8 Ways to #BeatPlasticPollution This World Environment Day

Talking about changing the world and making a difference seems like a daunting task. But in actual fact, every small thing you do counts.  Just start with saying “No to Plastic”- it’s that easy.

It is our duty to protect this planet and one of the easiest ways to do this is by saying no to single-use plastics.

Here are 8 ways to get started:

  1. Reusable shopping bags- skip the plastic bag at the till when doing your grocery shopping and bring along a reusable bag. These are often available at tills points at most grocery stores. Make a point of keeping a few in your car so that they are easily accessible when you need them.

2. Refuse the straw– In the U.S alone up to 500 million single-use plastic straws are used daily. Straws are small and lightweight and as such often evade recycling efforts. If you must use a straw look for a reusable alternative such as Bamboo, glass, metal or even single use ice straws. Wondering where to get these in Swaziland? Currently all Big Game Parks curio shops stock multiple-use bamboo straws from #TheBambooProject.

 

3. Alternative Drinking Water Bottles–  nearly 35 billion plastic water bottles get thrown away each year. Switch to glass or metal water bottles as a reusable alternative.

4. Reusable Plastic Containers When Buying Meat & Deli Products- The next time you buy meat or deli products from your grocery store bring your own reusable plastic containers for staff to pack your items into. plastic container

5. Mesh Bags For Vegetables- take your own reusable mesh bags when buying from the fresh produce aisle at your grocery store instead of using the plastic option made available from the store.

vegetable-mesh-leno-bag-2774883

 

6. Choose Glass Over Plastic- Make a conscious decision to choose items which are packaged in glass instead of plastic where ever possible. For example; when buying peanut butter, chutney, jams & preservatives, mayonnaise etc.

 

7. Shop at Local Markets- Support local markets, local markets more often than not use no plastic packaging when selling you fresh produce. Not only are you helping the environment by not using single-use plastics, you’re also helping a small business and contributing to the community around you.

 

market

8. RECYCLE! Make a conscious effort to take note of packaging that is recyclable- buy that instead of single-use packaging. Also, take time to find out where your closest Recycling Plant is. *Remember to separate your waste at home

 

green-recycling-icon

#REDUCE #REUSE #RECYCLE- It starts with YOU the individual! Every little thing helps!

 

 

Advertisements

Imvelo MTB Classic 2018: What you need to know so far…

 

Erik picIn case you missed our email yesterday (read haven’t checked your SPAM folder) here is the long and short of what you need to know about our race so far…

 

Firstly, thank you for your entries and payments!  If you paid before 22nd May 2018 you would have  received a confirmation email containing a race number and some details regarding race starting times and registration specifics.  Please let us know should you not have received this confirmation email by emailing us imvelo@biggameparks.org

If you have not paid, please do so at your earliest convenience with cut-off date of 31 May in mind.  Any unpaid entries after 31 May will be cancelled. (Don’t be THAT guy!)  Should you wish to cancel your entry please inform us via email.

 

 

IMG_5865New Routes & Race Starting Times:

 

As communicated before, we are debuting some new routes this year.  Please familiarize yourself with the race you have entered and the changes you can expect:

 

65km Momentum CLASSIC ROUTE

“The most spectacular route in Eswatini” – is how our guinea-pig cyclist describes our new Imvelo Classic route!  He followed this with “extremely tough, and now I know I need to work on my fitness!”  Be warned – He is one of Eswatini’s top 10 MTB cyclists, so please take his lead!

Imvelo MTB Classic 2018 will be a very similar warm up through the plains, up and over Mantenga View Point and then heads for Mlilwane North through rural community.  The trail through community is on dirt road (good red clay, so slippery when wet) offering challenging climbs and some scenic single track.  The King of the Mountain is now at 1230m asl, celebrating a tough dirt road climb which leads onto Mlilwane North. Here, dirt roads give way to 6km of immature single track, with opportunities for over-taking on ancient jeep-tracks. A 6km downhill section requires good brakes, and provides technical riding, which will thrill our top riders.  We’ve nick named this downhill “Nagashima” which is the worlds’ longest roller coaster.  Crossing over a river brings cyclists back onto Mlilwane South for a final climb and drop to the finish at Rest Camp. There will be water tables at roughly 9km, 16km, 20.5km, 40km and at 57km

NOTE:

  • Our new grass tracks are still rough at some sections
  • Total elevation gain/loss is 1737m
  • Time to ride Imvelo Classic route is expected to be a lot longer than our old 64km.  In our test rides we found that it will add between 45min (top riders) and 1h30 (back of the field) longer than our previous routes.  We are therefore planning to start our 65km Classic this year at 07:00 instead of at 08:00
  • It is strongly recommended that you have done some distance on your bike in the last 4 weeks before considering taking part in this one (It’s not too late to downgrade-  but please do so before 31 May!)

 

37km Purejoy CHALLENGE ROUTE

Yes you read right! We’re giving you a whole 2 extra kilometers for free- SURPRISE!! The major route change includes Nyonayane Mountain and removes the Usuthu Forest. There will be water tables at roughly 9km; 16km;  26km and 30km

 

12.5km MilkyMax HOGLET & 22km Emasi Umdeni FAMILY ROUTES

Minor adjustments will be made to the start of these these routes, still meandering through the plains relatively close to Mlilwane Rest Camp. There will be water tables at roughly 9km and 16km (Family Route)

 

 

IMG_62102018 STARTING TIMES

 

65km Momentum CLASSIC                           – 07:00 ** PLEASE TAKE NOTE **

37km Pure Joy CHALLENGE                         – 09:15

22km Emasi Umdeni FAMILY FUN              – 09:45

12.5km Milky Max HOGLET                         – 09:50

 

Good luck and get training (if you haven’t started already!)

Best Regards,

The Organisers

Imvelo 2018 Entries Closed!

The deadline to enter the Nedbank Swaziland Imvelo MTB Classic 2018 was Monday 30th of April! Did you miss it? Here’s what you can do:

Send an email to our race organisers at imvelo@biggameparks.org and BEG for a spot- just kidding! However, we are serious about emailing our race organisers- drop us an email asking to be added to the Waiting List. We aren’t promising any miracles but we will see what we can do!

 

Imvelo 2018 JPG

Imvelo Entries: Open Tomorrow

Final reminder that entries for our 2018 Imvelo MTB Classic at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary on 9th June 2018 open TOMORROW 10th April 2018 at 6am:

Enter Online:
www.imvelo.co.sz / www.entrytime.com

At Our Parks:
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary – at Our Resevations Office (Vickery Road)
Hlane Royal National Park – at the Main Gate

Enter In-store:
Adventure Sport Cycle Shops in Mbabane & Manzini

**PLEASE READ & TAKE NOTE OF CHANGES BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR RACE**
Time has come for recreating our Imvelo routes!  With future potential challenges traversing neighbouring land, we have brought Imvelo almost entirely onto Mlilwane.

HOGLET & FAMILY ROUTES
Minor adjustments will be made to these routes, still meandering through the plains relatively close to Mlilwane Rest Camp.

35Km CHALLENGE ROUTE
The major route change includes Nyonyane Mountain and removes the Usutu Forest.

CLASSIC ROUTE
“The most spectacular route in Swaziland” – is how our guinea-pig cyclist describes our new Imvelo Classic route!  He followed this with “extremely tough, and now I know I need to work on my fitness!”  Be warned – He is one of Swaziland’s top 10 MTB cyclists, so please take his lead!
Imvelo MTB Classic 2018 will be a very similar warm up through the plains, up and over Mantenga View Point and then heads for Mlilwane North through rural community.  The trail through community is on dirt road (good red clay, so slippery when wet) offering challenging climbs.  Crossing into Mlilwane North, dirt roads give way to 18km of immature single track, with opportunities for over-taking on ancient jeep-tracks.  The King of the Mountain is now at 1357m asl, celebrating a tough single-track climb and rewarded by a momentary view of Mbabane before wizzing down towards Ezulwini.  A 6km downhill section requires good brakes, and provides technical riding, which will thrill our top riders.  Crossing over a river brings cyclists back onto Mlilwane South for a final climb and drop to the finish at Rest Camp.
NOTE:

  • Our new grass tracks are still rough at this stage, although we will be working to reduce the resistance over the coming 2 months to provide a smoother ride.
  • Our route is currently 69km, but may be reduced slightly due to the toughness of this course.The route will not be shorter than 65km.
  • Total elevation gain/loss is 2043m
  • Time to ride Imvelo Classic route is expected to be a lot longer than our old 64km

 

Imvelo 2018 JPG

Taiwanese Rhino Horn Traffickers Given 29 Years!

Good news from Swazilnd!
Yesterday the sentencing of the 2 Taiwanese traffickers CHEN Bei Sun and HSIAO Chen Hao arrested with 24 pieces of white rhino horn at KM 3 international airport plus 7 pieces intercepted at OR Tambo.
In spite of application pending hearing before another judge for a mistrial to be declared and the case started afresh, there was no application for a stay of execution of sentencing and the trial judge had recused himself from hearing this application.The trial judge was free to proceed with sentencing- which he did. both accused having pleaded guilty to all charges and mitigation having been duly considered.
Count 1. possession of rhino trophies both sentenced to 9 years without option of a fine.
Count 2. Trafficikng of rhino trophies Both sentenced to 11 years without option of fine
Count 3. Export of rhino trophies. Both sentenced to 9 years without the option of a fine.
No suspension of any part of sentence. Sentences to run concurrently from date of arrest.
Plus compensation to owners of E/R 40 000 for each of the 3 rhinos linked to poaching scenes in SA by DNA  and a 4th one suspected to have been poached in Swaziland in the not too distant past. Failure to compensate will result in offenders serving a further 4yrs imprisonment.
The prosecution and investigating team has good reason to be proud! A big thank

you to all in SA that helped with various aspects of this case.
The South African authorities have put in motion the required processes for these criminals to stand trial in South Africa for charges relating to rhino poaching and trafficking once they have finished serving sentence in Swaziland.
Anti-poaching dog patrols and training session
Anti-poaching dog patrols and training session, Mkhaya Game Reserve, Swaziland

Another Rhino Poaching Attempt

 

rangers fence patrol0001 small

Another rhino poaching attempt has been thwarted at Hlane Royal National Park.
6 heavily armed rhino poachers from three different countries carried out their plan to plunder one of Swaziland’s (and Africa’s) rarest and most vulnerable iconic wildlife species.
At approximately 01h00 on Thursday morning (10th August), three heavily armed poachers entered a remote area of Hlane Royal National Park in a vehicle. A joint team of Royal Swaziland Police and Big Game Parks Rangers managed to intercept the vehicle deep in the bush during the anti-poaching operation, before any rhinos were poached.
When an attempt was made to arrest the suspects, the Police and Rangers came under immediate fire. The ensuing exchange of fire resulted in a Mozambican and a South African suspect being fatally wounded. A third Swazi suspect being wounded and admitted to hospital under Police guard. This suspect has a number of previous poaching convictions, and despite this, remains an employee of Hlane’s neighbouring RSSC Simunye Sugar Estate.
A second South African registered getaway vehicle was also apprehended and a Swazi and two South Africans were arrested on board. One of the South Africans is an SAPS Police Reservist in Mpumalanga and is believed to be the mastermind behind many rhino poaching cases across South Africa.
Two vehicles, a high-powered .375 hunting rifle, silencer, ammunition, an axe, daggers (knives), cane knife and carry bags were seized at the scene. The serial numbers on the hunting rifle have been erased and it is suspected to be stolen. .375 rifles are extremely powerful weapons and are often used for poaching rhino and elephant. The weapon is known as an “elephant gun” for its deep penetration and killing power.
This is the second attempt to poach rhinos in Swaziland this year. The previous attempt was also unsuccessful and was made by a rhino poaching group from South Africa on 10 June 2017, also on Hlane Royal National Park. It included Swazi, South African and Zimbabwean nationals.
In February this year two Taiwanese nationals were arrested at King Mswati lll International Airport while they were smuggling 31 pieces of rhino horns out of Swaziland on board a flight to Johannesburg en-route Hong Kong. Investigations have revealed that at least three of the suspected 9 rhinos poached in this consignment were poached in Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu Natal provinces across South Africa.
The intense poaching of more than three rhinos per day in South Africa shows no sign of abating as criminal syndicates continuously adapt to strategies employed by law enforcement agencies in the various rhino range states. Rhinos used to occur in 33 countries in Africa.
Rhinos now exist in just 11 rhino range states, having become locally extinct in the others. Of
the 11 countries, 6 had lost their rhino populations, but have subsequently reintroduced the
species. Swaziland is one of the six.
As evidenced in this case, corrupt officials very often facilitate the illegal acquisition and
trafficking of rhino horns and other wildlife products. Many cases have occurred, especially in
South Africa, where Police officers, game rangers and other officials have been involved in the
illegal rhino horn trade chain.
With the increasing militarization and other law enforcement pressure on poaching
syndicates, especially in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, and an escalation in the level of
conflict, many poaching groups have turned their attention to alternative perceived soft
targets – including Swaziland.
It is nothing short of a miracle that Swaziland has lost only three rhino to poaching in the past
24 years given that rhinos have been poached to extinction for a second time in Mozambique
and that South Africa has lost 6000 rhinos to poaching since 2010, with most of these in the
provinces neighbouring Swaziland.
If Swaziland shows lenience in dealing with such cases, the floodgates will be opened and
Swaziland’s small rhino population will not be able to withstand the poaching onslaught.

 

Anti-poaching dog patrols and training session