Over the years we have had some EPIC participants, both through the original Zambian MTB and across the globe as we went virtual. Game Rangers International and The Elephant EPIC have found a place in people's hearts and they continue to be ambassadors for both. Read below to read why this event means the world to our challengers.
Wendy Moolenschot was the founder of the Elephant EPIC in 2012. Growing up on a farm she visited Kruger National Park annually and developed a love for Africa and its wildlife. With a passion for conservation and for cycling, Wendy has cycled in many events to raise funds for various projects including Wildlands in South Africa, victims of violence and rape, Weenen Game Reserve. The EPIC was her way of supporting the wildlife and wild spaces in Zambia and 12 years on, it is the global event you see today! Thank you, Wendy for not only launching our annual sporting event but for your commitment and passion for supporting conservation issues throughout Africa!
Being a mother myself and lover of animals, seeing the confused and alone elephant orphan, Kavala Manje, in the old horse stables behind the Lilayi lodge in Zambia filled me with a great need to help as best I could.
My husband and I had been honorary officers for a game reserve in South Africa prior to moving to Zambia, involved in maintenance of the reserve, and helping to organise an annual MTB Race to raise funds for the reserve.
So, I simply did what I knew best and started the Elephant Epic MTB Race. The first MTB destination race in Zambia at the time. The Elephant Epic has evolved and changed over the years - 2012 to present - into an event I am truly proud of. Game Rangers International has certainly honoured my original code and has become a voice for so many voiceless! Humans and animals!
Wendy Moolenschot, Founder of the Elephant EPIC
"Participating in physical events while trying to raise money for causes closest to my heart is at the best of times, extremely challenging and in some cases impossible. However, the world has changed and virtual events have made those possibilities more accessible. By going global the Elephant Epic opened up a whole new world to me! I have now participated in two Virtual Epic events raising awareness and vital funds for GRI whilst also receiving support from well-wishers across the world and inspiring others along the way in their exercise regime. Having the opportunity to take part in an event virtually, is both physically and mentally rewarding so why not join the Herd and play your small part in making sure future generations can also appreciate the beauty and magnificence of our African wildlife."
Briony Beattie, 2020 and 2021 Participant
I was lucky enough to have a short visit to the GRI teams in Zambia in 2019 and although I knew what a great job they did, I was absolutely blown away by the dedication of the teams, going above and beyond to protect, nurture and release the Orphan elephants. When Covid encouraged the Elephant Epic to go virtual, I knew that this was my opportunity to some thing extra for GRI which would hopefully help the team to continue their work. 2021 was about the number 75 and therefore I knew I had to do something that my friends and family would think impossible - for a teacher - being silent for 75 hours seemed the right challenge. Oh my goodness, it was so much harder than I imagined, even having to write notes to the supermarket delivery man when the shopping arrived!!
Amanda Butler, 2021 Participant