Ford’s idea of a day at the office on a Thursday involves more than being a desk jockey, so they invited a handful of lucky folk to step into their Ranger and head for the wild.

Last week Thursday, 13 July, a group of journalists and media influencers got to drive Ford’s Rangers from Meropa Communications in Sandton to Mongena Game Lodge, just 35 kilometres outside of Pretoria. Each Ranger was assigned two drivers and I paired up with Kiki Marli, founder and director of Ossify Media, we headed north for a fun-filled day of wildlife adventure.

The lodge staff welcomed us with open arms and warm smiles before ushering us to our seats to learn more about the Ford Wildlife Foundation. Vincent van der Merwe, Cheetah Metapopulation Co-ordinator at Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) taught us more about the cheetah and the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project.

A Cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal can reach a top speed of 110km/h in just three seconds, but it has unfortunately become one of the many endangered animal species due to habitat loss, decline in prey, genetic inbreeding and conflicts with humans and predators (like lions and hyenas). Through its partnership with the EWT, the Ford Wildlife Foundation (FWF) has committed to efforts to conserve the cheetahs in South Africa.

FWF has handed over a new Ford Ranger XLT double-cab bakkie to the Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project, which works to increase the range, numbers and status of cheetahs in South Africa. This support forms part of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA) commitment to the conservation and preservation of the environment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

After this brief but informative conference, we hopped onto the game drive vehicles in anticipation our safari drive, after which we were treated to a delicious lunch before Marli led us from behind the steering wheel like a pro in a most enjoyable drive back to Johannesburg.

Hlulani Masingi, EOA online editor, and Kiki Marli, founder and director of Ossify Media

Images: Ford.