The event was conceived in 1989 to raise funds for the construction of the Aberdare Electric Fence. Rhino Ark founder Ken Kuhle, Rally Enthusiasts Rob Combes and Brian Haworth mooted the idea of an off-road 4×4 event to support the fencing project carried out by the then recently established Charitable Trust, Rhino Ark. The Trust was committed to saving the dwindling Rhino population in the Aberdare National Park, as well as mitigating human-wildlife conflicts around the National Park. On 4 February 1989, 31 competing vehicles entered the first event which was won by Travers Allison in a Suzuki jeep. Whilst the first Rhino Charge raised only KES 250,000, this amount increased tremendously over the years to reach KES 181 million in the 2018 event.
Till today, the Rhino Charge continues to raise funds for the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust. The Rhino Ark projects, which are supported by the funds raised from the Rhino Charge, are multifaceted and are embedded in the overall philosophy HUMANS IN HARMONY WITH HABITAT AND WILDLIFE.