Ten-year-old Mackenzie Knott from Rallim Preparatory School in Cape Town is an enthusiastic cross-country runner and mountain trail adventurer with a passion for mountains and animals.

As an ambassador for Fit4Rhinos, Mackenzie has just conquered her third multi-day 13 Peaks Challenge on a mission to raise R13 000 (to buy 130 six-packs of fat-free milk) for orphaned baby rhinos under the care of Rhino Connect NPO.

To date, Mackenzie has completed four big mountain challenges, with her latest trek being her fifth.

Her incredible adventure-with-a-difference came to a successful end two days ago with a 20-kilometre stretch to tag Klaasenkop and Devil’s Peak, which included tough technical terrain and two steep climbs and descents for 1600 metres of elevation over nine hours.

In the latest update commemorating the successful mission, Gareth Knott expressed his daughter’s gratitude to all those who supported her on her journey and contributed to her cause.

‘Mackenzie would like to thank all who have donated to her cause and supported her along the way. Making this difference towards her baby orphan rhinos has certainly been a team effort,’ read the Facebook post.

In total, Mackenzie managed to cover 110 kilometres at 7000 metres of elevation over six days.

The young trailblazer was accompanied by her father and plush rhino mascot, Hazel June, who represents all the rhino orphans. Together, they conquered the peaks of the following mountains that make up the 13 Peak Challenge:

  • Signal Hill
  • Lion’s Head
  • Maclears Beacon
  • Grootkop
  • Judas Peak
  • Klein Leeu Kop
  • Suther Peak
  • Chapman’s Peak
  • Noordhoek Peak
  • Muizenberg Peak
  • Constantiaberg
  • Klassenkop
  • Devil’s Peak

The 13 Peak Challenge is no easy feat for even experienced hikers and trailblazers, but for Mackenzie, every kilometre signified an important means to saving these beautiful rhinos and bringing awareness to the problems they face.

In addition to the 13 peaks, she also managed to achieve 118% of her monetary goal on givengainraising a total of R15 300.

The carbohydrate and lipid content of fat-free milk closely resembles that of real rhino mothers’ milk and is one of the best alternatives to ensure these orphaned baby rhinos grow strong enough to eventually fend for themselves in the wild.

Fit4Rhinos is an organisation that combines fitness and fundraising in an effort to raise awareness and assist rhino conservation organisations like Rhino Connect, which cares for orphaned rhino babies victimised by illegal poaching.

Through a range of epic fitness challenges, sports and adventure lovers of all sorts are able to use their fitness for a meaningful purpose.


Nette Rose plants a tree in Madagascar for every bralette purchased

Feature Image: Facebook / Gareth Knott

Written by Tauhira Ajam for Cape {town} Etc.