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It’s Back! Safari Rally Returns To World Rally Championship

Article by Maureen Kasuku
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Posted: June 23, 2021  

Considered the world’s toughest rally, Kenya’s premier motor sport competition Safari Rally is officially back on the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar after 19 years and will be part of the 14 events in the Series. The rally begins on the 24th of June 2021 and ends on the 27th of June.

The Safari Rally has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife. Competitors can expect rocky and rutted tracks and unpredictable weather which could instantly transform dry and dusty trails.

Kenya has signed a three year deal with the promoter to run the event as part of the WRC from 2021 to 2023. It’s an exciting project which will create a lot of buzz for the country.

 

Here are the WRC stages for 2021

  • Thursday lunchtime’s traditional Safari start in the heart of capital city 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 covers the southern shore of Lake Naivasha. Chui Lodge and Oserian, both in the Oserengoni Wildlife Conservancy Estate which is home to lions, leopards, giraffes, antelope and buffalo, sandwich Kedong, at 32.68km 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 129.78 kms.
  • Roads further north around Lake Elmenteita host Saturday’s 132.08km of action. It opens with Elmenteita’s oft-used tracks in the Delamere Estate. It is followed by Soysambu and Sleeping Warrior, set in the shadow of a hill that resembles a Masai warrior lying down. The trio are driven for a second time after service.
  • Sunday’s finale spans both the north and south sides of Lake Naivasha. The forested Loldia to the north and Hell’s Gate to the south sandwich the rocky Malewa. The first two tests are then driven again. The second pass through Hell’s Gate, which finishes amid stunning scenery at Fishers Tower, forms the Wolf Power Stage.
  • The 18 stages total 320.19km.

 Iconic Stage

  • Saturday’s Soysambu stage. It is classic Safari with a little bit of everything that made this event so legendary. 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, rough compressions, and hard lava roads

Check out entry list of participants HERE

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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