WESTVILLE residents, Isabel Wolf-Gillespie, husband Lloyd Gillespie, sister Raphaela Wolf and their ridgeback Mr P, arrived back home on Wednesday 18 September, after a four-month and 18-day Rhino Knights journey through Southern Africa. The Rhino Knights campaign was aimed at educating children on the importance of wildlife conservation with the current rhino poaching crisis spear-heading the campaign.
Isabel ran and cycled 9259 kilometers from Durban through some of the most beautiful countries in the world to raise awareness for Africa’s wildlife locally and internationally.
After a welcome back party on their arrival in Westville, Isabel went home to attend to an overwhelming amount of admin, but she said she sat in front of her laptop and instead found her mind drifting away, as if realisation had not yet dawned on her.
“Lloyd and I have worked on this for over a year pouring all our hearts and energy into it and the preparation period was incredibly stressful, hitting barrier after barrier, having to battle through people’s doubts,” said Isabel.
She said raising financial support and product sponsorship was almost impossible to get and in the end they had to finance the campaign up to 90 per cent by themselves.
“I am exhilarated to say that despite all odds we made it and we are proud of what we have achieved. On this note I want to thank those who have supported us,” said Isabel.
Originally from Germany and having only lived in South Africa for the past five and a half years, Isabel said she was embarrassed to say that she knew nothing about Africa, its wildlife or the current situation.
“The challenges behind conserving these beautiful animals and their natural habitats are far greater than I ever expected. I truly believe that environmental education from an early age is vital,” said Isabel.
Isabel said her journey brought her a new found energy and vision for Earth Awareness.
“Amazingly I am not tired or feel like I need a rest after the last few months. Having had moments and time for reflection while on the bike or running, I can’t wait to put new projects into action,” said Isabel.
The Rhino Knights are holding a completion celebration fundraiser at Woodhall Guest House in Westville on Wednesday 2 October at 6pm.
There will be a summary presentation of the campaign, a three-course meal and an auction. Tickets cost R220 each.
A 100 per cent of the evening’s profit along with 20 per cent of the proceeds of the cash bar (donated by Woodhall Guest House) will be split between the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation and Magqubu Ntombela Foundation.
Those interested in supporting the fundraiser can contact Isabel on 076 577 1936 or Lloyd on 082 433 5662 or e-mail: [email protected] before 30 September.