Home Sports Rally All systems go as the 35th Rhino Charge begins

All systems go as the 35th Rhino Charge begins

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It’s all systems go as the 35th leg of the Rhino Charge officially begins, with the flagging off of the competition.

Notably, there are six new entrants among the 54 competitors this year.

Of particular interest are three all-girls’ teams in unmodified competitor cars: Car 47 Girls in Pearls, Car 19 Bush Babes, and Car 50 Zambarau.

These teams cleared the scrutineering process showcasing the increasing diversity in this traditionally male-dominated sport.

Car 50 Zambarau, driven by Winnie Maru, stands out for its vibrant purple colour symbolizing women’s rights, a cause close to Maru’s heart.

At 50 years old, Maru, who runs Tembea Africa Tours, is celebrating her milestone birthday by participating in the Rhino Charge.

“Women’s rights are my passion,” says Maru, who assembled an all-women team to challenge stereotypes and inspire young girls.

Team Zambarau

Other notable teams include Car 5 and Car 6, the longest participants in the race. Car 6, Team Ole Choda, features a unique three-generation crew comprising a grandfather, son, and grandson, symbolizing assured succession planning.

Team 63, Aussie Rules, an all-international team, is celebrating 10 years of participation and excels in fundraising, a core purpose of the competition.

The cars will race across the rugged terrain of Torosei, navigating the undulating hills of the Magadi-Natron landscape.

Each competing car is allowed a maximum of six people.

Kajiado County, famous for hosting the world’s most studied elephants in the Amboseli ecosystem, is proud to host this year’s Charge.

The Rhino Charge annually raises funds for conservation activities implemented by Rhino Ark, a conservation organization committed to minimizing environmental impact.

The competition is limited to 10 hours and only 65 cars to prevent significant damage to the environment.

Additionally, the event is held in different locations each year to avoid cumulative environmental impacts and spread benefits to host communities.

In its 35-year history, Kajiado has hosted seven editions of the competition, including Suswa (1989), Magadi (1990), L’rogoswa (2004), Londuroj (2010), Nyokie (2013), Mosiro (2022), and this year’s in Torosei.

Other counties that have hosted the event include Samburu, Narok, Baringo, Isiolo, Marsabit, and Laikipia.

One of the main environmental challenges of organizing an event with 3,500 to 4,500 officials, participants, and spectators in remote wilderness areas is waste management.

The Rhino Charge Committee is dedicated to leaving each venue as they found it, implementing stringent rules and fines to ensure no refuse is left behind.

A team of waste collectors inspects camps daily, collecting all generated refuse and promoting recycling through a Waste Sorting Station at the venue.

Furthermore, since 2017, Rhino Ark has committed to making the Rhino Charge climate-neutral by purchasing carbon credits to offset CO2 emissions related to the event.

These offsets cover emissions from all vehicles, generators, camping fires, and biodegradable waste burning, sourced from a project in the Chyullu Hills aimed at reducing deforestation and land degradation.

As the 35th Rhino Charge kicks off, competitors and spectators alike are ready for an exciting and environmentally conscious event.

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