The Rhino Charge is an annual off-road 4×4 competition held in Kenya in which entrants are required to visit 13 check points (controls) scattered over approximately 100 km² of rough terrain within a 10 hour period. Entrants are supplied with a 1:50,000 scale map of the venue, co-ordinates of the 13 check points and their start position the night before the event. Each competitor must plot the check points on the map and decide his/her route. The winner is the competitor who visits the most check point in the shortest distance (GPS measured).
The event is organised in order to raise funds to support the activities of the Rhino Ark Kenya Charitable Trust, an NGO which works towards a noble cause: the conservation and protections of Kenya’s mountain range ecosystems, the so-called “Water Towers”.
Each entrant must pledge and raise a minimum sponsorship fee between 750.000 KES and 1.5 Million KES. Most entrants however raise considerably more. 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 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.