Hundreds of motorcyclists strutting their stuff in the middle of the pans under a full July moon, it can mean only one thing – the Makgadikgadi Moonlight Adventure is back!
The third installment of the unique sporting spectacle, set for 13 and 14 July, takes place roughly 40km south of Mokubilo village.
Organised by Muddy Face, the event is a must for all off-road bikers as well as anyone seeking adventure in a stunning natural setting under a starlit, moon-filled sky.
Speaking to Voice Sport, the brains behind the event, Lola Berrie, revealed that over 100 riders had already signed up to take part.
“The number is rising every day!” declared Berrie, who co-owns Muddy Face with local motorsport sensation Ross Branch.
According to Berrie, international interest in the event is at an all time high, with competitors from Zimbabwe and South Africa confirming their attendance.
“We have been recognised as a major event on the world touring calendar by FIM, the governing body for motorcycle sport. They are sending a representative from Portugal to oversee the event,” she revealed proudly.
“We are also expecting a group of riders from Zambia, so competition should be fierce!” continued Berrie, adding that last year’s champion, John Kelly would be back to defend his crown.
The Gaborone Motor Club member upset the odds at the 2018 edition, showing tremendous skill and nerve to emerge triumphant against a host of foreign stars.
This year, the Night Enduro Cross takes place on the Sunday, with the grand prize a seven-night stay for eight people at the House of the Rising Sun in Mozambique’s idyllic Guinjata Bay – a prize worth well over P40, 000.
“The Enduro Cross covers a short circuit of technical terrain. The race follows a route of rocks, logs, holes and jumps as well as scaffolding which has been set up. It is extremely spectator friendly – the crowd can gather right up close to the action!” explained Berrie, who stressed the event would once again be used to raise funds for Elephants for Africa, an NGO within the Makgadikgadi area that provides assistance with human and elephant interaction.
“In 2018 we raised almost P4, 000 – an amount we hope to double this time around!”
The action culminates with the more laid-back but incredibly spectacular moonlight ride.
“This is the main attraction. The pan is lit up by different coloured glow sticks for riders to follow out into and around the pans. There is a 25km, 10km and 8km loop to choose from. With the rise of the full moon the entire pan is lit to almost daylight – indeed you actually have a shadow in the middle of the night!” exclaimed a slightly breathless Berrie, her excitement obvious.
Other activities to look out for include a flat track race for junior riders and a ‘fire dance show’ on Saturday night, which includes an acoustic jam beside a roaring bonfire.
“It’s a chilled out evening of calm entertainment ahead of the main show night,” concluded Berrie.
Registration for the event is P250 per night for adults whilst children under 12 are charged P50 and is available on Muddy Face’s website www.muddyfacebotswana.co.bw. Tents are also available for hire at an added cost.