Cape Town - When Port Elizabeth business man and SANParks Honorary Ranger Wayne Bolton decided to embark on a 6 000km cycle across all of South Africa's National Park within 80 days, all odd were against him.
He started his cycle, in aid of rhino conservation in the country, at Kruger National Park’s Pafuri Gate on 28 November 2015. Within the first few days on the road, SA was hit with a heatwave. But Wayne Bolton cycled on in the sun - nothing was to stop him from reaching Addo Elephant National Park on his 80-day-deadline, set for Saturday, 13 February. READ: SANParks Honorary Ranger reaches 1 000km on 6 000km cycle journey in aid of rhinos
And nothing did. Not the hills of the Cape, not the flat, hot plains of the Karoo and not the fact that a total of 1 175 rhino were poached in South Africa in 2015
Wayne Bolton posted the following message on his One Land Love It Expedition Facebook page
upon completing his journey; "It is difficult to put into words the gratitude I feel towards all who who partnered with the OLLI Team to raise funds and awareness for our incredible beneficiaries, and to personally support me and my support team.
"The welcome I received yesterday at Addo Elephant National Park was emotional and humbling and epitomizes the enthusiasm and passion of the staff of SANParks which we have come to experience first hand around South Africa.
"To all the wonderful people and organisations who made this possible, our heartfelt thanks. You have contributed to the conservation of our natural heritage."
This family man decided to make a difference, not only by raising awareness and gathering support for rhino conservation, but also to make a financial contribution towards rehabilitation and anti-poaching efforts.
To do this Wayne embarked on the 6 000km expedition on his bicycle, over two and a half months, to visit 19 SANParks around South Africa.
A group of cyclists gathered in Paterson and joined Wayne and the One Land Love It Team for the final 23 kilometres to the park where a gathering of Honorary Rangers, Land Rover owners and Kingsley Holgate had formed to watch the Addo Rangers guard of honour escourt Wayne into the Main Camp.
Kingsley Holgate praised Wayne Bolton saying, “when ordinary people get committed to a cause together, then extraordinary things can happen.”
Wayne Bolton urged 'ordinary South Africans' to take a stand against rhino poaching with this #jointcustody approach to conservation.
“We are all ordinary people. The silence or lack of action from “good people” has led to a qualified 1071 rhino poaching incidents in 2015 according to Stop Rhino Poaching
. Ordinary people can and should make a positive contribution to conserving our natural heritage. It starts at home. This expedition is an exercise in #JointCustody." Care for Wild Africa
is one of the conservation programmes associated with Wayne Bolton's Expedition. Care for Wild Africa works hand in hand with the South African National Parks veterinarians, rangers and zoologists to ensure that these babies are “counselled”, fed, trained and rehabilitated for reintroduction into the wild.
Donating to the Care for Wild Africa and other beneficiaries can be done on One Land Love It's Expedition website