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SIMUNYE - Despite that it was a ride, the Swazi MTB Reserve attracted cyclists from outside the country.

This being a ride means no competition but simply a promotion of tourism in the country, while at the same time fundraising for different organisations helping the underprivileged. It was not about who crossed the finish line first but cyclists came in their numbers to contribute to the charity. Some of the beneficiaries among others, are Lessons in Conservation (LiC). Riders did not only come from all corners of Eswatini but as far as Mozambique and South Africa. The Costa family from Mozambique narrated how they enjoyed riding while siteseeing around the Mlawula Game Reserve. The ride which attracted 110 riders started and finished inside the premises of the game reserve passing to the Mbuluzi Game Reserve before returning to the starting point. Making up the Costa family was Pedro, Alice Fernando, Ohmar, Sofia and Cidalia Lista.

Ohmar said the ride was well organised. “It is nice that we can now travel with no COVID-19 restrictions and get to partake in events like these. We came here to ride as a family and we slept at the game reserve. I should say the place is beautiful. The people are welcoming and riding in the trails and small bushes was a beautiful adventure, seeing the animals and the vegetation was breathtaking,” Ohmar said.


Meanwhile, Angelina Frances van Niekerk said she came with her family from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. “We came here at the Mbuluzi Game Reserve last Sunday and we are going back home on Tuesday. “So, we saw in the newspaper that there will be a ride here and my family felt we should try it out. I should say it was the best experience of my life, seeing the animals, and the people here are friendly. It was just a perfect outing for me with my family,” Niekerk shared. Nelspruit-based rider Kobus Smith also praised the organisers for staging a successful ride. “I came all the way from Nelspruit to partake in this wonderful ride. It was such an amazing ride and it was well marked. The water points also came in handy when we needed them. The beautiful scenery also made the ride enjoyable,” he said. The over 100 riders partook in the different categories, namely; the 70km, 45km, 27km and 10km.

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