On The Rocks.. (Rhino Charge 2016)

On The Rocks.. (Rhino Charge 2016)

  • bunduz
  • July 08, 2016

On the rocks is how I wanted my drink served after a long day out chasing after charge cars. On the rocks is where every competitor and spectator that made it to the Gauntlet found themselves. On the rocks is where I found my relationship with Safaricom degenerate to when I found out that the gauntlet was their guard-post, yet there was no network coverage!


On the rocks at the Rhino Charge 2016 gauntlet!

“Should you ever go to your village and not connect to your Safaricom line, this is the guy to call.” That is how I had been introduced (on the eve of the charge) to the signal guru that Safaricom had dispatched to the Rhino Charge 2016 venue. As I paced up and down the gauntlet, I couldn’t help but wonder where and how he had lost his mojo. I later met him and he explained  in an embarrassed mumble, from underneath a Safaricom branded cap that; it was difficult to get network coverage at the gauntlet because it was smack in the middle of a depression. I walked away and stripped him of the title guru in four steps; a letter down with each step.


Communication satellites at Longonot on our way to Rhino Charge 2016

Rhino Charge 2016 was set in the vast and picturesque Narok County, the home of the world renowned wildlife reserve; Masai Mara! As we drove there aboard Ki-Pumpum, I wondered what adventure the charge had in store for us this time around. Would I be able to get good shots? Is the terrain taunting enough for me to maybe get a shot of a charge vehicle toppling over several times and back on it’s four wheels? Would I be in a position to visit most guard-posts and spy on charge vehicles as they tore ravenously through the thick bush in a bid to win the top prize? I had to wait until the charge day to find out.


Bunduz adventurers relaxing on arrival at the venue. Ki-Pumpum rests in the background.

For the past 27 years, why does a group of people get out into the wild to find a new trail where millions of shillings are torn away in the form of all-terrain vehicles that maneuver a 12 point circuit spreading over approximately 100km, in a duration of 10 hours? One would wonder. Year in, year out, why do spectators throng the often harsh environment to witness embellished vehicles clamor over rocks and tear through bush while driven by enthusiastically calculative crews that stop at nothing unless their vehicle is reduced to a heap of junk metal? As I retired to my safari chair right by the Bunduz camp bonfire, I watched spectators share their tales from the charge day that had just ended. As we braved the cold dark night of the Masia Mara, I quietly scrolled through the shots I had taken, and that’s when it all dawned on me; the spirit of the Rhino Charge is one charged with the resilience of a people committed to the conservation of the Kenyan wildlife, nature and catchment areas through the protection of mountain echo-systems. The spirit of the Rhino Charge will stop at nothing to see that conservation is upheld!


No Bush Too Thick! No obstacle will stop the spirit of Rhino Charge

This year, the Rhino Charge raised Kshs. 139,000,000.00 for the Rhino Ark and Kshs. 4,400,000/- for the host community! Of note is that the top two fundraisers were indigenous Kenyan teams. Team Magnate Chargers and Car #23, led by Stanley Kinyanjui and Peter Kinyua respectively. In celebration of the success that Rhino Charge 2016 was, I made sure to bring you some shots of the action…:-)


Spectators follow the Rhino Charge from a vantage point


Spectators look on as Car #36 clamors over a rock


Rev up that rock!


A runner leads Car # 42 out of a thicket


A Masai Moran adorns Peter Kenneth a spectator in traditional regalia


As they pondered the best route down



The host community loved the show


A Rhino Ark official looks on as Car # 40 maneuvers a rock


Let that model pose not fool you. The ladies driving Car #19 had super skills!


No lugga too deep!


A spectator engrossed in the action packed gauntlet


Through it all, and stopping at nothing!


Just a scratch, let’s push on!


There is only one way down this rock!


A contortionist of a vehicle! SimTank #TeamChomz


Team Frying Squad had spider looking modified vehicle


Off to the next guard-post


Go straight through that bush!


Hang on, can I find a better route?


Team mates hang on the side to stabilize Car #40 as they leave the gauntlet


This is the winner of Rhino Charge 2016!


Car #62 was the highest fundraiser towards Rhino Ark. They raised Kshs. 14,500,000.00


Car #23 driven by Peter Kinyua raised Kshs. 11,000,000.00 towards the conservation efforts of Rhino Ark


From the full adventure cooler box Stronger Simtank, refreshments flowed freely as spectators enjoyed.


A charge car leaves the venue. It was time to say goodbye.

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