When we started to plan our trip to Canada, we realised that, with the boys a little bigger now, we should start to introduce a different perspective to our travels, have our trips be more just about us having different experiences and more about adding value to what we believe and stand for.
With this in mind, we thought about how we could introduce a ’cause’ or a ‘mission’ to our eminent trip to Canada over Christmas 2016, through which we could add value to our trip, our own personal lives and also make a difference. Immediately the benefactor of our Brandberg Rhino Run and Cycle Tour sprang to mind: The Namibian non-profit organisation Save The Rhino Trust. The work that this organisation do in Namibia and globally in both raising awareness of the plight of the senseless poaching of the critically endangered black rhino, as well as physically protecting said animals in the field from the onslaught of the poachers is phenomenal. Field teams work tirelessly, day and night, staying in rudimentary field camps for weeks on end, tracking the rhinos, very often putting their own lives on the line when confronting poachers. Considering the temperature extremes of the arid Kunene region, with daily maximums of 40 °C plus, and night time temperatures sometimes below zero, one can only behold these rhino warriors with the utmost respect for what they do.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, in the far north of Canada close to the arctic circle, a group of passionate scientists and volunteers are dedicated to take care of orphaned and injured animals at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. Animals protected on the 280+ ha piece of land includes 13 species of northern Canadian mammals, including the rocky mountain elk, Alaska/Yukon moose, muskox, wood bison, Canada lynx and the arctic fox.