The international participants were welcomed at the Singita Grumeti airstrip and had a chance to meet their fellow runners. The rest of the day was spent settling in at Singita Explore, the private-use camp on the plains of the Serengeti which would be their base for the next five nights, getting to know each other and seeing some of the reserve on a sunset game drive.
On their second day at Singita Grumeti, the women got the chance to stretch their legs on a solidarity “fun run” with girls from the local community. Hundreds of high school girls arrived for inspiring empowerment talks and a 3km run through the village with the participants, followed by a career fair where the participants could share their inspiring stories with the girls.
Another game drive, a wholesome meal and an early night then awaited the runners as they prepared for day three; the start of the main event.
Day Three to Five
At sunrise on the third day of the trip, the nine participants watched the start banner being unfurled as they limbered up for the first leg of their journey on foot across the Serengeti.
Each runner selected their own pace and distance, covering up to 30 km per day. They were accompanied all the way by game scouts from the Grumeti Fund anti-poaching unit.
The run offered the participants a truly unique wildlife experience, not just because of exciting big game sightings, but also with the sheer number of plains game like zebra, wildebeest and giraffe found along the route, who watched curiously as the runners went by.
Each evening, when the running had finished for the day and the participants had enjoyed a restful afternoon or an expertly-guided game drive, they gathered around the fire at Singita Explore to share their incredible stories from the day.
Tired but exhilarated, there was a profound sense of achievement for their own accomplishments, as well as what they had contributed to the upliftment of women and girls in rural Tanzania.
On the final day, before departing in the afternoon, the participants paid a visit to the Grumeti Fund Joint Operations Centre, where they met the elite anti-poaching task force - the operations team running the EarthRanger and the highly-trained canine unit.
Here, they learned about the 165 dedicated staff members who protect, manage and monitor the Singita Grumeti concessions, and deal with conservation issues like poaching, illegal resource extraction and human-wildlife conflict within neighboring communities.