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Frequently Asked Questions - Mapungubwe

Where is the Mapungubwe Transfrontier Wildrun® held?

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How do you get to the start?
A bus from OR Tambo International Airport to Mapungubwe National Park is included in your entry. You will need to get to the airport and find your way home after the event from the airport. If you choose not to take the bus, please note that the cost of your entry will not change. You will then need to get yourself to Mapungubwe National Park, which is 516km (approx. 5.5hrs drive) from the closest International Airport - OR Tambo International, Johannerburg, South Africa - and 215km (approx. 2hrs drive) from the closest South African domestic airport - Polokwane Airport.  Click here for a Google Map.
 
Is the event in a malaria area?
The area is deemed malaria low risk area, with only non-drug prevention measures required.  Click here for more info.
 
Why is the event called a 'Transfrontier' Wildrun®?
During the event, you will cross borders from South Africa into Zimbabwe and from Zimbabwe into (and out again) of Botswana, via what is know as 'undesignated' border crossings.  These undesignated border crossings have been agreed upon by the relevant authorities in each country.
 
Do I need a Visa for any of the countries we visit during the run?
If you are South African with a valid South African passport, you will not need a visa for Botswana or Zimbabwe. If you are an international participant travelling on a 'foreign' passport, you may need a visa for one or more of the countries. If you are not sure whether you need a visa or not, please take a look at the following links for each country and ensure you apply as necessary. Botwana; South Africa; Zimbabwe You will be able to purchase your Zimbabwe visas at immigration at the event, please ensure you bring cash along with you for this purpose.
 
What is an 'undesignated border crossing'?
An undesignated border crossing is when you cross into a country (legally) without travelling through an official border post. You will still be required to go through the immigration & customs process, but in this special case the immigration officials & process form part of the on-site event logistics.
 
Do I have to drive my car across any borders?
No, if you drive yourself, you will park your car at the Mapungubwe National Park Interpretation Centre for the duration of the event and then be driven down to the river (after completing the immigration paperwork), where you will be assisted to cross the Limpopo river and into camp. You will be likewise assisted to return to your vehicle after the event.
 
How does the group run work?
First and formost this is not a race.  Due to the nature of the area that you are running in, you will be running in a group (or herd) with a lead field ranger guide (bush field ranger) at the front and an assistant guide at the back of the group.  From 2017 onwards you will select the speed (pace group) you are most comfortable with when you enter online - 'Fast - Tsessebes', 'Medium - Kudus' or 'Slow - Impalas'.  Importantly it's about the experience of being deep in the african bush running on wildlife trails, with the added bonus of having experts in the field with you to share and unlock the secrets of the bush. 
 
What sort of training do our guides have?
Our lead & assitant guides are highly qualified & skilled field rangers with many years of working in the african bush.  In most instances they are Zimbabwe & South African National Parks rangers, as well as Botswana game rangers.
 
How will I know where I am going during the event?
Your lead guide, at the front of the group, will take you through the route for each day. 
 
Are there any obstacles/rivers to cross on the route?
Yes, the terrain is challenging and wild as ultimately you are in wilderness area.  The rivers we cross will not require you to swim and at worst will be shin deep.   
 
Are there cut-off times each day?
As this is not a race and you are running with a group, there will only be cut-off's if something significant occures that makes completing the route unsafe. Cut-offs are therefore not pre-determined and entirely dependant on circumstances on the day.  
 
Can I be pulled off the course even if I am within the cut-off times, or if cut-off times have not been determined?
Yes - but you will only be pulled off the course for your own safety and this will happen if a) the medic at checkpoint is concerned for your health/safety or b) conditions on the course have become severe or dangerous and the race director rules that you and your group will not be sufficiently safe to complete the day. This will never be done on a whim as we prefer all starters to finish! But be aware that conditions during the day can change and this can result in changes to the course where necessary. 
 
Can I use a GPS/do I have to have a GPS to take part?
No, you will not need a GPS as you will be running with a pace-group and lead guide. 
 
Is there any required equipment to take with me on the run?
No equipment will be checked at the Mapungubwe Transfrontier Wildrun®, but we do have 'required kit' that we strongly recommend you have on you at all times. See 'Event Equipment' for more information, as well as highly recommended kit.
 
How safe is it?
As with any wilderness running, you will need to be aware of the outdoor elements and wildlife. Remember that you are in a remote, big game environment; You may come across snakes, elephants or other dangerous wildlife while running. Your lead guide is qualified to assist you and the group in this situation.
An event sweeper, who will be in contact with the base, will remain behind the last runner at all times and respond to emergencies as quickly as possible. Personal safety from other humans is more difficult to predict but again, remember that you are in a National Park/game reserve, and thus it is very unlikely to come across anyone that isn't either on the run, supporting the run, park staff or a 4x4ing visitor. It is highly unlikely for a runner to encounter negative characters on this event. That said, although we have not experienced dangerous human encounters so far on any of our runs, it is worth being aware of all elements.

 

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