Put Foot Rally postponed to 2023
14 March 2022
Dear Put Footers,
Sadly, the difficult decision has been taken to postpone the Put Foot Rally to 2023. The new rally date is: 23 July to 9 August 2023 across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and finishing in Malawi (with an option to Zanzibar ending 14 August).
The decision is not an easy one and was taken with input from our veterans, as well as the utmost of respect for participants. Over 400 participants are taking part in upcoming events and need adequate time to plan their international travel arrangements, book flights, request time off of work, book accommodations and vehicles etc. Therefore the decision has been made at the latest possible point that allows Put Footers sufficient time to reschedule.
We understand that many of you, like us, will be disappointed. However a June/July 2022 event means a difficult juncture. There is hope that the world is potentially at the tail-end of the pandemic, with travel beginning to open up and travel restrictions slowly beginning to lift. Many countries will take many months to remove vaccine requirements and costly PCR testing requirements and Africa is no exception. In fact, Africa will most likely take longer to recover than the rest of the world. Our decision to postpone the event was taken with the following in mind:
- Accessibility and flights, State of Emergency in various countries, travel restrictions. Many Southern African countries remain in a State of Emergency. This means that restricted and heavily controlled travel is still a real challenge for tourists in this part of the world. It is most likely to only return to normal by the latter part of 2022 – if there are further no major variants and lockdowns.
- Border Crossings. Border posts are not yet adequately prepared to process large numbers of vehicles and travellers. Processing times are significantly delayed and range up to 24hrs per crossing.
- PCR Test Costs. South Africa, Namibia, Botswana (non vax’d), Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania all require a negative PCR test on entry. This amounts to approximately an additional US$500 worth of tests per person. More importantly it means 24hrs of waiting per country for test results. There is substantial risk that Put Footers will be held up, fall behind, or have to cut their rally short due to a positive test result. This would mean a less enjoyable experience for all.
- Shoe Drops – The drops are the soul of the Put Foot Rally. Schools have only recently returned to full-time learning and are understandably cautious to have visitors due to covid-related concerns. We have been advised to restart Shoe Drops in 2023, when there is more stability around health in each Southern African country.
Like you, we have been looking forward to this event. Not only is the Put Foot Rally an incredible experience for our participants, but the upcoming event marks our tenth rally. A milestone that the entire team has been wanting to celebrate for some time. We exhausted multiple avenues to try and make the rally a reality in 2022. Potential options included a heavily-altered, shorter route, as well as a route solely around South Africa. However strong feedback amongst our veterans was that this would compromise the experience and spirit of Put Foot Rally.
When exploring viable options, we discovered that:
- If 2022 went ahead: 30-40% of participants would likely not attend as many are international travellers.
- If the route was shortened or altered: 40-50% of participants would be unsatisfied due to no shoe drops, difficult border crossings, and costly PCR tests.
- If postponed to 2023: 2-3% of participants would be unhappy. However the vast majority 97%+ would be understanding and begin preparations for a mega event next year.
We have consulted all our Checkpoints Hosts, Accommodation Providers and Service Providers and everyone is onboard, and excited for a bumper, 10 year, event in 2023.
We feel awful that we are unable to get Put Footers back on the road this year, as well as help our partners after such a difficult time. However, they are looking forward to hosting us in 2023, and we will do our utmost to promote and support them, as they have done for us over the past 12 years.
THE PLAN: Both events will be combined into ONE massive Put Foot Rally in 2023.
CANT ATTEND: Starting in February 2023 – those who cannot attend / no longer wish to attend – we will reopen entries, and assist with finding replacements for your entries.
QUESTIONS: Please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*PutFootRally.com will be updated shortly.