Popular Sappi Mankele Challenge is back!

The Sappi Mankele Challenge, an annual highlight on the cycling calendar in Mpumalanga prior to COVID, has been revived. And it’s good news for everyone as the event now offers a 5km trail run as well as 15km, 35km and 55km cycling routes. This family-focused fun affair which takes place on 6 April 2024 at Mankele Adventures also provides enough of a challenge to those who are familiar with the conditions and trails of this legendary venue.

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‘’We have seen a need for venues and events which offer families and trail users of all skill levels something to enjoy. They also desire a connection to the outdoors and access to inspirational environments like Mankele which offers breathtaking views, and beautiful trails through forests and grasslands,” said Danie Botha of 2D Adventures, the event organisers.

The event forms part of the Sappi Trails Programme (STP) which was started in 2011 and forms part of Sappi’s innovative approach to sustainable forestry. By providing access to its land for people to enjoy the benefits of how they balance the one third of their unplanted landholdings that are preserved for biodiversity, Sappi also work with their trail partners to ensure that the trail networks result in broad-based economic beneficiation for communities surrounding their forests.

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 ‘’The event creates important socio-economic benefits by bringing day and overnight visitors into the Sudwala area. Aside for the tourism businesses it supports over the weekend of the event, it will help create better trails and thereby stimulate more year-round trail usage and related impacts as we have measured at other Sappi trail venues such as Karkloof in KwaZulu-Natal”, explains Sappi’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Mpho Lethoko. “Another important outcome of this partnership, which centres around creating shared value, is the involvement of the Mataffin Development Team which now includes 25 young girls and boys. These young riders will have the chance to test their abilities at the Sappi Mankele Challenge," she said.

Sappi and 2D Adventures are excited to welcome riders and runners back to Mankele in the next leg of its exciting Trails Programme journey.

To enter, go to : 2dAdventures


About Sappi
Sappi is a leading global provider of powerful everyday materials made from woodfibre-based renewable resources. As a diversified, innovative and trusted leader focused on sustainable processes and products, we seek to support a more circular economy. 

Sappi is powered by the expertise of more than 12,000 people worldwide; with headquarters in four key regions: South Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.  Locally, we have a footprint in Gauteng (head office), KwaZulu Natal (three mills, forestry operations and a shared services hub), Mpumalanga (two mills and forestry operations) and the Western Cape (sales office staff). Our product offering in SA include dissolving pulp, packaging and specialities, graphic papers and forestry products. Sappi Forests owns and manages vast landholdings in excess of 394 000 hectares.  We are committed to promoting the responsible management of natural resources and approximately one third of our landholdings (136,000 ha) is unplanted.

We also generate shared value in the communities in which we operate, by investing in skills training and SMME development to boost employment and grow the economy. Sappi will continue to build a thriving world by acting boldly to support the planet, people and prosperity. 

About 2D Adventures 
2D Adventures operates as an adventure and event company that specialises in offering outdoor, corporate and race events as well as skills training events in Mpumalanga and South Africa. Passionate about what they do, their main focus is about encouraging everyone to “get out there and live life to the fullest”. A big demand to get families together during and after Covid, was identified, informing their decision to move their attention to family-focused outdoor events, offering a healthy lifestyle. 
With the support of their riders, they started a cycling development programme for children from Mataffin. Starting with 8 students, there are now 25 active young cyclists with some strong riders showing their talent and coming forward, showing that cycling and the outdoors can do wonders for youth development. 
They are looking forward to a successful partnership with the Sappi Trails programme, with the prospect of developing more cycling trails, which will contribute to a sustainable economy for the Sudwala community.