2 May

Eelco Meyjes at the Victoria Falls finish in Zimbabwe. Photo: Lesanne Dunlop

Eelco Meyjes at the Victoria Falls finish in Zimbabwe. Photo: Lesanne Dunlop

To help launch and raise the public awareness for the new Orange-breasted Waxbill conservation project Eelco Meyjes, who is both a director of the Rare Finch Conservation Group and a member of BirdLife South Africa , rode an unsupported solo bicycle fundraising ride from Cape Town, going via Botswana, all the way up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. He rode a distance of 3,008 km in 44 days ( which included seven rest days ) carrying his own kit which weighed, excluding water, 35 kg. The ride started from outside the old Castle, in front of Table Mountain, in Cape Town on 15 March and ended in front of the spectacular Victoria Falls on 28 April 2015   Unexpected declines in the little Orange-breasted waxbill, Africa’s smallest finch, has resulted in the urgent need for the species to be researched. The species has now also been selected by BirdLife South Africa as the key sentinel species ( watchdog ) bird for South African wetland bird species, including 8 threatened and 84 common bird species. WE KINDLY APPEAL FOR YOUR VALUABLE SUPPORT, NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL, TO HELP LAUNCH THIS NEW FINCH CONSERVATION PROJECT Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ

An Orange-breasted Waxbill cockbird.Photo Chris Krog

The Orange-breasted Waxbill now needs conservation help.Photo Chris Krog

 The directors of the Rare Finch Conservation Group would hereby sincerely like to thank the following individuals and / or sponsors who helped to make the 3008 km solo fund raising cycle ride from Cape Town to Vic Falls a success
Aan de Doorns Guest Lodge – Worcester – Accommodation
Africa Geographic – Simon Espley – Janine Mare – Social media partners
Andrew Freeman – Baileys – Palapye – Botswana – Safety
Bianca Ljungberg – Social media content
BirdLife South Africa- conservation collaboration partner
Cyclelab – Social media partner
DesigninMotion – Cycle Servicing
Devon and Claudia Wheeler – Pandamalenga – Botswana – Safety
Ernst Retief – BirdLife South Africa – Communications and Safety
Gasthuis – Strydenburg – Accommodation
Graham Hill – Personal trainer – Virgin Active
Hanneline Smit-Robinson – BirdLife South Africa – Communications and Social media
House Martin Guest House – De Rust – Accommodation
Ilala Lodge – Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe – Accommodation
Karoo Koelte -Victoria West – Accommodation
Karoo Life – Calitzdorp – Accommodation
Kelly Wapnick – joBerg2c – Satelitte tracking advice and publicity
Kemotse Guest House – Dukwe – Botswana – Accommodation
Kim Brunette – Simply Web – website development
Klaarstroom Guest House – Klaarstroom – Accommodation
Lesanne Dunlop – Lesanne Photography – Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe
Lindsay Nutley – Honorary RFCG member – Social media communications
Mark Anderson – BirdLife South Africa – Conservation Collaboration
Mark Kronenberg – Base Manager and Safety officer for Eelco Meyjes
NEVAREST – Neil Blignaut – Satellite tracking equipment
Nic Meyjes – IT Support
Olive Grove Guest House – Beaufort West – Accommodation
Ride magazine – Elize Kirtsten – Social media partner
Rietpoort Herberg – Victoria West – Accommodation
Rodeberg Lodge – Paarl – Accommodation
Rodney Shehab – Advertising and DTP
Ryan Oniel – Pandamelenga – Botswana – Safety
Safesporttracking – Andre Shannon -Satellite tracking equipment
Sahara Hotel – Palapye – Botswana – Accommodation
Stan Alford – Castle Graphics – Print advertising material
South African Police – Mogopane – Safety
TOPEAK – Enduro cycling equipment
Track and Tar – Sean Frankel – Enduro cycling equipment
The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. For more info visit or write to the secretary at



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