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.