Escape Cycle Tours will launch a new annual cycle tour this year in partnership with the Makushu community. The Golden Challenge will take place over South Africa’s Heritage weekend, from September 22-24, with participants traversing 120km on Qhubeka bikes, in northern Limpopo. After the challenge, the bikes will be donated to the community. Cameron Murray of Escape Cycle Tours, says the challenge has been put together in partnership with the local government and the community. He adds that a committee is being set up within the village so that operators and the community can align their expectations. Funds raised during the challenge will be channelled back into the community under the leadership of the committee.
Guests on the cycle challenge will be accommodated in homestays, sleeping in traditional huts, with the community. Homes have been chosen by the chief of Makushu. Site inspections will be conducted of the selected homesteads to ensure they meet minimum standards for accommodating guests. The challenge will also offer guests the opportunity to experience aspects of village life, participating in activities, including arts and crafts. These activities will be led by Venda guides. Murray says the first day will see participants cycling 45km to the Makushu village. This will be followed by an afternoon activity in the village and then a traditional feast in the evening with Venda dancing. “Venda culture is very interesting and it’s still very traditional,” says Murray. On the second day, participants will cycle 75km to Messina, where guests will have the option of joining the heritage festivities. The aim is to get local and international agents to take part in the challenge, says Murray. He adds that the German and European markets, who are particularly interested in experiential offerings, will be approached for this challenge.