On Sunday 21st January 2018, 5 distance open-water swimmers will challenge themselves to the FIRST EVER ATTEMPT of the Jozini Dam gorge. Jozini dam is situated 280 km north-east of Durban in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal. The dam wall was constructed in 1973 at the eastern end of the gorge which separates the Lebombo and Ubombo ranges – it is this gorge that they will be attempting. The swim itself will be a total distance of 8km starting from the gorge mouth and ending at Tiger Lodge by the dam wall.
The group is made up of Ruth and Jay Azran - a South African couple who currently live in Swaziland, Andrew Stevens - a South African living in Australia, Mike Oberholzer – a South African and Jose De Charmoy – a Mauritian national.
What makes this swim so unique is that the dam is flanked by private wildlife reserves as well as the Pongola Game Reserve. Wildlife abound in the area including the infamous tiger-fish, hippo and crocodiles.
The initiative is the brain-child of Ruth Azran who has lost both her mother and brother to cancer. When asked what led to this, Ruth had the following to say:-
‘’About 3 years ago, following the death of my mother, I decided that one day in their honour I would swim the length of the gorge. That time has now come, and I am truly fortunate to have my husband and 3 very competent other swimmers join me on this challenge. I chose to do it for CHOC because it is a cause that is very close to my heart, especially in our younger generation and I really liked their fundraising component called the COWS. We will be sporting our cow costumes and swimming caps on the day and give it our best shot. We definitely all share some nervous anticipation for the swim, but feel confident that we have done sufficient training.
I would like to say thank you to the following sponsors for their generous support and contributions: Tiger Lodge, Royal Jozini Private Game Reserve - Swaziland, Cycad Rock Lodge, Shayamoya Game Lodge, White Elephant Safari Lodge and Nimue Skin Technology.’’
So far 9 support boats with some eagle-eye scouts have been organised to assist in deterring wildlife. The swim is due to start at 9am and should take about 3 hours to complete. We wish them the best of luck on the day……