I made me some new friends who fear no lions 🙂
Ahead of me I had a day filled with nothing but exciting adventure! My sole intent for the day was to chase after largely morphed, roaring monsters of cars with humans tightly clutched on their frames as they tore straight through virgin bush; just to capture some piece of the action for posterity’s sake!
By the bonfire at the Bunduz.com camp
Excited by the adventure the next day had promised to be, I sat by the camp fire and took a generous swig of some good old whisky. I looked up at the stars and listened to the peace that the night was. I smiled for I knew come day-break, this very peace would be torn into a ‘war-zone’ of machines battling it out for supremacy! The Rhino Charge 2015 was here!
Our journey from Nairobi was smooth, thanks to the always well prepared http://www.bunduz.com team. The excitement in the overland truck was tangible, with the adventurers chatting away in excited tones and taking many a photograph of the beautiful country that Kenya is. We were however keen on ensuring that we got to the Namnyak Conservancy in Samburu County before 6:00pm as had been advised by the Rhino Charge officials. They had warned that anyone arriving later than that would not be allowed into the venue.
The Picturesque Namnyak Conservancy in Samburu
At the crack of dawn, I woke up to the singing of birds in the wild lightly laced with the distant roars of the monster cars as they approached the parade ground where they’d all converge prior to the flag off. Soon the machines were all lined up and seemed to flex their muscles to each other with each rev of the engines, their full beam lights peering through the darkness of dawn seemed like mean eyes trained at each other to proclaim war. The chargers held tightly onto the monsters as they wheeled around. Every now and then they hurdled together and converse in hush tones like anxious warriors planning their strategy of attack.
The monster cars of the Rhino Charge 2015 at the dawn parade
Full beam lights seemed like mean eyes declaring war!
With every rev the machines seemed to be flexing their muscles!
The parade of might!
Rhino Charge was first held in 1989 to raise funds for the construction of the Aberdare Electric Fence. Following its success, the project has since been extended to cater for the conservation of Mt Kenya and Mau Eburu. Rhino Charge is a world renowned off-road motor-sport event, as well as major fund raising activity for the conservation efforts of Rhino Ark, the charitable trust which works towards the protection of Kenya’s ‘Water Towers’. The event combines motor-sport, adventure and fun for the purpose of environmental conservation. http://www.bunduz.com organizes adventure parties to this event every year!
I say one is as old as the tune they dance to in their head! This was reaffirmed by the age diversity displayed in the competitor teams at the Rhino Charge. Teams comprised of ladies and gents of all ages each seasoned in their skill either by schooling or experience, some were however evidently out to have a good time and raise funds for the charity!
The tune in his head tells him so! What an interesting fellow!
Car No. 64 looking mean and ready with the team on board
Car No. 47 had an all ladies team (The Girls With The Pearls) Like amulets, they wore pearls on their hats and round their necks 🙂
The action begun and all the 64 chargers sped off into the wild. They had 13 guard posts to visit in 10hrs, scattered over about 100 square kilometres of rough terrain. The team that returns to the point where they started, having visited all the other posts covering the shortest distance wins the competition.
Car No. 16 heads out at the start of the race
I visited the gauntlet which was an area comprising of three successive posts that the organizers had set aside as the spectators zone to view the competitors in action. I took a few shots here, but I was itching to catch the monster cars in action on treacherous terrain and not at a section where they came to ‘smile and pose’ for the camera. I met a jolly good couple that was also dying to catch the real action and off we went in search of other guard posts using the Rhino Charge map. We sure did catch some action!
The Charge began early in the morning.
A charge vehicle tears through bush from the gauntlet
In out of a lugga as the ladies cheer!
A monster car emerges from the thicket!
A runner goes ahead of the pack to check and advise of the terrain
A little dented, but not out!
No bush too thick is what the Bundu Fundi lives by!
Let us zoom out of this gorge! This standard, unmodified Land Rover actually completed the circuit!
The mean monster car tackles a gulley
Arriving at a guard post
The 2015 edition of the Rhino Charge thankfully only had minor incidents recorded. One charge vehicle (Car No. 32) however went up in flames following an electrical fault. Car No. 18 dropped out of the race with only 67 metres to finish, as it dragged on with broken engine mounts, non-existent brakes and lost wheel nuts, the starter caught fire and blew the entire electrical system! All teams involved were unharmed and out of danger.
Car No. 32 goes up in flames courtesy of BRCK
Car No. 64 needed some extinguishing before they could finish the race! Courtesy of BRCK
Ladies encountered some radiator problems
Of note is that I was able to connect to the internet and update my followers on the happenings of the Rhino Charge, thanks to WIFI set up by Liquid Telcom, Safaricom and BRCK. This was certainly commendable and seeing the local community enjoying internet service was heart warming. I wondered what the morans were surfing through on their phones, could it have been YouTube videos of Chris Brown or news about Bruce.. I mean Caitlyn Jenner? 🙂
At the Craftsman guard post where the Liquid Telcom WIFI signal was the strongest
The day was finally over, and as I retired back to my host Bunduz.com campsite I had to fight my mind from wondering where the next Rhino Charge will be held. I had good fun here, and no doubt I pray to attend the next!
Resting at a guard post
What route should we take from here?
Thanks for keeping my beer chilled as I raced 🙂
I need to fix where that noise is coming from!
Security was tight at Namnyak
Food was in plenty at Namnyak thanks to Bunduz.com and Mc Frys
Rhino Charge 2015 was not short of beauties 🙂
Macharia Njuguna, Mukhtar Sidi and Ali Said of Bunduz.com at the end of a long and fun filled charge day!
Event: Rhino Charge 2015
Location: Namnyak Conservancy, Samburu County, Nothern Kenya
Photography and documentation by: Macharia Njuguna, @macharianjuguna
Adventure and safari organized by: http://www.bunduz.com