The highly anticipated motorsport event of the year is back! The WRC Safari Rally 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 next 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 over 360km. 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. At Kasarani, 2 cars will be racing at a time from 14:05 Hrs, which will then see the cars head back to Naivasha and the first overnight Parc Fermé. (Parc fermé, meaning “closed park” in French, is a secure area at a motor racing circuit wherein the cars are driven back to the pits post- and sometimes pre-race.)
Friday’s opening leg visits the northern and southern shores of Lake Naivasha through the forested Loldia. It is followed by KWS Narasha Gate – the stage quickly climbs into the Geothermal fields of the Ol Karia Geothermal projects. Lastly, the route ventures into Kedong, the longest stage of the rally and a favourite passage of rally fans.
Image by Safari Rally Kenya
Saturday takes us through Soysambu, through the familiar Soysambu Conservancy which will have a 3km Spectator area at the start. It is followed by Elementaita’s often used tracks in the Delamere Estate. With the naturally beautiful Lake Elementaita as a unique backdrop, this will serve as the day’s Live TV Stage. Finally we have Sleeping Warrior, set in the shadow of a hill that resembles a Maasai warrior lying down.
Sunday’s finale returns south of Lake Naivasha, with the short, sharp Malewa Stage having been brought back. Next will be Oserian which lies in the Oserengoni Wildlife Conservancy Estate; home to lions, leopards, giraffes, antelope and buffalo. It is followed by Hell’s Gate, which is arguably the most scenic backdrop of any of the Power Stages on the World Rally Championship.
Image by the WRC
3. Things to Carry
A mask and a pair of sunglasses are definitely 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
4. 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.
With that said, we’re wishing all rally fans safe travels and a fantastic experience of the WRC Safari Rally!