Subscribe to our mailing list

e-mail Format

Mel’s Cycle

Mel Bendon’s Cycle from Cairo to Cape Town on the Tour d’Afrique 2020 with 100% of all donations going to Wells for Zoë projects in Malawi

‘A test of mind, body and bicycle’


is how the Tour d’Afrique website describes its legendary Cairo to Cape Town cycle challenge.


It is a challenge that could have been invented for Mel Bendon, who sets out from the Giza Pyramids on 16 January 2020 to begin an epic 11,025 km journey through the historic landscapes of ten countries to arrive, on 9 May 2020, at South Africa’s beautiful Table Mountain.


But Mel’s Cycle has yet another wonderful dimension to it.  From a chance meeting at Dublin Airport with John and Mary Coyne came his crucial decision to choose Wells for Zoë as the beneficiary of his endeavour.


‘I was very impressed’, says Mel, ‘all the more so when I visited the farm and factory near Mzuzu, Malawi. They are doing phenomenal work.’


Mel knows all about phenomenal work, thanks to a career begun as a young deckhand fishing out of Union Hall and later Hull. He went on to co-found Glenmar Shellfish and build it from the ground into an award-winning and innovative international export enterprise. Now, having decided to step down as CEO after 40 years, Mel ‘needed something to focus on while I deal with the separation.’


Preparations include gruelling 70 km cycles between home in Kinsale and his old ‘fishing grounds’ in Glandore and Union Hall, as well as fund-raising, publicity, and lots of research.


But it is all very exciting.  ‘I can’t wait to get going,’ Mel says. ‘I am paying the total cost of the expedition from my own resources. Now I am fully committed to raising as much money as I possibly can for this marvellous project.’


This page will be updated with a series of blog posts before, throughout, and following the adventure, to let you know how things are progressing so stay tuned!

Wells for Zoë – Water for Life

Planting Trees may Change Everything for Everyone

We planted 2.2 million Trees with our communities in the 2018-2019 season for our #1millionTrees project. We plan to do at least double that in the 2019-2020 season.


Since 2005 we have enabled over 500,000 people access clean safe water. This number is added to daily via our pump installation program.


You can help us by supporting Mel’s epic journey

Just €15 will sow 100 trees or €100 for 1000 trees;
beyond that we can plant trees for 10 cents per tree


€250 provides clean water for a village for life

Donations received so far…

€8,150 of €40,000 raised

Donations received from…


Stefano Omnia Brokers

December 23, 2019

Gillian Coull Fish Ltd

December 2, 2019

Good Luck Mel!! 🙂


Paddy Ballinode Seafoods

December 2, 2019



Tommy Cadden

November 25, 2019

Best of luck Mel.


Johnson & Perrott Motor Dealerships

October 30, 2019

Mid-Cork Pallets & Packaging

October 1, 2019

Crowley & McCarthy Chartered Accountants

October 1, 2019

Sean Mahon Southern Star

September 10, 2019

Best of luck Mel!


Colm Leen Carbery Group

August 29, 2019

Best of Luck Mel


Galley Marine Enterprises Ltd.

August 21, 2019

Kingspan Co. Cork

August 21, 2019

McCarthy Insurance Group Skibbereen

August 21, 2019

Mel’s Miles Blog Posts