Cycle across the plains of southeastern Kenya

Race through the Amboseli-Tsavo region to raise money for Lion conservation

The Great Plains Ride for Lions mountain-bike race across Kenya’s Amboseli-Tsavo region
The Great Plains Ride for Lions mountain-bike race across Kenya’s Amboseli-Tsavo region

Big races for big causes are gaining real traction in the conservation-tourism world: witness the massive success of last year’s Travels to my Elephant, a rickshaw race across northern India benefiting that country’s indigenous elephant, run in memory of one of its late, great champions, Mark Shand. 2017 might instead be the year of east Africa’s imperilled apex predator, thanks to the Great Plains Ride for Lions(www.greatplainsfoundation.com; from $17,500 per rider, excluding flights). Conceived by Dereck Joubert’s bar-setting safari-conservation outfitters, and slated for May, the four-day mountain-bike race will cross southeastern Kenya’s Amboseli-Tsavo region, where the big cat’s numbers are reduced to the few hundreds. In a farsighted commitment to local farmers, proceeds will go equally to expanding protected zones and to livestock compensation payments. (Note: this is not a challenge to be undertaken by the casual Sunday cyclist. Terrain hazards over the 220km include crushing heat, scarce water and, well, lions.)

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