How it all began, the tale of two men and a trailer.
During the dreaded Covid time, Clive Gibson, a member of the SANParks Honorary Rangers, Addo Region,was racking his brain for ways to generate funds for conservation projects in the South African National Parks (SANParks) during a time of limited tourist activity. One evening, Clive happened to be in his garden, when he saw a vehicle loaded with tents, showers, motorbikes and bean bags parked alongside his lawn.
He went over to the vehicle, to enquire for what purpose this trailer was. Clive then met Mike Glover, owner of Red Cherry Events and the driver of the bakkie and trailer. Clive and Mike began chatting and Mike stated that he was heading up to the Transkei to build a tented campsite for an event called Transkei Trek. Clive quickly jumped at the idea of setting up a similar event inside the Addo Elephant National Park and the two began putting plans together.
Clive had lots of work to do and immediately contacted Nick De Goede, the Park Manager of Addo Elephant National Park. Clive pitched the idea to Nick and they began looking at suitable venues. Nick being a cyclist himself and knowing the the area well, was a good suit to get the ball rolling. They wanted to find areas that where unique and unexplored , all with exclusivity in mind.
Nick and Clive quickly identified the 3 sections of Nyathi, Darlington and Kuzuko as being suitable venues for a tented campsite. Red Cherry Events inspected the venues to see what needed to be done. The team from SANParks Honorary Rangers then cleared the area to make it a suitable venue for a glamping village.
Fast forward 3 years and, alongside the team from Red Cherry Events and SANParks, they have successfully hosted 5 guided tours from inside the National Park. In this time, Tour De Addo has raised just over R100 000 for the SANParks Honorary Rangers, Addo Region.
For 2023, the team from Tour De Addo have secured dates with all parties and already started the marketing process. Tour De Addo will be making use of 3 villages for 2023. Our March trips will start at Darlington Dam, also formerly known as Lake Mentz. Riders will spend two nights here and then head over to Kuzuko, neighbour of the Greater Addo and home to the Big 5. The
August trip will set off from Nyathi Concession, spend 2 days exploring the area, before heading off to Kuzuko to round off this 5-day boutique bush experience.
You can secure your slot by heading over to www.tourdeaddo.co.za, finding the trip that suits your schedule and booking. The cost of the trip is R16 450 per person and includes everything from meals, drinks, accommodation, merchandise and a world class experience.
Testimonials from past riders
“Red Cherry Events know how to organise these events very well. Mike and Shaun and their team are great people to be with and go above and beyond to help out and maximise the whole experience. The location of the camp sites was well chosen and the second camping area was awesome.
My wife and I have already looked at what other cycling events Red Cherry are offering on their website so that we can plan ahead for our next adventure.
We met a great bunch of people who participated in the event and made new friends.
Well done Red Cherry Events. 👍” – Graham Turnbull
Most amazing event. Such a privilege to be able to cycle in these pristine and exclusive wilderness areas which are super well organised by Red Cherry Events. Both camps were great set in wilderness surroundings. The facilities were everything you could want and the catering was fantastic.
Definitely consider going again and also other Red Cherry events
Tour de Addo 2022
An absolutely mind-blowing experience! Riding through “big-5” country and having a chance to experience areas of Addo that no-one else can visit was such a thrill! The small group means you really bond with your fellow riders, and end up with a bunch of new, like-minded friends. The riding offers enough of a challenge to make it a proper workout for your “run-of-the-mill” weekend-warrior, whilst the option of using an e-bike makes it accessible to anyone else. Definitely worth it!
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