Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Riding for Rhinos

On 15th January 2017, author Sophie Neville led twelve intrepid ladies across the Waterberg Plateau in South Africa on horseback. The aim of the challenge rides is to gain an understanding of this pristine wilderness and learn about challenges faced by the rural community. 

Lying three hours drive north of Johannesburg, the Waterberg is home to the third highest population of rhino in the world. As up to four rhino are being poached in South Africa every day, it is imperative to guard this upland area where they can be protected.
A challenging section of the Waterberg Charity Ride
Would you help us to raise funds for Save The Waterberg Rhino, who are combating anti-poaching, the Lapalala Wilderness School who help ensure local children grow up with an understanding of nature conservation, and other community projects in the region?
LWS pupils with python
The riders are paying their own way, so every penny will go straight to The Waterberg Trust, a UK registered charity who can send donations, plus any Gift Aid, to these small but effective projects in South Africa. Funds will go a long way to really make a difference in the Waterberg where they will be administered by trusted conservationists with years of experience. You can meet those who are striving to Save The Waterberg Rhino and protect the wilderness while uplifting communities in the Waterberg, here:

Those taking part in The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017 were 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 hosted the six-day ride.
Riders then crossed the Waterberg hills on horseback, traversing Kwalata private game reserve to Lapalala Wilderness run by Anton Walker, who also appears in this film. He cares for wildlife re-introduced to the area thirty years ago by his father, the author and conservationist Clive Walker.
LWS meeting Clive Walker
While on this reserve, riders visited the Lapalala Wilderness School where children, often from deprived communities, come for a 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.

After thirty-two hours in the saddle, riders ended up at the Palala River on Jembisa private game reserve. On their way home they went to visit Letabo Kids Club in the local township of Leseding who minister to the poorest of the poor and ensure all children attend primary school.
Sophie Neville at the Palala River
50% of funds raised by the sponsored ride will go to Save The Waterberg Rhino and 50% to support community projects in the area.
Riding safaris at Ant's (60)
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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.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Author advocating the outdoor life-style

Sophie Neville with Nina Ninnar on ITV News at Ten

This summer, Sophie Neville, author of 'Ride the Wings of Morning' has been promoting the outdoor-life style on national television and BBC Radio in the UK and beyond. 

NZ3 in New Zealand

Sophie spoke on BBC Radio Cumbria and BBC Radio Suffolk, promoting summer camps for children that involve sailing, hill-walking and cooking in the great out-doors

'A grab a chance', Arthur Ransome wrote, 'and you won't be sorry for a Might Has Been.' Since Sophie starred as Titty in the original film of 'Swallow and Amazons' she has been interviewed about her life in the weekend supplements in view of the release of the new adaption, released in cinemas on 19th August.

Both in her own rights and as President of The Arthur Ransome Society:

Event ~ Mail on Sunday magazine 

Sophie was able to write about her own adventures in Africa on the Daily Telegraph 

Sophie Neville published in the Telegraph

and will next appear on BBC Television on 18th August speaking about:

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Back from the Waterberg

Sophie Neville and wildebeeste
In February 1992 I flew to the Waterberg, three hours north of Johannesburg and started writing the letters home that later became the essence of my memoir 'Ride the Wings of Morning'. 
Zebra by Sophie Neville
The dream of riding through the game reserves of South Africa has not ended. This March it became a reality for twelve British riders when they took up the challenge of joining me in raising £1,000 each for Save The Waterberg Rhino and local community projects. 
The team was made up of experienced riders and was led by Ant Baber, who appears in the book.
Ant Baber
Endless sandy tracks ensured the going was good and the pace was both fast and exhilarating.
The idea was to traverse 175kms  of remote country
Walking uphill
while taking the opportunity to learn about rhino conservation and discover more about the Waterberg in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Photographing giraffe
If you would like to get involved or find out more The Waterberg Trust have a Facebook page here. Riders are raising sponsorship on here
Sophie Neville watching rhino
Author Sophie Neville riding with rhino, March 2016

Monday, 15 February 2016

Getting ready for The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016

Photo of new baby rhino by Ant Baber at Ant's Nest
We are packing our bags and making plans for The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 , which 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.
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
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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.
Sophie Neville in the Waterberg -1
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To find out about Save The Waterberg Rhino, click on the banner below: