After 19 long years, the WRC Safari Rally is back in Kenya. The buzz can be felt across various cities as seasoned fans and newbies alike prepare to head to Naivasha. Possibly one of Kenya’s grandest events within the past decade, it evokes both nostalgia and a rekindled love for the sport. For all our Nomads heading for the Safari rally this weekend, here’s everything you need to know for a seamless experience!
1. Dodge the Traffic
As huge numbers make the journey to Naivasha, the roads often become notoriously packed. To avoid getting stuck in traffic for hours on end, we recommend setting out a few hours earlier than you’ve planned for if possible.
2. Get Familiar with the Itinerary
The entire rally consists of 19 stages covering 363.44km. Thursday lunchtime’s traditional Safari starts in the heart of Nairobi followed by a side-by-side super special in the afternoon at Kasarani, north-east of the city centre.
Friday’s opening leg visits the northern and southern shores of Lake Naivasha. The forested Loldia in the north is followed by Geothermal and Kedong to the south. At 31.25km, Kedong is the longest stage of the rally and a Safari test of old. After service, all three are repeated to bring the day’s total to 124.20km
Image by Safari Rally Kenya
Roads further north around Lake Elementaita host Saturday’s 134.90km of action. It opens with an extended Soysambu, followed by Elementaita’s oft-used tracks in the Delamere Estate and Sleeping Warrior, set in the shadow of a hill that resembles a Maasai warrior lying down. The trio are driven for a second time after service
Photo by Hyundai Motorsports
Sunday’s finale returns south of Lake Naivasha. Oserian lies in the Oserengoni Wildlife Conservancy Estate, which is home to lions, leopards, giraffes, antelope and buffalo. It is followed by Narasha and Hell’s Gate and after service the trio are driven again. The second pass of Hell’s Gate, which finishes amid stunning scenery at Fishers Tower, forms the Wolf Power Stage. The six tests add up to 99.62km.
Image by the WRC
3. Check out the Spectator Guide
The official WRC Safari Rally Guidelines offers the perfect handbook detailing everything from ongoing projects to safety pointers and to crew profiles and even maps. It is available for download here.
4. Things to Carry
Along with being a good hygiene measure given the times, a mask and pair of sunglasses are handy to have to make the clouds of dust a little more bearable.
We also recommend having some cash and a powerbank as network and power issues are a reality in the bush. It helps to be prepared in case of anything for a smooth and easy experience.
Image by Mwangi Kirubi
5. Mind the Weather
The area is typically very hot during the day with chilly nights, so definitely consider that as you pack. Have some sun hats, sunscreen and warm clothes and throws on hand for the night
6. Fully Enjoy Naivasha
Take advantage of the time away to explore the town and create some new memories with friends or family. Naivasha offers a plethora of things to do that you can find here. For those who’d like to party, the 30th edition of the Koroga Festival is set to take place in celebration of African music, food, art and fashion: add speed, amazing cars and the rally! Legendary Jamaican act, Tarrus Riley has landed in Kenya in preparation for his performance at the highly publicized event and will be the first non-African to headline the festival which runs from the 23rd to the 26th.
Gondwana has also partnered with Masshouse for the ‘Sunset Village’ at Kimwa Gardens. The festival will be hosted at a beautiful lake front property that is accessible from the Main Rd (Moi South Lake rd) with access to all the rally action. It is also a walking distance from all the 5 star hotels in Naivasha and will offer food, drinks and camping experiences.
Lining up a range of musical performances, top acts will include Suraj, Shema, Kato Change and Jo Kisila playing from the 24th to the 26th, the first two nights of which will be hosted by iMass Dunda followed by Gondwana on Sunday.
With that said, we’re wishing all rally fans safe travels and a fantastic experience of the WRC Safari Rally!