A journey of inspiration
A journey of inspiration
Passion and vision brought Isabel Wolf-Gillespie to the Zambezi region. In 2011, Isabel and her husband, Lloyd were motivated to form a non-profit company, Earth Awareness, after completing a campaign to raise awareness of African horse disease, a campaign on horseback covering 7,411km over 581 days.
During this journey they became deeply aware of their surrounding environment and of themselves. They returned home to their horse trail business on a reserve in the eastern Cape to hear the devastating news that all 11 rhino on this reserve had been poached. So the Rhino Knights campaign was born to create international awareness of the rhino.
Every day over a period of five months and a distance of 10,000km, with Lloyd and her sister Raphaela as support team recording the journey with video and photos, Isabel has run a half marathon (21km) and cycled between 80-100km around southern Africa. She set off from Durban on 1 May 2013 to Cape Town, up through northern Namibia and into Botswana, skirting the Okavango Delta to Maun.
Isabel strongly believes that children are the answer to the future of preserving our natural heritage. Along the way she has given inspirational talks to school children and interacted with the teachers, sending out her message that we can all make a difference and play a part in conservation. The Rhino Knights also participated in local events, met other conservation organisations and talked to people running national parks and commercial lodges. From Maun the team headed towards Zimbabwe. Isabel took part in the Victoria Falls marathon and ran the full 42kms, finishing tenth in the women’s race. Zambezi Traveller met with Isabel before she and her team headed off on the next leg of their journey towards Bulawayo. Isabel’s conviction for what she believes in is almost tangible and one cannot help but be infected by her optimism.
For Isabel, the hardest part of the journey is the funding of the campaign and at the moment it is self-funded. Asked about the highlights of her journey, she said, “After giving a talk to school children, knowing that I have made a difference, no matter how small, when they ask meaningful questions and then go and tell their parents about me. Then I know I have made a positive impact.”
Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 14, Sept 2013)