Photo: Renowned South African adventurer Sibusiso Vilane will be taking on this year's Rhino Peak Challenge on World Rhino Day - 22 September. Credit: Supplied/Gameplan Media.
World-renowned adventurer Sibusiso Vilane has committed to continuing his fight for endangered species when he takes part in the 2018 edition of the Rhino Peak Challenge on 22 September – World Rhino Day.
Vilane’s list of achievements includes summiting Mount Everest twice, summiting all seven of the world’s highest peaks and walking to the South Pole unassisted. The upcoming Rhino Peak Challenge will pale in significance to his previous feats; however he understands the importance of an event like this.
“At the moment I am not working towards anything so I am not in the best shape but I am prepared to go out there and suffer as much pain as our rhino population is at the moment,” Vilane said passionately.
“We all need to rise up to this challenge in whatever way we can to be the voice of our endangered species. Their conservation is our sole responsibility, I believe.”
Organisers of the event have hoped that Vilane would take part in the past but due to his busy schedule it hasn’t been possible. The intervention of CEO of the Endangered Wildlife Trust Yolan Friedman allowed Vliane to be confirmed for this year.
“I was running my ninth Comrades Marathon this year when an old friend, Yolan, the CEO of the Endangered Wild Life Trust reminded me about the Rhino Peak Challenge and before I knew it she had recruited me as I said I had nothing planned for those dates!"
As an ex-game ranger Vilane has been at the forefront of conservation in South Africa and understands the importance of events and awareness drives like the Rhino Peak Challenge. He keeps conservation of all animals close to his heart.
“Not just rhino conservation, but all wildlife matters to me and I believe that we have a responsibility to make sure that they are protected and conserved.
"I cannot stand and watch from the side-line while the rhino is being wiped off the planet. It would be a shame if that happened and I had not done anything to support initiatives which seek to protect our Rhino,” he added.
Vilane’s large following and profile is something that he continues to use in order to promote awareness for the plight of endangered species in South Africa. He feels that it is his duty to pass on the word of conservation.
Despite having a constantly busy schedule, Vilane is currently taking some time away from his exciting adventures to focus on a goal that might be slightly easier to achieve than scaling Mount Everest.
“My adventures are done for this year, but I am starting on getting fit to break a sub 3 hours marathon by March 2019!” he said with a chuckle.
Anyone interested in making a pledge to support any of these athletes can visit www.rhinopeakchallenge.co.za