Makhangoa Community Camp Flyathon
African Waters July 27, 2023
What is a Flyathon?
In the words of concept founder Andrew Todd from Running Rivers, a Flyathlon is a multi-sport event that integrates three activities: trail running, fly fishing, and beer. While many enjoy these activities independently, over the years the gang at African Waters have found that combining them is even more enjoyable. Five key fundamentals of these events are:
- Giving Back: Community involvement, habitat preservation, fundraising, and support for local non-profit organizations.
- Inclusivity: The Flyathlon is designed to be largely inclusive rather than highly competitive, welcoming everyone from newbies to expert fly fishers, serious runners to weekend warriors, and everyone in between.
- Community: These events are planned around the benefits they bring to local communities where they are held.
- Responsible Recreation: The Flyathlon is specifically designed to promote responsible fishing practices and trail habits.
- Fun: While all the other aspects are important, it's crucial to emphasize that the Flyathlon is designed to be a ton of fun.
2024 event Dates
Friday, March 22, 2024 - Week Trip: March 21 - 28, 2024
7 night - 6 day package rate: $3960 per person
Included: Accommodations and meals at the camp, guided fishing, community levies, fishing license
Not Included: Round trip transfer between Johannesburg and the camp, accommodations, and meals in Johannesburg, soft drinks and alcohol, staff and guide gratuities
2023 Report from African Waters
With Human Rights Day falling on the 21st of March’23 in South Africa, it was a fitting time to host the inaugural Bokong Flyathlon held at the Makhangoa Community Camp in Lesotho between the 18th and 21st of March. At face value, this long weekend in March is a great time to fly fish and trail run in the Bokong Valley. Temperatures are ideal, the weather is stable, and the fishing is dynamic as we transition from summer to autumn. The trout become more active, and the yellows that remain in the river until the first frosts are big, although sometimes picky, providing for some great sight fishing. More importantly, it allows us to reflect on the basic privileges we take for granted, such as access to education, clean water, employment, and housing, while reminding us to help less fortunate communities where we can. Community and conservation have been core to the MCC operations for the last decade, and they are the driving force behind the Bokong Flyathlon - an event initiated to create additional revenue for key community projects within the Makhangoa Community.
We are pleased to report that the 2023 event was a resounding success on all fronts. Limited to only 20 runners (with additional friends and family welcome subject to availability), we welcomed 13 participants to the MCC on the 18th of March. Many were accompanied by their families, resulting in the camp being a hive of activity with runners/anglers sharing tactics, families planning adventures, and kids enjoying the freedom of this incredible mountain playground.
The event took place over 3 nights, with two days on the water—the first full day for the Flyathlon and the second as a free day for fly fishing and fun. Upon arrival, participants and their families were welcomed to camp, assigned rooms, and given their goodie bags stocked with fantastic items courtesy of Wedgewood Nougat, Sci Anglers, African Waters, Echo Flyfishing, and The Mission Fly Mag. Dinner and a relaxed race briefing were the only formalities of the evening, as runner/anglers shared ideas on tactics and their plans for the following day while also making sure they had their beer-drinking strategies in place.
The day of the Flyathlon dawned crisp and clear, providing perfect conditions. With an 8 am start and a 3 pm cut-off, participants were given 7 hours to complete the 20 km course, down a beer at the finish (timed), and catch a fish to qualify as a finisher. A time bonus of 1 minute per centimeter of fish caught (photographed) was applied, with a maximum of three fish allowed to be measured per angler. In the end, the winner was determined by an extra centimeter or two of fish, with the two leading runners finishing neck and neck in terms of time.
African Waters - Flyathon
Save the Date: Join African Waters for the 2024 Flyathlon Event in Support of Makhangoa Community