KENYA. Nairobi: The Safari Rally traverses through unspoiled Kenya’s natural wilderness teeming with wildlife. Kenya’s Safari Rally is the 6th round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship that returns to African continent after 20 years. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the legendary Safari Rally Kenya on June 24 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi.
The Rally will conclude on Sunday June 27 at the foot of Mount Kenya. 58 entrants from across the world are participating in the rally this year. The Safari Rally comprises of 18 special stages covering a distance of 320.19km.
Safari Rally Action for Road Safety Campaign
Earlier on Thursday, prior to flagging off the World Rally Championship Safari Rally, President Kenyatta launched a road safety initiative called “Safari Rally Action for Road Safety Campaign”. This initiative aims to promote road safety through education and the provision of protective gear to the motorists in Kenya. Under this initiative, International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the Hungarian Motorsport Development Agency (HUMDA), will raise awareness on the adverse impacts of road accidents with the aim of reducing the fatalities.
The Eighteen stages
The lunchtime traditional Safari started in the heart of capital city Nairobi on Thursday. It was then followed by a side-by-side super special in the afternoon at Kasarani, north-east of the city centre. The opening leg on Friday will cover the southern shore of Lake Naivasha home to lions, leopards, giraffes, antelope and buffalo, etc.
After service, all three are repeated to bring the day’s total to 129.78km. On Saturday, the driver’s heads towards further north around Lake Elmenteita covering a distance of 132 km. Sunday’s finale spans to the forested Loldia to the north side of Lake Naivasha and Hell’s Gate in the south of Lake Naivasha. The Rally finishes amid breathtaking landscape at Fishers Tower.
How it all started
The Safari Rally was held in the year 1953 with the name of ‘East African Coronation Safari’ in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1960 the Rally was renamed to ‘East African Safari Rally’. In 1974, the name was again changed to ‘Kenya Safari Rally’. The event adopted a special stage format in the year 1996 till 2002. The rally then left the WRC in the year 2002. Kenya’s Shekhar Mehta tops the Safari’s WRC roll of honor with five wins.
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