Skip to content
Three Day Ride
Application to Ride
Three Day Ride
uBhejaneX Motivation & Donation Document
Nixon to continue his uBhejaneX love affair
14th Nov 2019
One of the last remaining four ‘Lions’ of the Absa Cape Epic Mike Nixon will be back to tackle the Short Horn at this year’s uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge from the Umvoti Toll Plaza to Hilltop Camp in the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve on Saturday, 7 December. The Cape Town resident is one of the few riders that has completed every Absa Cape Epic since the race’s inception in 2004 and will once again take part in 2020 Epic with one of the few remaining Cape Epic ‘Lionesses’ Hanelee Steyn. In the build-up to their 2020 Epic the pair has decided to pilot a ride that will take them fifteen days from Stellenbosch to the Eastern Cape border, through the Karoo, and then back to the wineland town via the coast. “We originally planned to do a Freedom Challenge in reverse and finish in Zinkwazi where we would join the uBhejane,” Nixon said. “But unfortunately I have to be in Cape Town in the first week of December so we have set up this ride, which we are calling the Southern Cross, which will be around 1800km over the fifteen days starting on 16 November. “We wanted to do this because there isn’t a ride where you see the best of the Western Cape. This year it will just be us and a Land Rover averaging around 110km each day.” Nixon’s involvement in the Kingsley Holgate Foundation sees him form part of the expedition team that travels throughout Africa trying to improve the lives of the people in some of the most remote areas of the continent. The 61 year-old has a strong relationship with the uBhejane Xtreme having taken part in the event in its first year. This year will be the sixth edition of the race and Nixon’ss third as he prepares to take on the 250km Short Horn ride. “I did the full one in the first year and that was incredibly tough. I missed a year then came back and did the 250km ride, missed last year and will ride my third this year. “I work a lot with conservation and work closely with Kingsley Holgate and his foundation so it is an event that is close to my heart. “Conservation is a space that I am also involved with and having events like this make it far easier for us to make a difference,” he added. Despite Nixon’s impressive build up to the 250km slog along the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, he knows that the uBhejane Xtreme is an event that is always going to be a challenge. “I have heard that last year they hit quite a severe headwind which makes it that much harder to keep up a consistent speed on the bike. “Riding 250km is never easy but I know that it will be a great day out for us and it’s fantastic to see how the local community gets involved in supporting the ride.”...
Three day ride adds to uBhejaneX appeal
25th Oct 2019
The entry for the new uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge three-day ride has more than doubled since its debut last year as the more manageable alternative to the iconic one-day 330km ride from Hillcrest to Hluhluwe in aid of rhino conservation which will take place from 5 to 7 December. The uBhejane Xtreme, which heads into its sixth year this December and has raised over R2 million for rhino conservation in KwaZulu-Natal, bolted on the three day ride in 2018 to broaden the event’s fundraising capacity. Riders have overnight stops in Zinkwazi and Empangeni before heading to Hilltop Camp in Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Game Reserve via the famous bronze rhino statue at the entrance to the park. Day one of the ride is the longest at 140km, taking riders from Hillcrest through the Valley of a Thousand Hills and down onto the cane roads up the north coast to the overnight stop at Zinkwazi Lodge. Day two is a 120km haul north from Zinkwazi to Empangeni past Darnell, over the Tugela River and then past Mthunzini until you reach the Canefields Country Hotel. Here riders will have the opportunity to rest up before the final push to the iconic bronze statue. The final day to the entrance of the Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Game Reserve is a 100km stretch. The event then incorporates the 30km road from the entrance to Hilltop Camp where they will spend the final night before travelling back home on Sunday. “We felt that it was important to give riders that might not be as serious about their riding the opportunity to take part,” uBhejaneX Event Director Cliff Wills said. “It is still a tough three days of riding but we believe it adds another important dimension to the event.” Speaking about the benefits of the three-day ride Wills mentions relationships as an important attraction to the ride. “Riding with the same people for three days creates remarkable camaraderie and friendships,” Wills said. “With the other rides all being one day there won’t be as much time for riders to mingle and interact on a personal level. “There are two overnight stops where riders can share a drink and discuss the day’s riding before they set off on the next stretch the following morning.” All funds raised are donated to the event’s official beneficiary Project Rhino KZN, to be used for their various rhino protection programmes such as maintaining the aerial support of the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (ZAP-Wing) to 26 game reserves in northern KZN. The funds also help in providing urgently needed anti-poaching training and other resources to field rangers and game reserves, as well as community-based education and awareness initiatives primarily targeting the youth. The three day ride sets off from Northside Electrical in Hillcrest at 5am on Thursday 5 December....
uBhejaneX on the cards again for Vilane
16th Oct 2019
Adventurer Sibusiso Vilane will be back to take on the uBhejaneX this year. One of South Africa’s most decorated adventurers and philanthropists Sibusiso Vilane will return to the uBhejaneX MTB Challenge once again in 2019 and will be stepping up to do the three-day ride from Hillcrest to Hilltop Camp in Hluhluwe for the first time in aid of rhino conservation. Vilane is a uBhejaneX veteran having taken part in a number of editions of the event from the 250km event to the short 30km ride. With such a busy schedule Vilane has made sure that he has managed to keep a spot free for the uBhejaneX. “I sat down and worked out that due to commitments and travel I am only going to be able to ride the three day ride this year,” Vilane said. “I have still been putting in some good training but it wasn’t going to be enough to get me through the longer rides but to have two overnight stops breaks up the event nicely for me.” “With that said I am actually really looking forward to it because it suits me naturally. My body adapts better to multi-stage events rather than doing one long haul.” This year will be the second edition of the three-day uBhejaneX and Vilane is looking forward to the camaraderie of what a multi-day event can bring. “When we meet up there probably won’t be too much said but as we get going and start to become comfortable with one another then I can definitely see some friendships being built. “Especially with time off the bike together, that will help in us getting to know one another and that adds another dimension to the event,” Vilane added. So although the back end of the year is fairly quiet for Vilane, it has been a jam-packed 2019 and 2020 doesn’t look like it’s going to be much lighter – but that is how he likes it. “I said that I was going to challenge myself this year and I did! I did the Everest Marathon and then came back and ran the Comrades a few days later. “I rode the nine day joBerg2c race and then did back-to-back summits up Kilimanjaro but now with this time off my body wants to keep going. “People ask me if I get tired and I say that it’s my body that wants to carry on. It is an attitude that I have developed over time and I cannot stop.” His 2020 looks like it will include a trip to South America and the Andes as well as the Himalayas. These trips are in conjunction with another Comrades Marathon, interspersed with a number of other events. As with many adventurers conservation is close to his heart and through Vilane’s involvement with a number of conservation events, he continues to try and make as much of a difference as possible. “I try and do as much as I possibly can and I know that we need to do so much more for endangered species, not just the rhino. “I try to maximise my efforts when it comes to conservation and through this, I try and spread the word and raise money for conservation. “I couldn’t live with myself if we let these animals go extinct on our watch and didn’t do anything to stop it,” he commented emotionally....
uBhejaneX entries filling up rapidly
18th Sep 2019
Numbers for the 2019 uBhejaneX MTB Challenge have already surpassed previous years with over two months to go. Pic: Anthony Grote The 2019 edition of the uBhejaneX MTB Challenge from Hillcrest to Hluhluwe from 5-7 December in aid of rhino conservation has already set a new record entry and is once again proving to be a popular choice for mountain bike riders of varying abilities. Once again the event will offer riders three different options with the flagship 330km Long Horn, one-day ride from Hillcrest to Hilltop Camp in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve being the pinnacle. However riders also have a more manageable 250km Short Horn ride, 110km Baby Horn ride and a 30km Orphan ride. In 2018 organisers introduced a three-day ride where you following a very similar route to the 330km event, but has two overnight stops in Zinkwazi and Empangeni before the final push to Hluhluwe. The event has continued to grow year on year and over the five years the amounts that have been raised have gradually increased and the event in 2018 raised over R 585 000 for rhino conservation in the Zululand region of KwaZulu-Natal. In the past five years the uBhejaneX MTB Challenge has raised over R2 million for rhino conservation. In order to take part in the event riders have to raise a minimum of R5000 each for the various beneficiaries and then riders are encouraged to raise as much money outside of that R5000 as possible in the build-up to the ride. Entries for all four of the events are filling up rapidly with the 250km ride proving to be the most popular and if riders intend on taking on this distance they should make sure they get their entry in as soon as possible. The event can accommodate between 100 and 110 riders and the spots are close to full. The interest in the event is an example of the social consciousness that an event like this creates amongst everyday people. The money that is raised from the uBhejaneX will be donated to Project Rhino and Helping Rhinos, two organisations that do crucial work in the Zululand area of KZN in rhino poaching awareness, education and prevention. uBhejaneX helps fund four different divisions of Project Rhino. Money raised goes towards the ZapWing, K9 Unit, Horse Unit and the Rhino Art initiative. Other supported initiatives are ranger training, community engagement, thermal imaging equipment, helping the surviving rhinos and also supporting the rhino orphanage that has been set up in the region. This year South African adventurer Sibusiso Vilani will return to take on the 100km Baby Horn. Vilani has been a strong supporter of the event since its inception and riders will have the opportunity to hear the stories of his experiences of scaling the largest peaks in the world....
2018 uBhejane Xtreme one for the books
9th Dec 2018
The 2018 edition of the uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge saw riders brave some extreme weather conditions as they rode from Hillcrest to Hilltop Camp over 340km in aid of Project Rhino and anti-poaching efforts on Saturday. Having set off from Hillcrest at 1am on Saturday morning the event is seen as one of the most gruelling mountain bike rides in the province, however the weather made sections of the ride that much more difficult. South African adventurer Sibusiso Vilane took part in the 250km event, which was one of the five events on offer, and the task that he took on became a lot more challenging than he thought it might have, however he understood the importance of what he was doing. “I felt that when I got through the first 40km I had maxed out,” Vilane said. “It made me realise that they don’t call it the uBhejane Xtreme for nothing and it threw absolutely everything it could at us. “The conditions made it so much more tough as there was a big storm on Friday night and there was a lot of mud on the roads. “When it got tough I just reminded myself of why I am doing this and the importance of the cause we are representing. “I just knew that the cause was way bigger than me and it was the motivation that I needed to keep on going,” he added. In more recent times as the plight of rhinos has come to the forefront of conservation in South Africa there are many initiatives that support anti-poaching efforts and Vilane believes that the work of events like the uBhejane Xtreme will see us win the battle against rhino poaching. “These sorts of events not only raise funds for fight against rhino poaching but they also grow awareness of the fight that we are currently in. “It is our duty to make sure that we do all we can to win the fight against the rhino poachers and I genuinely believe that we are starting to turn the tide in the battle. “In my lifetime I hope that I can do all I can do to make a difference in the current fight that we have on our hands,” Vilane added. Former Springbok and Cell C Sharks backline star Joe Pietersen was also involved in the event when he took on the 100km race. Pietersen is heavily involved in rhino conservation through his Nkombe Rhino campaign just outside Hoedspruit in Limpopo province where they protect rhinos from poaching and rolls out a dehorning programme. “We eventually did 109km into Hilltop from Canelands in Empangeni and the last nine kilometres felt like another 109km!” Pietersen said. “We had some great conditions early with some overcast weather and a bit of a tailwind but that quickly turned into a massive storm with thunder and lightning, but it was phenomenal! “It cooled things down a bit and then when we came into Hilltop we had some serious mist but it was an incredible day. Pietersen is encouraged by the growing awareness that events like the uBhejane Xtreme create and believes that the riding community and raising money go hand-in-hand. “We know that the problem is not going away and so we need to do everything we can to try and overcome it. “The riding community in South Africa is massive and I can only see this event growing and becoming more influential. “It’s great to see how different organisations have come together for the same cause and it highlights a big issue that we face in South Africa,” he added. The riders met at the entrance to Hluhluwe by legendary cycling commentary and the ‘Voice of Cycling’ Phil Liggett, who, with a group of riders, joined the field for the ceremonial ride of 35 kilometres to Hilltop camp. The event a had a sombre feeling to it as black arm bands were worn in remembrance for Liggett’s fellow cycling commentator Paul Sherwen who passed away recently....
Comments are closed