Mhondoro Backs Malherbe
Mhondoro Game Lodge has increased its investment in conservation by sponsoring the state-of-the-art rowing boat of lauded extreme conservationist and adventurer, Braam Malherbe’s latest expedition. Malherbe will set out to sea in January to cross the South Atlantic Ocean in the Mhondoro rowing boat to raise awareness around a new, free-to-download conservation social media app, called DOT (Do One Thing).
Departing with the start of the Cape Town to Rio Yacht Race on the first of January 2017, Malherbe and rowing partner Clyde Barendse will tackle the 6700-kilometre distance to further highlight the plight of marine life and the oceans. Depending on current, wind, swells and storms, it is estimated that the journey between Cape Town and Rio may take the two rowers between two and three months to complete.
The boat Mhondoro - which means 'lion' in Shona language – was built in the UK at a cost of R1,3 million and weighs almost a ton when fully laden. Built out of carbon fibre, it is completely self-sufficient and has a small capsule in the front for one person to sleep in whilst the other person rows. On-board equipment is comprehensive, including solar-powered electronics and communications with batteries to run equipment such as a radio and a desalinator to produce drinking water.
According to Malherbe, the Dot app is based on the premise of recognising individuals for doing good. There are four elements to the app – namely conservation, waste, energy, and water. ‘If we do just one small thing, it will make a collective difference. And it’s not just about how many dots the individual can accomplish. It’s how people respond to it and ‘like’ it. We envisage individuals, celebs and organisations challenging each other to get involved in preserving our vulnerable planet and its precious resources.’ He continued to say that their goal is to have individuals Doing One Thing (DOT) for the earth ‘for every stroke that we pull crossing the ocean. That’s a total of about 2.3 million DOTs.’
Frank and Myriam Vogel, the owners of Mhondoro Game Lodge in Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo province) are passionate conservationists. Through their MF Foundation, the Dutch couple is making a significant contribution as part of a game purchase project to increase numbers in the 35 000 hectare Welgevonden reserve. The reserve has a successful anti-poaching unit and is known for protecting a large white rhino population, in addition to the rest of the Big 5 (lion, buffalo, elephant and leopard).
Malherbe says that on a recent visit to Mhondoro Game Lodge he was blown away, not only by the 5-star elegance of the lodge itself, but by the majestic beauty of its natural surroundings. ‘Mhondoro really touches the soul of everyone who has the privilege to visit this special, sacred place.’
Frank Vogel says: ‘In a world that is rapidly becoming more populated, we believe that man has the responsibility to protect nature where he can. We are honoured to have the opportunity to extend the conservation message globally by getting involved in this unique expedition, and we wish Braam Malherbe and his team the best of luck as they tackle what will rate as one of the world’s greatest eco-adventures in aid of conservation.’
Mhondoro Game Lodge
Privately owned, Welgevonden Game Reserve stretches across 35 000 hectares in the Waterberg and is a mere 2h45-minute drive or a 50-minute flight from Johannesburg. Guests can expect varied terrain and a diverse natural habitat featuring the ‘Big 5’, including a large white rhino population. Guided walks with the endangered white rhino are very popular with guests, as is watching the ‘resident’ herd of elephants who visit the lodge’s waterhole on a regular basis. Mhondoro is the ultimate big sky destination, with stunning unimpeded sunrises and sunsets over the Waterberg mountains and valleys. The wildlife experience is complemented by Mhondoro’s luxurious accommodation for a total of 20 guests only, as well as indulgent spa treatments, fine cuisine and passionate service. A fusion of African chic and edgy European influences, unique features include a photographer’s dream: a waterhole with underground hide that is connected with the main lodge by a tunnel; and three heated swimming pools. Mhondoro is child-friendly and welcomes children of all ages so little travellers can enjoy dedicated family game drives and run free within the dedicated open-air play area, which is protected by an elephant fence.