Have you heard about the Wild Again For 19 challenge? For 19 days, for COVID-19, Josh and Amy Attenborough (The children of ZCT Trustee David) braced the wilderness of big 5 territory in Manyoni Private Game Reserve to raise awareness for wild spaces that need help over the Covid-19 pandemic, which has crippled the tourism industry due to the loss of tourists visiting game reserves.
During their 19 days in the wild, they carried what they needed on their backs, sleept out in the bush, and only came into contact over radio for water drops and to swap out dead radios/phones for recharged batteries. Each day, they captured their daily adventures which we converted into a short video for you all to join in on the magic of the bush from the comfort of your home. They funds that they raised over the 19 days was used to support the community and conservation projects of Zululand Conservation Trust which is committed to the conservation of endangered species in endangered spaces whilst empowering and supporting local communities that live on the border of these areas.
See the videos below for a taste of the adventure.
- DAY 1
- DAY 2
- DAY 3
- DAY 4
- DAY 5
- DAY 6
- DAY 7
- DAY 8
- Pangolin Support
- DAY 9
- DAY 10
- DAY 11
- DAY 12
- Rhino Support
- DAY 13
- Setting up camp
- DAY 14
- DAY 15
- DAY 16
- DAY 17
- DAY 18
- DAY 19
1 day down, 18 to go, with heavy backpacks and more ticks than they imagined!
Hunger starts to set in for Amy and Josh by the end of Day 5, but they remain positive, surrounded by the wilderness they are ultimately raising funds to help preserve.
Unseasonal rain merely compounds the difficulties for Amy and Josh as hunger and fatigue continue to grow.
One week in now, and they are being properly confronted with just how difficult a task it is going to be to be out in the wilds for 19 days on so little food and minimal sleep.
Let’s hope Day 8 brings them some reprieve…
Winter in Kwazulu Natal is usually a time of clear skies.
Not so right now, as Josh and Amy discover while an even more extensive downpour than on day 7 sees them desperately seeking shelter in a treehouse with no roof, where they manage to huddle under a groundsheet, which helps. A bit.
If you have been following Amy and Josh Attenboroughs journey on the Wild Again For 19 challenge, and you have seen them battling through the cold, the ticks, the hunger and now the rain – you might be asking yourself; “Why are they putting themselves through this??”
Well, this is all in the name of conservation and supporting the wildlife industry that has been one of the hardest hit industries due to the national Covid-19 lockdown regulations in South Africa.
It’s been 13 years since Manyoni Private Game Reserve received this much rain in June, which is meant to be their dry season.
42mm so far, with 11 days still to go in the month, and although that may not sound like an exorbitant amount of rain, when you’re sleeping out in the bush with the bare minimum of gear and almost zero rain protection, 42mm is enough to make you seriously question why you’re out there in the first place, as Amy and Josh are rapidly discovering.
They continue to be bombarded by all the weather Manyoni can throw at them as they hit the halfway mark in their 19-day adventure.
After 110km of walking, freezing temperatures, rain, and some epically close wildlife encounters, Josh and Amy are officially past the halfway mark in their challenge to raise funds for the Zululand Conservation Trust.
Hunger and lack of sleep continue to grind them down, but thankfully a break in the weather has given them a welcome reprieve.
Manyoni Media team flew over Josh and Amy whilst out in the field looking for cheetah and got some cool shots which they have included in today’s video.
We need to raise R250 000 to get Amy and Josh their Jet Fuel; Peanut Butter!!
THE PEANUT BUTTER IS FINISHED!
The tub has been licked absolutely clean and Josh and Amy are stuck with their minuscule helpings of a few nuts and some oats to get them through the day. And they need energy more than ever now as they traverse the rugged, densely vegetated mountainous section of Manyoni.
BUT… as soon as we reach R250 000 in donations we will reward them with a fresh tub, so donate to this special cause and help keep Josh and Amy going as well!
The main objective of the Zululand Rhino Orphanage is to rehabilitate rhinos back into the wild where they belong.
By donating towards Josh and Amy’s Wild Again For 19 challenge, you help this incredible facility feed the rhinos they care for.
“Feeling good, feeling positive” is the mantra carrying Josh and Amy into their final week, and it seems that positivity pays off!
Not only did they run into the most spectacular bull elephant with the most magnificent tusks, but they hit the R250 000 mark on their fundraising drive AND got a refill tub of peanut butter as a reward.
Let’s see if we can get them to R500 000 in their final 6 days!
We get a walk though of the thought process behind camp selection and setup, and exactly what needs to be considered in order to make it through the night in the African bush without shelter…
It’s funny how nature can speak to you, as Josh and Amy find out by receiving a much-needed boost JUST when they needed it most.
Lions were the order of the day today, providing some impetus going into the end of Day 14.
Hunger is still the overwhelming feeling for the two of them…
A flagship conservation species of Manyoni is the African Wild Dog, one of the continent’s most enigmatic carnivores.
The local pack is currently denning a litter of very young pups, and Amy and Josh staked out a spot near the den in the hope of catching a brief glimpse of the adults returning from a successful hunt late in the morning…
Just 3 more days until they complete their full 19 days for Covid-19, walking in support of the wildlife industry.
Exposed to the elements, hungry and tired, you gain an immense appreciation for basic human needs like food and shelter, and realise just how in harmony all elements of nature are with each other.
As the end of their 19-day journey draws close, Amy and Josh are seeing these lessons so clearly.
On the home stretch Amy and Josh have some phenomenal encounters with what is probably Africa’s most iconic species, and listen to him roaring practically underneath where they are sleeping.
As their last full day draws to a close, reflections of the experience and the lessons learned are discussed…
19 days, almost 400 kilometers walked, less food per day than would keep a squirrel energized, but R700 000 raised for the Zululand Conservation Trust.
Amy and Josh are safely back from their fundraising bush immersion; they’ve lost weight, they definitely need a shower, but are happy in the knowledge that they have contributed massively to the ongoing success of the conservation projects that ZCT support including the Zululand Rhino Orphanage and the incredible reintroduction of pangolins onto Manyoni Private Game Reserve as well as the protection of the rhino populations that live on this land.