The Rhino Charge is a grueling annual off-road 4×4 competition held in Kenya annually. Entrants are required to visit 13-points (Guard Posts) scattered over approximately 100 km² of rough terrain within a 10-hour period.
The challenge was conceptualized in 1989 to raise funds for the Rhino Ark. It is a charitable trust dedicated to the conservation and protection of Kenya’s mountain range ecosystem, the so-called “Water Tower”. 28 years on it has grown in prestige, becoming one of the most anticipated events in the annual calendar. In 2016, funds raised totaled more than Ksh139 million (US$1.35million)
Each year the checkpoints and route are kept as a closely guarded secret, only being revealed to participants the night before. This year’s Rhino Charge was held in Marsabit and proved to be one of the toughest courses to-date.
Amadeus’ East Africa’s Regional Commercial & Marketing Manager is an ardent supporter and ten-time competitor. And so, who better than Moses to give us the low-down on what happens at Rhino Charge.
What makes Rhino Charge so unique?
For me personally it’s the strategic, physical and emotional challenges we must endure as a team in the most stunning setting. It’s incomparable to anything else
How does it work?
The night before the event, entrants are supplied with a 1:50,000 scale map of the venue, co-ordinates of the 13 guard posts and their start position. Each competitor must plot the checkpoints on the map and decide their route with the winner being the competitor who visits the most checkpoints in the shortest distance.
How did you get into it?
A very good friend invited me onto his team 9 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.
What’s your role in the team?
My role is one of a runner. A runner basically scouts ahead of the car and guides the driver on the best possible route to take on the technical sections.
How did you get on in this year’s event?
Team 23 came first in fund raising (Ksh 15.6 million) and got through 8 out of 13 checkpoints. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to this great cause.
Is there such a thing as training for Rhino Charge? How do you prepare?
Team members are advised to stay fit, as the day of the charge is very physically demanding. So yes we do need to get in shape.
Apart from that, we also need to make sure the car works so we stress test it as much as possible prior to the event day. We try to cover all our basis ensuring that the key elements are all working well for the day.
For a first time attendee to Rhino Charge what are some of the tips and pitfalls you would advise?
Bring a cap, camera, boots and your drink of choice. Be sure to rehydrate – it’s a long day.
How about creating an Amadeus team?
I think Amadeus should consider sponsoring a checkpoint as part of their CSR activities it compliments our strong local presence in the travel industry.
And when you’re not charging – how do you wind down in your free time?
I like to hang out with the “village” sharing time while enjoying mutual interests in travelling, golfing, riding or just “nyongaing” (chilling).
What is the most adventurous thing you have done so far?
Skydiving, the adrenaline rushes from the jump. After the dive, the exhilaration I found was nothing that you’ve imagined before. My inspiration was to test the extent to which I would go to call a bluff.
What’s one interesting activity to you can recommend to travellers when coming to Nairobi that you personally enjoy?
Bike Riding in Karura Forest
What are the top 3 things in your Bucket list?
- Climb a Mountain
- Learn a new language
- Learn deep sea diving with my kids
To find out more about Rhino Charge Team 23, click here