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Zambian conservationists benefit from the Elephant Charge Fundraiser

Zambian conservationists benefit from the Elephant Charge Fundraiser

Zambian conservationists benefit from the Elephant Charge Fundraiser

The annual Elephant Charge 4x4 off-road challenge held over Zambia’s Independence week raised more than K425 million (approx US$81,000) to help conservation charities.

The gruelling eight-hour driving event attracted 22 teams, each with six members, who battled to completed the 25 kms course in a remote area of bush two hours east of Lusaka. In all, some 350 people participated as competitors, support staff, organisers or spectators. In its fourth year, the Elephant Charge challenges teams to extreme off-road bush driving and orienteering. The aim is to complete the course in the shortest distance rather than the shortest time. This means driving through a steep gully rather than around it, for example. The team ‘The Camel’ won the event with the shortest distance of 18.39 km.

Other prizes included that for the team raising the most money in sponsorship, won by the team Autoworld, who raised K130 million. Runner up was the Chicken Run team, which raised K87 million. The total amount to go to conservation charities this year was a K30 million increase on the amount given to conservation in 2011.

“Elephant Charge raises more money for conservation than any other Zambian body,” said Jo Pope, one of the organisers of the event and a linchpin in conservation efforts.

The event’s chairman, Mike Fleming, emphasised the organisation’s focus on conservation through education. “The next generation will soon be the custodians of Zambia’s natural assets including wildlife and wilderness areas,” said Fleming. “It is key that today’s children, who are tomorrow’s decision makers and consumers, understand how critical the situation is.”

Various conservation charities benefit from the Elephant Charge funds. A major beneficiary is the Chongololo Club, run by the Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia (WECSZ). The Chongololo Club celebrated its 40th birthday in 2012 at a masked ball organised by the Elephant Charge committee in May.

Other beneficiaries include South Luangwa Conservation Society, Conservation Lower Zambezi, North Luangwa Conservation Program, Project Luangwa, Children in the Wilderness, Kasanka Trust, Chipembele, Game Rangers International and the Munda Wanga Zoo.

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 11, Dec 2012)

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