African Wildlife rangers run in Wildlife Ranger Run anti-poaching challenge
(Photo/Tony Wild)

Help Thwart Poachers: Join African Wildlife Rangers in Team Running Competition

Join thousands of wildlife rangers from 20 African countries for the 2021 Wildlife Ranger Challenge virtual race.

Looking to get moving and support a good cause? Then lace up your running or walking shoes to participate in a virtual event to benefit the rangers and wildlife of Africa.

The 2021 Wildlife Ranger Challenge, a fundraising competition between teams of African wildlife rangers, culminates on September 18 with a 21km race.

The public — that’s you! — is encouraged to show their support and join virtually by walking or running 5K, 10K, or 21K on the same day as the rangers.

Rangers Face COVID-19 Funding Challenges

According to the event website, the goal of the 2021 Wildlife Ranger Challenge is to raise money to support the men and women who serve as wildlife rangers across Africa’s protected areas. Due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, these rangers have faced significant cuts in resources while also dealing with an increase in poaching.

The virtual run is one way to support both the rangers and the animals of Africa — including iconic species like elephants, rhinos, lions, and pangolins. Currently, 8,350 rangers in the participating organizations are employed across Africa, managing over 74 million acres of wild ecosystems that support 45 endangered species.

The global fundraising and awareness campaign is looking to raise a total of $5 million, covering the operating costs for at least 5,000 rangers. The founding donor, Scheinber Relief Fund, has committed $1.35 million in matched funds to support the rangers most in need.

‘Run With Rangers’ Virtual Race

More than 150 ranger teams will be lacing up their boots and shouldering their 22kg packs for the 21km race on September 18. Around the globe, runners and walkers can join virtually to support their efforts.

Step 1: Register to run or walk. Participants can choose from a 5K, 10K, or 21K distance

Step 2: Support the effort with a donation

Step 3: Log your time after completing your run or walk on September 18

Make tax-deductible donations to the general Wildlife Ranger Challenge or a specific ranger team. The suggested donation of £25 (~$35) supports a one-day patrol in a protected area. A gift of £50 (~$69) will outfit one ranger with a weather-resistant uniform. And a gift of £250 (~$345) provides one ranger with a full month’s salary.

Follow campaign updates at #ForWildlifeRangers on social media channels or find out more at

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Kristen Arendt

Kristen Arendt is a creative writer and lover of the great outdoors. A long-time competitive runner on both the roads and track, she's branched out into vehicle-assisted adventure, trail running, and backpacking. When she’s not playing with words or planning her next adventure, she’s most likely exploring a trail in the mountains of her home state of Colorado.