on a sponsored ride through the Waterberg in South Africa to raise funds for the Waterberg Welfare Society Trust?

Are you up for an adventure?

We are looking for riders!

Horizon Horseback Adventures have kindly offered to organise a special safari, taking riders through private game reserves, whose owners have generously offered to host our party. 

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It will be an exploratory venture, indeed a unique opportunity to ride alongside wild animals in this beautiful area, now proclaimed a UNESCO biosphere. The group will be led by Sophie Neville, who became a horse safari guide in the Waterberg back in 1992, and is now a trustee of WWST.

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Dates: Sunday 25th January 2015 – to – Saturday 31st January 2015 

This enables anyone from the UK to depart from Heathrow on Saturday 24th January and arrive back in the UK on Sunday 1st February.

Giraffe on safari

 

DAY 1: You will be collected from O.R Tambo international airport, Johannesburg and driven north to Horizon safari lodge (approx. 2.5 hours) in time for lunch. In the afternoon we will enjoy a short introductory ride to ensure everyone’s horses are suitable and stirrups are set correctly.

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Horizon’s first passion is its horses and the adjoining landscape is heaven for riders. Miles of sandy tracks enable us to take long canters, while keeping an eye out for wildlife. Our first night will be spent on Triple B Ranch, a traditional homestead in the heart of the Waterberg biosphere reserve.

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DAY 2: We’re off! Today we will ride from Horizon lodge to Koshari game ranch, a 1300ha reserve that will whet your appetite for all things ‘Waterberg’.  The area is home to a large number of animal species as well as 250 species of bird. We have a good chance of seeing plains game including giraffe, zebra and many antelope – and will take time to view the buffalo.  The night will be spent in tented accommodation at Koshari with an authentic African dinner served under the stars.

x Sophie Neville on Jigsaw in the Waterberg 1

 

Day 3: Today we will enjoy a full day ride on Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill private game reserve. The diverse topography means that it supports over 40 species of game including giraffe, white rhino, sable antelope, buffalo, nyala, gemsbok (Oryx), kudu, Livingstone eland, blue wildebeest (gnu), red hartebeest, zebra, impala, bushbuck, duiker, steenbuck, mountain reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog, blesbuck, baboons, bush-pig, klipspringer, leopard, jackal and brown hyena to name but no lion!

x Sophie Neville at Touchstone 1

We should be able to fit in a swim with the horse before arriving back at Koshari in time for a much-needed sundowner drink and another night’s camping.

Swimming horse

 

DAY 4: Today we will ride from Ant’s reserve to Lindani. This stunning 3,800ha game farm and safari lodge offers another brilliant game viewing opportunity as well as fantastic going for the horses. With large areas of open savannah bushveld and gently winding sandy tracks, that stretch for many kilometres, some fun will surely be had here!

x Sophie Neville on Jembisa

 

That night at Lindani we will be joined by resident astronomer Dr Phil Calcott who will lead us on a ‘night sky safari’. In this hugely informative and engaging presentation you will learn about constellations, the life-cycle of stars and be able to see the planets ‘live’ with the help of impressive telescopic equipment.  The Waterberg is a fantastic site from which to star-gaze as there is no light pollution and Dr Phil’s comedic style will have you all leaving as budding astronomers.

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DAY 5: From Lindani we ride to Jembisa, a private reserve and lodge that looks down over the Palala river. The ride into Jembisa will take us across open savannah and wetlands and down into the Palala Valley where the river has cut a deep gorge into the sandstone.

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From the Palala River we will ride on, up the bank and into Syringa woodland and mixed bushveld. Here we can try to track giraffe as we make our way past iron age archaeological sites.

Giraffe

 

Jembisa occupies a beautiful and dramatic spot in the Waterberg wilderness where a wide variety of wildlife and bird species can be seen. The lodge offers saddle weary travellers the chance to swim or have a massage and is much celebrated for its excellent food.

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DAY 6: Today we ride from Jembisa  back to our starting point – Horizon Horseback. It’s a long, long way, so this will be the most challenging leg of the journey.

x Sophie Neville with white Arab 1

 

Hopefully we will arrive in time for sundowners on the plains where zebra and antelope graze with the horses.

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The atmosphere of the lodge and its team of passionate and friendly staff will make you feel instantly at home. Enchanting entertainment courtesy of the Sotho choir is planned – the perfect accompaniment to an African sunset.

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DAY 7: Unless you want to collapse by the pool, our last morning will be spent riding in the game reserve at Horizon where once again we have a great chance of viewing animals including giraffe, zebra, impala, kudu, warthog and even hippo.

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The ride will be followed by lunch and a trip to the Waterberg Welfare Society visitor centre at Timothy House, Vaalwater to meet some of the recipients of your generous sponsorship. This is, after all, what this ride is really about!

Happy faces

 

Waterberg Welfare Society ~

The cost of safari itself is £1500, per person sharing. This includes airport transfers, riding, accommodation, food and drinks. It does not include flights, tips or travel insurance – which you will need.

To secure your place Horizon will require a non-returnable deposit of £500. The balance of £1,000 must have been paid 6 weeks in advance to Horizon Horseback before the trip commences.

Sophie painting in SA

 

If you have any questions or would like to book your place, please contact Sophie Neville ~ sophie@sophieneville.co.uk

To participate you need to raise a minimum sponsorship of £1000 for the Waterberg Welfare Society Trust. As a registered UK charity, Gift Aid can then be added.

We can help you with fundraising ideas.

While we encourage riders to find sponsorship some of us are raising the donation of £1,000 in other ways such as hosting a sale or asking for donations instead of birthday gifts and then gaining matched funding.

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To make your own Justgiving page – please click here

To see Sophie’s Justgiving page as an example – click here

You will need to get fit as we may be covering 30km to 50kms a day. It will be high summer in South Africa, so the bushveldt will be green and antelope will have young at foot. It can be hot and sunny or can be overcast and rainy but will not get cold.

To read about the horses please click here

To see more photos of what to expect please click here

The itinerary may change – but hopefully only for the better!

The Waterberg Map

 

Click here for where we are in South Africa

Information on the camps:

Horizon Horseback ~ website: www.ridinginafrica.com

Triple B Ranch ~ website: www.waterbergcottages.co.za

Koshari Game Reserve  ~ website:  http://www.koshari.co.za

The Ant Collection ~ website: http://www.waterberg.net

Lindani ~ website: http://www.lindani.co.za

Night Sky Safari ~ website www.greatguides.org (astronomy)

Jembisa ~ website: www.jembisa.com

x Sophie Neville on Touchstone6

 

Flights and Transfers:

We find it is best if people book their own flights to Johannesburg – try Trailfinders or Flight Centre.

NB: please book flights that arrive in S.Africa no later than 9.00am and depart from Johannesburg no earlier than 7.00pm. Should you need to arrive late or depart early, a private transfer will be supplied at additional cost.

Make your way to the information desk in the arrivals hall where you will be met and driven to the Horizon safari lodge for lunch.

At the end of the safari we will arrive at Johannesburg airport at 5pm suitable for all flights departing after 7 pm.

Do I need a visa? You must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months after your return date and has at least 3 blank pages. Visas are not needed for those with British passports. Please check if you come from elsewhere.

What vaccinations do I need? Vaccinations and malaria medications are not required however we recommend your tetanus to be up to date.

Are riding helmets compulsory? Yes, hard hats are mandatory and you will not be able to ride without one.  We can provide helmets, but suggest you bring their own. We do not provide half-chaps but might have the odd pair extra should they be needed.

What should I bring? As well as comfortable riding clothes and your hard hat, please bring the following; Bum bag, lip salve, strong sun protection cream factor 20 or higher, short boots and chaps. (Long rubber boots are not advised), swimming costume, light weight long sleeved shirts, raincoat,  camera with memory cards and camera batteries, small torch (head torch style highly recommended) your own towels and toiletries.

What is the pace of the riding? This safari is for fit, experienced riders. You must be someone who rides at least twice a week, be comfortable at an extended canter and be able to cope with long hours in the saddle.

What is included in the package price? Accommodation, riding, meals, all beverages including house wines and a selection of spirits. The cost does not include international air flights, travel insurance or gratuities.

Is there a laundry service? We will be able to offer a limited laundry service when packing do bear this  in mind as it helps not to have too much luggage.  We can normally turn laundry around within 48 hours (excluding the 30 or so days a year that it rains!)

What is the accommodation like? This will vary from A-frame tents with beds, sheets and duvets and ensuite bathrooms to comfortable guest houses with shared bathrooms. Meals are picnic lunches and evening meals cooked around the fire.

Single supplements? Bookings are taken on a ‘willing to share basis’. If you want a single room there would be 50% supplement.

What are the horses and tack like ? The horses have been selected for their temperament and rideability and all walk-out. They have been carefully chosen from the various South African breeds, which are well known for being of a tougher nature – able to cope under extreme conditions. These breeds include the Boerperd, Shire- cross-Thoroughbreds, Appalosas, and the S.A. Warmblood. They range in size from 14.3h. to 17h. Tack is McClellan trail saddles and snaffle bridles

Do cell phones work?  Yes in most places although there will be areas of no coverage

Useful contact numbers: Please give loved ones who may need to contact you for any reason can contact Laura on 0027(0)83-4191929 or laura@ridinginafrica.com.

In the case of a badly delayed flight: please dial 0027(0)834191929 during the day and after hours on +27(0)14755-4009.

Money: We suggest you don’t change too much money into the local currency as your holiday is fully inclusive – however there is a local craft shop! Gratuities are at your discretion and can be paid in pounds, euros or dollars.

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TWT supports Sport Relief

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What could you do to support Sport Relief this weekend?

Could you ask friends and colleagues to sponsor you on a long distance ride?

Why not take advantage of the weather and enjoy getting fit with friends.

Can you Run? Swim? Cycle?

Please click here for news of organised events near you this Sunday 23rd March

We embroidered our own T shirts but to order the official kit, please click here

For news of Sport Relief in Schools, please click here.