Jess Boon, Londolozi Ranger, and Jaco Myburgh, Londolozi Executive Chef, recently embarked on a 44okm mountainbike ride from Londolozi Game Reserve to Ponto do Ouro in Southern Mozambique. ‘Riding to Break the Cycle of Hunger’ was both the name and the purpose of their adventure as the intent of the journey was to raise money for the Good Work Foundation. More specifically to use that money to buy food for Maggie Mnisi’s Creche and Eric Ubisi’s Orphanage in the communities surrounding Londolozi.
Maggie Mnisi, Londolozi Living, started her own creche in the rural Seville Community and Eric Ubisi, Londolozi Kitchen, started an orphanage in the Manyeleti Community. Both projects are assisted by the Good Work Foundation which aims to bring positive Community Development Interventions to the rural communities in which they work.
With sponsorship from many of Londolozi’s kitchen suppliers such as Cavaleri Cheeses, Anton Cycles and JES Catering, the pair set off from Shaw’s Gate on the border of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
Recounts Jess: “We had just ridden out of the reserve when we spotted lion tracks on the road ahead. Two lionesses had escaped and now they were roaming around the wilderness area outside the reserve. It was incredibly exciting to begin the trip like that, however Day 1 was actually very tough. I had done little preparation for the expedition and so I found the hills toward the end of the day extremely challenging.”
Staying over in White River, the pair spent the next two days winding their way through rows of sugar cane fields, beautiful gorges and through the border into Mozambique. As beautiful as neighboring Mozambique was, it presented its own set of challenges and experiences. From Day 4 to Day 6 Jaco and Jess spent most of their time on long, hard and dusty roads grinding out the kilometers. At the end of every day, the pair would seek out accommodation from local villagers or campsites. Jess says that: “The most incredible thing about Mozambique is the people, who are so hospitable and willing to help travelers passing through. We experienced such fantastic generosity from everyone we came into contact with.”
By Day 6, they were close to end of their journey. The trail led them further south through the Maputo Elephant Park and closer to the warm sub-tropical waters of the blue/green Indian Ocean. There, on the final day, Jess and Jaco rode their bikes off the broken roads, onto the sandy beach and into the bay of Ponto do Ouro to celebrate their achievement. Jaco believes that “It was so satisfying to finish the trip because of the whole purpose of what we were riding for.”The trip was significant because of so much more than the physical accomplishments. As with any challenge, the purpose of the journey plays such a huge role in driving it forward.
In pedaling across a small section of Africa, Jaco and Jess both found new perspectives on this continent and ultimately contributed to the betterment of rural children’s lives through the Good Work Foundation. Londolozi is extremely proud to have them as part of the team and to have them adding value in such a unique way. The Good Work Foundation is also incredibly grateful to the generosity of the sponsors who were kind enough to get involved.
There is so much to this self-confessed dark continent of Africa that surpasses our own preconceived notions. All it takes is the first unknown step into an unknown world to realise that despite the boundaries, cultures and inherent differences between people in Africa, it is made that much easier by thriving on the same sense of community, good will and fellowship amongst one another.
Photography: Jaco Myburgh & Jess Boon
Written by: Rich Laburn