It’s finally here! June 23-26, all roads lead to Naivasha for the 2022 World Rally Championships (WRC) Safari Rally. The event which is listed as one of the 13 rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship promises a tantalizing experience; competitors can expect challenging closed dirt roads, rocky and rutted tracks and unpredictable weather which could transform dry and dusty trails into glutinous mud baths.
Thursday lunchtime’s traditional Safari start in the heart of Nairobi is 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.
Roads further north around Lake Elmenteita host Saturday’s 134.90km of action. It opens with an extended Soysambu, followed by Elmenteita’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.
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.
The 19 stages total 363.44km.
Saturday’s Soysambu stage. It is classic Safari with a little bit of everything that made this event so legendary and has been extended by 9km to almost 30km. A couple of river crossings near the finish with steep entries and exits, mud trucks on standby to pull anyone clear who gets stuck, big straights, flowing corners, rocky climbs, rough compressions and hard lava roads. What’s not to like?
Amidst the adrenaline rush, don’t forget to take a moment to soak in the stunning picture-postcard scenery and keep a look out for the exotic wildlife.
This past weekend we drove down to Rukinga Ranch to catch some action of the KCB Voi Rally.
The one-day event which took place on Saturday the 6th, was flagged off at the KCB Voi Branch after which, rally traffic proceeded to Voi stadium for the spectator stage at 3 minutes intervals as par the start order.
After flag-off, cars transported directly to Rukinga Ranch Service from where they were to tackle competitive sections among them, Simba (51km), Ndovu (33km) and Twiga (16km) stages. Simba, Ndovu and Twiga were repeated twice to make up a competitive mileage of 202km. The total distance of the rally was 274km.
The KCB Voi Rally attracted a star-studded entry of 53 cars featuring three Super 2000 cars, a myriad Group N cars, two Ford Fiesta R5s, two–wheel drive Toyotas, Classic Porsches and Ford Escorts, Group “S” Subaru and Mitsubishi machines and specially prepared vehicles (SPVs) which are non-homologated.
KNRC’s current leader Jaspreet ‘Jassi’ Chatthe who also tops the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) log secured his second win of the 2015 KCB Kenya National Rally Championship series at the event. Driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10 under the ‘Team Kibos’ livery, he led from start to extend his lead at the top of the standings.
Jassi was using the Voi Rally to shape up for the Oryx Energies Rally of Tanzania next weekend.
“We just want to remain consistent and clean in the remaining events hoping that nothing unexpected happens. Its a busy season for us running in both the ARC and KNRC,” said Chatthe.
National champion Baldev Chager was placed second overall in a similar machine, a mere 33 seconds behind the leader. With a sole Skoda, Quentin Mitchell took third place.
The KCB Voi Rally was the first ever in the history of the KNRC series to go “carbon neutral” at Rukinga Ranch – which is part of a group called Wildlife Works. The event had been designed not to add carbon to the air.
Travelstart last week unveiled a game changing online booking tool called neXt, designed specifically to develop new travel agents and meet the needs of independent travel consultants looking to start their own travel business.
The event which was held at the Sarova Stanley Hotel on the 28th April, 2015 saw a group of next generation individuals gather to learn more about the booking management solution that allows individuals, corporate and travel agents to book and manage flights for their clients and issue airline tickets without requiring an IATA licence.
The neXt platform offers independent travel consultants a user-friendly platform that features broad flight search results and multiple payment options for travel tickets. This is a cutting edge technology for agencies who want to grow their businesses when booking flights by offering them best negotiated fares. It is also specifically designed to develop new travel agents and meet the needs of independent travel consultants looking to start their own travel business.
The good thing about neXt is that, as an agent, you are able to create your own travel affiliate websites. Furthermore, at your disposal is support from a dedicated processing team who handle ticketing, reissues and refunds. Agents receive user friendly booking technology for free, and benefit more on Commissions and Mark -ups”.
Agents using neXt keep 100% of their markup, which can be changed in real time, and can further diversify their revenue streams by selling add-on products during the transaction or post sale.
Charles Rubia, neXt Sales & Account Manager at Travelstart Kenya, addressed the challenges most travel agents who do not have IATA licence or have the latest travel technology to booking flights go through. He further explained that neXt platform streamlines online flight ticketing and makes it easy and convenient for travel consultants.
Travelstart is already the online travel market leader in Africa and agents looking to branch out on their own stand to benefit from the company’s established relationships, access to personal and online training modules, over and above the bells and whistles developed in-house such as multi-city flight searches, mix and match flight functionality on domestic bookings and real time availability.
The company had already launched neXt platform in South Africa way back in 2013 and earlier this year in Nigeria.
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti
Restaurant week has been a proven tradition amongst many major cities around the World including Cape Town, London, New York and Tokyo to name a few. 2014 will see Nairobi’s astounding restaurant scene be added to this list. Kenya celebrates her Golden Jubilee this year. Heineken has teamed up with chefs from fifty of the finest restaurants in the city to create fifty one-of-a-kind menus to tickle your taste buds. Come join in on the party
The event takes place from 30th Jan – 6th Feb 2014
A few weeks back, conservationists from all over the world converged at Kora National Park to commemorate the 24th anniversary of George Adamson’s death and to honour his work. The commemoration weekend took place in the wild from Friday 31Aug – Sunday 1 Sept.
Participants of the event engaged in a myriad of activities that included;
Camping at Adamson’s Camp and Tana River Campsite
Climbing of Kora Rock
Visit to cultural manyattas and exhibition of cultural artifacts from different cultures surrounding the Park
Cultural night on Saturday
Watching of George Adamson films and Gallery Exhibition – in the Adamson camp
Visit to Kora Rapids
Visit to George Adamson’s grave and main speeches during the visit to the grave
Entertainment by neighboring communities at the grave side and also in the campsite
Organized by the Kenya Wildlife Service with support from other stakeholders, the event’s primary objective was to build on the foundation laid by George Adamson’s conservation of lions in both Meru and Kora ecosystems.
KWS Director Mr.William K. Kiprono at Kora National Park(The Last Wilderness) during the George Adamson Anniversary weekend.
This man George Adamson
George Alexander Graham Adamson was born in Etawah, India (then British India) on 3rd February 1906 of English and Irish parents. At age 18, George made his way to Kenya to work on his father’s coffee plantation. His adventurous spirit did not however allow him to stay in the plantations for long as he shifted gears and ventured into many other different things including gold prospecting, goat trading and safari hunting. George Adamson’s life as “Baba ya Simba” (father of lions) began back in 1938 at age 32 when he joined Kenya’s Game Department as a warden.
Famed as the ‘Lion Man of Africa’ and regarded as one of the founding fathers of wildlife conservation, George Adamson is best Known from the book and award winning film ‘Born Free’ which features the story of elsa, an orphaned lioness that he raised and released into the wild together with his wife Joy whom he had married six years after joining the Game department. Elsa the lioness would not only come to change George and Joy’s lives but through subsequent books, movies and films, she promoted an enormous interest in conservation with the general public. At about age three, the Adamsons embarked on a feat that had not been attempted before i.e to teach Elsa to hunt and introduce her back into the wild.
The Adamsons, as Joy feeds a lion
Virginia McKenna, George Adamson, Bill Travers and Joy Adamson Virginia and her real life husband Bill Travers played the roles of Joy and George in the award winning movie BORN FREE.
George and Elsa at the river
“No one better knew the language and lives of lions – or loved them more – than George Adamson.” – The Christian Science Monitor
“The Adamsons gave us truths about the species that cannot be found in a biologist’s notebook…Their efforts at reintroduction and rehabilitation taught the scientific community invaluable lessons and the conservation community will forever be indebted to them…” – George Schaler
Much as her chances for survival in the wild were slim, Elsa succeeded and remarkably continued her bond of trust and affection with the Adamsons. She remained their beloved friend until her unfortunate death believed to have been brought about by a tick disease. Elsa died with her head in George’s lap. She is buried in Meru National Park near the river and to this day many visitors to Meru pass by her grave to pay their respects. Read more of the Adamson’s and Elsa’s story here: http://www.fatheroflions.org/George_BlogArticle.html
Elsa and George Resting Together
My Elsa gone. Gone the most wonderful friend and part of my life which nothing can replace. Why should it be? Something which has created nothing but good will and love in the world.” George Adamson.
George retired from his position as senior game warden of the Northern Frontier province of Kenya, presently around the Meru National Park area in April 1961. This move would enable him to devote himself fully to working with lions. In 1970, he moved to the Kora National Reserve in northern Kenya where he worked with Tony Fitzjohn as his right-hand man. Together, they continued the rehabilitation of captive or orphaned big cats for eventual reintroduction into the wild.
George with boy lion
George Adamson and Boy the Lion taking a nap in the shade of a tree.
George Adamson narrated his many adventures in his double titled biography, ‘Bwana Game’ (European title) and ‘A Lifetime with Lions’(USA title). His publishing ‘My Pride and Joy’ is equally another fascinating autobiography. Although many people feared that living with the lions could pose a danger to the Adamsons, it became apparent that their worst enemies were of their own Kind – Humans. In 1989, George Adamson was murdered by Somali bandits as he attempted to rescue a young European tourist and one of his assistants at the Kora National Park. 20th August this year, marked 24 years since his demise. He is buried at a site known as Kambi ya Simba (lion’s camp) in the Kora National Park beside his brother Terrance Adamson, Super Cub and his beloved lion friend, Boy. George died at the age of 83.
A young Lion, holding a twig in his mouth, visits George’s Grave the day after his burial
Boy the Lion’s final resting place
There will never be another person like George Adamson. His was a rugged lifestyle, in a bush camp with only a few modern conveniences. He lived in harmony with nature and he shared a truly beautiful and almost unbelievable friendship with his beloved lion friends. He was truly a unique and wonderful gentleman who devoted his life to helping wildlife and to protecting the unique environment in which they lived.
“Who will now care for the animals, for they cannot look after themselves? Are there young men and women who are willing to take on this charge? Who will raise their voices, when mine is carried away on the wind, to plead their case?”
Best Known as Kenya’s most prestigious camel race, the Maralal Camel Derby is an annual event that normally takes place just outside of Maralal town, a remote desert outpost in Samburu county. Initiated by the late Malcom Gascoigne, who was the proprietor of Yare Camel Camp, this derby has been ongoing for 23 years now with the support of the Samburu community who participate fully in the running of the event. The event has so far attracted numerous organizations taking the sponsors role; the Kenya Tourist Board, Safaricom (largest mobile phone service provider), Kenya Commercial Bank, Samburu County Council, and many others.
Maralal derby has grown into a great social event and is now recognized as a serious international sport with participants from New Zealand, Mexico, America, Canada, Australia, England, France, Spain, Japan, China, Sweden, Holland, Italy, South Africa, amongst many other countries having raced over the years. The event also brings together several nomadic pastoralist ethnic groups; the El molo, Dassanech, Boran, Pokot, Samburu, Turkana among others. These communities engage and discuss about the various challenges that face them as pastoralists such as education and environmental issues.
This year’s Maralal Camel Derby took place from 30th August to 1st September under the “Promoting peace through culture and sports” theme. The event featured camel races for amateurs and professionals, peace marathons, bike competitions, traditional dances, cultural shows (cultural manyattas and traditional ceremonies displays), culinary show, stalls showcasing curios and handicrafts among other cultural exchanges from a wider array of traditional neighboring ethnic groups. The derby serves to educate people on the many benefits of camels therein promoting better camel husbandry among the Kenyan people. It also helps in conservation of nature by creating awareness of the rapid onset in the desertification of Kenya. The local community has not been left behind either, the Maralal camel derby has helped sensitize them towards diversification of livelihoods thereby highly boosting their economy.
The fun-filled derby is primarily a camping weekend however those not so keen on camping, Yare, Maralal Safari Lodge, and many other hotels in the town provides you with alternative accommodation. The races are often flagged off by local dignitaries with jockeys making sure their camels don’t steer off the course into other directions as many normally do. Along the race route, supporters line up to cheer on their jockeys with many awaiting at the final stretch. The derby has grown to include a 10km and 5 km fun run; the latter is for the physically challenged, and a cycling race – with mountain bikes racing over a demanding course. The cycle race also attracts its share of dedicated professionals on world-class bikes, as well as local amateurs on bikes that in some cases never see the end of the race.
The Maralal Camel derby is quite a refreshing cultural festival and if you are visiting Kenya around the derby time, don’t miss out!
You’ve been waiting a while now for it, and its about time too…the Taita Hills Adventure is finally here.
Set for October, this trip promises you lots of thrill, adventure, entertainment, engaging activities, cultural experience, and fun! fun! fun! Get to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds and enjoy time off your hectic schedules.
One of the sites at which we will camp, Funju campsite. A place where the Eastern Arc mountains and the nyika meet.
As promised, the list of shortlisted finalists for the Eco-tourism award is finally out. The 7th edition of the Eco-Warriors Award Ceremony Gala Nightscheduled to be at the Safari Park Hotel and Casino on24th September 2013, will be held under the Tourism’s role in sustainable community development theme.
The Award ceremony is held annually to recognize exceptional achievers in ecotourism best practices in Kenya. Over 77 applications were received for this year’s awards, the nominees are as follows:
Conservancy of the Year 2013 – Private
Conservancy of the Year 2013 – Community
a)Ol Kinyei Conservancy
d)Mara North Conservancy
Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013 – Lodge
a)Severin Sea Lodge
b)Serena Mountain Lodge
c)Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge
h)Sarova Shaba Game Lodge
Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013 – Tented Camp
a)Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
b)Lake Elementaita Serena Camp
c)Porini Mara Camp
e)Basecamp Masai Mara
f)Kiboko Luxury Camp
g)Elephant Pepper Camp
Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013 – Villas/ Holiday homes
a)Forest Dream Resort
Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013 – Community Based (Supported by Kenya Wildlife Trust)
a)Porini Amboseli Camp
c)Kobo Safaris Ltd
Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013 – Tours and Travel
a)Gamewatchers Safaris Ltd
b)Kobo Safaris Ltd
c)Exclusive Eco Travels Ltd
d)Cheli & Peacock Safaris
Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013 – Airline
Eco-Rated Facility of the Year 2013
a)Basecamp Masai Mara
b)Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
d)Kicheche Valley Camp
e)Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge
f)Lake Elementaita Serena Camp
g)Serena Mountain Lodge
h)Serena Beach Hotel & Spa
i)Porini Amboseli Camp
j)Turtle Bay Beach Club
n)Baobab Beach Resort
o)Kicheche Camp Ltd
Ecotourism Partnership of the Year 2013
a)Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
c)Porini Amboseli Camp
d)Kobo Safaris Ltd
e)Cheli & Peacock Community Trust
f)Basecamp Maasai Brand
Ecotourism Guide of the Year 2013
a)Christopher Letur- Saruni Samburu
b)Deric Nabaala- Basecamp EagleView
c)Nelson Ole Reyia- Sanctuary Olonana
d)Andrew Odhiambo- Kicheche camps
e)Onesmus- Rekero Camp
f)David Nganga- Mara Rianta
Ecotourism Journalist of the Year 2013
a)Kimathi Mutegi- People Daily
b)Aby Agina- Nation Media Group
Ecotourism Student Innovation Award 2013
c)David Mwabili & Billy Oyaro
Ecotourism Training Program of the Year 2013
d)Intl Hospitality & Tourism Institute
Ecotourism Student Host Organization of the Year 2012 (Supported by Ecotourism Kenya)
a)Mlilo Community Tours & Safaris
This year’s Eco-Warriors will be held during the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC13) Kenya Night Event. The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), organized by the International Ecotourism Society (TIES), is a unique annual conference focused on the advancement of sustainability goals for the tourism industry.
Currently underway at the KICC (Kenyatta International Conference Centre), the Kenya Hospitality Trade Fair was officially launched yesterday by the Governor of Nairobi, Dr. Evans Kidero. The Trade Fair kicked off with a premier conference for the first edition of Hotel Summit East Africa (HOSEA)(this was introduced by the event’s organisers, Slujan Events in conjunction with the Eastern Africa Economic Chambers of Commerce (EAECC)) under the theme Investing in the Hospitality Industry: The next Frontier.
The three-day event that ends tomorrow (25th – 27th July) is regarded as the largest hospitality event in East and Central Africa, and expects to attract just about over 10,000 business networking, exhibition and conferencing professionals.This event will give a platform to hospitality-oriented businessmen amongst others, to sample top notch products, services and solutions available in the industry.
Also expected at the event are over 100 exhibitors from more than 10 countries. The exhibitors will include experts in interior décor & furnishing, international manufacturers, suppliers and solution providers in hospitality supplies & equipment, distributors, technology & sustainability, outdoor & tailor-made experiences and many, many others.
The numbers are in, Rhino charge this year successfully raised a whopping Ksh90,294,239.18 a step up from last year’s Ksh84.6 million by a Ksh5.6 million difference; an all time record. This was a three-day event held from June 1 in Ol Doinyo Nyokie, Kajiado County. Sean Avery ( Team Bundu Fundi – car 38) whose team visited all guard posts with a distance of 26.99km was this year’s winner.
“I am most thankful to the host community for accepting us in one most beautiful and unspoiled part of East Africa, as well as to all the competitors and sponsors for having come good in a difficult time for a cause which is at the centre of the future of the nation” David Lowe, Clerk of the Course.
The most prestigious VictorLudorum Award (highest fundraiser award) went to Alan McKittrick of car 5. McKittrick and his team continued their noble streak of fundraising having raised an all time high of Ksh12,098,283 beating their last year’s record of Ksh11,509,015. Alan has been the highest fundraiser in rhino charge’s history having raised a staggering total of Ksh101,240,535 since 1989. This incredible performance saw McKittrick’s team awarded the Ken Kuhle trophy for services to conservation having been number one fundraiser for 11 consecutive years. Tim Carstens of Base Titanium came in 2nd with just over Ksh5 million raised.
The tough Gauntlet race proved a bit of a challenge for Sean Avery coming in second with a distance of 1.34km. First place went to Terry Childs (Braeburn Seven Squared) in car 49 with a distance of 1.28km who also won the Tiger Line 2 covering a distance of 3.876km. Peter Bonde Nielsen in car 64 came in Third with a distance of 1.36km. Avery managed to regroup and emerged winner of the modified vehicles category. Tanya Church (Team Rhino Rouge) in car 17 won the unmodified category but was placed 16th overall with a distance of 37.356km. She was also awarded the Coupe Des Dames award.
Tiger Line 1 was won by Mark Glen (Glen/Llewellyn) in car 48 covering a distance of 1.747 km whereas Best placed overseas entrant went to Chris Welles (The Wags) in car 10 placed 39th overall in the event. Anton Levitan scooped the Spirit of the Charge trophy having been Clerk of the Course for 19 consecutive years. Levitan’s efforts have seen the charge evolve into a much sort after conservatory sport built up of thrill, fun and social responsibility.
Another success into the event was the Rhino Charge raffle meant to assist the fund-raise with over 120 prizes. The main prize, 2 return business class tickets to Bangkok from Kenya Airways and 5 nights accommodation at the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok was won by Business Advisory Group supporting car 44. Ksh2.9 million was raised in camping fees. This was gotten from entry fees into the venue by all entrants. The funds will go to local conservation projects run by a local committee.
Speaking during the prize giving ceremony, Christian Lambrechts, Executive Director of Rhino Ark thanked “the competitors who have been most active during the past year in securing sponsorships for their cars and succeeded in raising funds to a level never reached before”.
The money raised during Rhino Charge will go towards fencing Mt Kenya and Mau Eburu. Work on these two projects has already began with 27km of the Mt. Kenya electric fence already built and 6km on Mau Eburu completed.