Legendary mountaineer Sibusiso Vilane – who has summited Mount Everest twice and who forms a much-loved part of the CN&CO and EasyEquities networks – has joined adventurer Grant Christie on part of a 500 km walk that’s raising funds for Covid-19-affected communities.

The Warrior500 trek is a 500 km route that meanders through the Kruger, Sabi Sand, Timbavati, Thornybush and Kapama reserves, as well as the super-scenic Panorama Route, which includes the Blyde River Canyon.

It’s raising funds for several communities that have been negatively affected by the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism industry.


According to its website, “Warrior500 is a decisive and proactive move to create a platform through which funds can be raised for the most vulnerable in the tourism chain: the local communities and those who are dependent on their support.”

Grant is joined by his Warrior500 co-founder and walking mate Simone Bishop, with rugby legend Bryan Habana, Sibusiso, and another ultra-mountaineer, Saray Khumalo, joining in for sections of the walk.

The team hasn’t done everything in order according to this map, but will have completed the full 500 km by 2 August 2020

The team’s plans for a 21-day walk were scuppered by an enforced Covid-19 isolation period, but Grant says they’re determined to finish.

“It’s been a bit up and down, with a gap in the middle, but we are busy making up the distance and aim to have our 500 km complete by 2 August,” he says.

The revised route will see the walk end in Hoedspruit.

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@sibusiso.vilane is here! He'll be joining me for the remainder of the @warrior500_ trek along the panorama route and through the blyde river canyon. @simoneabishop who had to go home due to some prior commitments will rejoin us in a week to cross the finish line together. . Today were walking 30km into Hazyview and tomorrow we continue on towards Sabie. . Warrior500 is an initiative to raise funds for communities in the region desperately affected by the lockdown on tourism. Please like, share, follow and donate!!! . #Warrior500 . @firstascentsa @sapmok @iamnikonsa @herd_elephants @summerfields_retreat @rissingtoninn @k2cbiosphere @meetsouthafrica @departmentoftourism_ . #sharesouthafrica #meetsouthafrica #southafricathroughmyeyes #aboutsouthafrica #visualsofsouthafrica #menseselense #southafrica #travelsouthafrica #stayhomesouthafrica #krugerthroughmyeyes #hikemzantsi #kruger2canyonsbiosphere #hikingsouthafrica #loves_southafrica #bushveld #bushwalk #naturewalks #savetourism #southafricantourism #safari #walkingsafari

A post shared by Grant Christie | South Africa (@grant.christie) on

Sibusiso joined Grant on 26 July for the last eight days of the trek.

“It’s going well,” he says, “although Grant has been at it for longer than I have, so I am finding it challenging to keep up! As a runner I have found the switch to walking – especially at pace – to be quite difficult. But the purpose is bigger than the challenge, so we take the pain and push through.”

Grant says there is still a fair way to go on the fundraising side.

“We are still quite far off our (admittedly ambitious) target of R5 million. But we set the bar high and are still hopeful of achieving a large chunk of it by 5 September, which is when the fundraising period ends.”

You can follow the trekkers’ progress on Instagram or Facebook and find out more about the project on www.warrior500.com.

You can also DONATE HERE to this worthy cause.

Here are some articles on Sibusiso that we previously ran on the CN&CO blog: