All set for Rhino Charge’s race in Samburu

It’s all systems go for Rhino Charge’s 34th edition that is taking place in Nkoteyia Community Conservancy in the Ewaso Nyiro
landscape in Samburu County.

Kenya’s unique off-road competition that raises funds for environmental conservation
work decided to take this years competition to a venue that lies about 50km from Maralal Town on the Kirisia-Laikipia wildlife migratory corridor.

The conservancy is a breeding site for wild dogs.

According to The Clerk of Course, Don White, the drivers should gear up for a great experience,” It’s extremely, extremely tough. It’s not unique because all of them are tough but I think this is one of the toughest.”

A total of 52 cars have registered to take part in this year’s extravaganza after having passed the scrutineering process that took place on Friday with the event kicking off Saturday morning.

The Clerk of Course, White, who also doubles up as the Rhino charge chairman revealed that the safety of every individual has been put into consideration.

“There is a huge number of different measures in place around safety. When we talk about safety, we talk about everybody involved whether that person is a charger, spectator, somebody from the local community,” he said

White, who’s the Clerk of Course for the fourth time running, described Nkoteyia Community Conservancy as the perfect venue for this year’s event

“This particular community is well organized, they’re well prepared and in addition to that, their home place is a very beautiful place and is very suitable for the rhino charge. So for us we look at a community that is organized and is well equipped to deal with what the rhino charge looks like and ultimately will be a beneficiary from the event being in their place.”

Every single vehicle is charged a land access fee which in turn goes to the community. During last year’s event, about ksh5,293,000 was raised for the Mosiro community from the vehicle access fee with the funds directed to a community project.

“It’s managed in a very specific way(community funds). The criteria of that is to go to a community project which benefits the whole community. So typically that could be like something like they want to build a clinic or a classroom, something that serves the community. It’s not to go to an individual or a political campaign or something like that. It has to be beneficial to the community and that’s their choice but we help them to administer that in a way that is beneficial.”

More than 3000 spectators have made their way to the venue with the special guest of this year’s edition being former FIA president Jean Todt who is the current UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety Mr Jean Todt. Todt, who was pivotal in bringing back the safari rally back to Kenya, will preside over the Rhino Charge prize-giving ceremony on Sunday.

The envoy’s five-day mission to Kenya is part of his visit to East And Southern Africa to advocate for the effective implementation of the global plan for the decade of action for road safety 2021-2030 which aims to halve the number of victims on the road by 2030.

“On Monday, I’m going to distribute hundreds of helmets to boda boda riders together with reflectors. Road safety is important and it’s the responsibility of all of us. We do not want to see children, older people, older generation hurt on the road,” said Todt.

The 2022 edition of Rhino Charge saw a total of 64 teams take part in the event held at Mosiro, Kajiado. They managed to raise a total of Ksh156 million which was invested in the conservation of mountain ecosystems around Mt Kenya, the Aberdares, and Mt Eburu Forests.

The Rhino Charge is an annual off-road 4×4 competition held in Kenya in which entrants are required to visit 13 checkpoints scattered over approximately 100 km² of rough terrain within a 10-hour period.

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