Rhino Charge 2015

Rhino Charge 2015

The Samburu host community of this year’s Rhino Charge are to benefit immensely for providing access to their conservancy as it has become a standing practice wherever the motorsport fundraising event is held.

The venue for the 27th edition of the Rhino Charge is located in Kalepo (Namunyak Conservancy), a community owned and managed conservancy located in the untamed wilderness of Samburu in Northern Kenya. The proceeds from the vehicle entry fee (also known as Landowners Access Fee) paid by all vehicles entering the Venue will go towards supporting community projects in the conservancy. These projects may include building of school infrastructure and water tanks, enhancing the management of the conservancy and strengthening security in the area. During last year’s event, KES 2.9 million was given to the host community in Kalama Conservancy, Samburu.

Five times in the 27 years of Rhino Charge’s history, the event has taken place in a Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) conservancy. NRT was established to develop resilient community conservancies, which transform people’s lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources. Relationship between Northern Kenya conservancies and the Rhino Charge goes back to 1991, when the event was first held in Ngare Ndare. Similar events have since been held in Lekurruki Conservancy (2001), Namunyak Conservancy (2008), Kalama Conservancy (2014) and Kalepo in Namunyak Conservancy (2015).

In addition to the direct cash contribution derived from the Landowners Access Fee, the Rhino Charge helps profile the tourism and conservation potentials of the host conservancy.

Namunyak is one of NRT’s largest conservancies, covering 974,000 acres. With community members employed as rangers, community-owned lodges working in partnership with independent safari camp operators, and a good governance system in place – Namunyak stands as a fantastic example of community conservation in Northern Kenya. Namunyak means “blessed“ in Samburu language. It is home to the Mathews Forest Range, and serves as a critical wildlife corridor between the five community conservancies on its borders. At certain times of year, it hosts huge populations of elephant, as they move seasonally between the Mathews Forest and the Mt. Kenya and Ngare Ndare Forests.

Namunyak began as two group ranches, and over 15 years, driven by the need to protect the Mathews range, has expanded to six, including the Ngiai West Group Ranch and the community land area of Ndonyo Wasin managed by Kalepo. It was one of the first community conservancies in Northern Kenya to be established, along with Il Ngwesi.

Funds raised by the competitors are used for Rhino Ark conservation work in Kenya’s mountain forested sources of water, known as ‘water towers’. This includes fencing Mt. Kenya, maintaining the 400 km Aberdare Electric Fence and the recently completed Mau Eburu Electric Fence, as well as supporting the livelihood of fence-adjacent communities and engaging them in conservation. During the 2014 edition of the Rhino Charge, KES 102 million were raised by the competing teams.

Unique this year is the ‘Capacity on Wheels’ (a mobile mast) set up by Safaricom to provide competitors and spectators with access to the mobile network. In addition, Liquid Telecom has installed 7 satellite-based communication units to provide internet access to key locations on the Venue. Since the 2013 Rhino Charge, the mobile retail chain supplier ‘Nakumatt on Wheels’ has been providing over 300 different items including frozen and chilled products. Other providers include Highlands Mineral Water, Heineken, and The Iceman.

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All systems are go for the start of the annual Rhino Charge in Northern Kenya, where 64 participants, only one had to pull out at the last moment, will be required to visit 13 control point scattered over approximately 100 square kilometres of rough terrain within the space of 10 hours. Supplied with a 1:50,000 scale map of the venue and the GPS coordinates of the 13 control points, each competing team will decide their own route to follow. The winner will be the competitor who finishes at the control point where he/she started having visited all the other control points in the shortest distance (GPS measured).

Winners’s details will be announced here just as soon as the race stewards have released the final audited results. The same will apply to the funds raise this year, for the host community and for the Rhino Ark’s conservation projects.

As a motorsport event supporting conservation, the organizers are deeply committed to minimizing any environmental impact that could arise from the competition. For instance, the duration of the competition is limited to 10 hours; and only 65 competition cars may participate in the event. In addition, to avoid cumulative impact from consecutive events, the Rhino Charge is organized each year in a different location.

To determine and help mitigate any potential negative impact, Rhino Ark commissioned in 2008 an independent environmental and social impact audit of representative samples of venues where the Rhino Charge event had been held. The venues assessed were Tassia Ranch (Laikipia), Swuari Lagha (Samburu), Ol Kinyei Group Ranch (Narok), and Lorongoswa Group Ranch (Kajiado).

The audit found that there was minimal impact on the sites arising from Rhino Charge activities. Recommendations arising from the audit were incorporated into subsequent Charge venues and course designs
One of the main environmental challenges of organizing such a large event with close to 3,000 officials, participants and spectators in the most remote wilderness areas of Kenya is the management of waste. In keeping with Rhino Ark’s conservation mission, the Rhino Charge Committee is dedicated to leaving each venue as they found it. To this end, stringent rules have been set by the Committee to ensure that no refuse is left anywhere in the entire Rhino Charge venue. This includes a system of fines that is strictly implemented to address refuse generated by competitors and spectators. In addition, with the support of key sponsors, refuse is collected across the venue, including the Spectator Camp and the Gauntlet.

To promote refuse recycling, a Waste Sorting Station has been set up at the venue since 2013. Glass, cans, tins, and plastic bottles, among others, are separated and brought back to Nairobi for recycling. In the 2014 event, over 60 cubic metres of refuse was properly sorted and removed from the venue for recycling.

Kindly note that general information about the Rhino Charge, as well as updates about the event, including photographs, will be made available online on the new Rhino Charge website www.rhinocharge.co.ke

Updates can be found on the news page: http://rhinocharge.co.ke/press
Live updates on the event will be available at http://rhinocharge.co.ke/results/?tab=LiveUpdates

Please follow us on the digital channels of the Rhino Charge and Rhino Ark:

Rhino Charge Rhino Ark
Facebook www.facebook.com/RhinoChargeKenya www.facebook.com/RhinoArk
Twitter @rhino_charge @RhinoArk
Instagram Rhino.Charge Rhino.Ark
Hashtag #RhinoCharge #RhinoArk
Youtube youtube.com/rhinocharge4x4
Website www.rhinocharge.co.ke www.rhinoark.org

You can also follow us on the new Rhino Charge free mobile application “Rhino Charge” developed by Litchman Consultants which can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play. For background information on the Rhino Charge, you can download the following documents:

Why we ‪‎Rhino Charge‬!

Some wonder why, and some wonder why not defend what we know is vital to our existence? This is why we ‪#‎RhinoCharge‬!

A 400 km long electric fence around the place we swore to protect stands a symbol of success and together with YOU and the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust we will protect not only the Aberdares but also Mount Kenya and Mount Eburu!

‪The ‎Rhino Charge‬ Ticketing Portal is CLOSED

The ‎Rhino Charge‬ TICKETING PORTAL CLOSED on 20 May 2015 at 12 noon.

Tickets, vehicle passes and accommodation can no longer be purchased. However, those who registered in time can still log into the system to print their purchased items.

Please note that tickets and accommodation packages are NOT on sale at the venue. If you have not bought your tickets and accommodation in advance you will not be granted access to the 2015 #RhinoCharge. Strictly no exceptions! Many thanks for your understanding!