WRC Safari Rally: A Journey Into the Heart of Kenya

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You’re about to embark on an incredible journey into the wild heart of Kenya. Buckle up as we take you along for an adrenaline-filled ride at one of the toughest motorsport events on the planet – the World Rally Championship Safari Rally.For decades, the Safari Rally has been the ultimate test of man and machine, winding at breakneck speeds through treacherous dirt roads, dense bush, and rocky mountain passes.The Safari Rally is not for the faint of heart. Danger lurks around every corner, from sheer drop-offs to herds of elephants crossing the road. Mechanical failures are common, and the unforgiving terrain often demands drivers get out and push.But for those who conquer the challenge, the rewards are life-changing. Amid the roar of engines and red dust, you’ll experience the breathtaking beauty of the Kenyan wilderness and the vibrant culture of its people. You’ll form bonds of shared struggle with your fellow competitors that last lifetimes.Are you ready to go on the ride of your life in one of the world’s most spectacular and punishing motorsport events? The WRC Safari Rally awaits. Let’s go!

The Return of the Safari Rally to the WRC

The WRC Safari Rally is making its long-awaited return to Kenya in 2021, and rally fans couldn’t be more excited. This grueling African rally is considered the ultimate test of man and machine.

Originally known as the East African Safari Rally, it first ran in 1953 and gained fame in the WRC from 1973 to 2002. But safety and organizational concerns caused its removal from the WRC calendar. Now, after major improvements and modernizations to comply with current WRC standards, the Safari Rally is back.

As a driver, the Safari Rally offers an unparalleled challenge. The route covers over 600 miles of dusty, rugged terrain in the Kenyan bush. You’ll traverse everything from flat savannahs and muddy tracks to rocky mountain passes. The climate also plays a factor, with hot days and cold nights. Punctures and breakdowns are common, and getting lost is easy. Simply finishing is a victory.

For spectators, the Safari Rally offers a thrilling glimpse into Kenya’s stunning natural scenery. You can view the start and finish in Nairobi, then head out to view the remote stages. Go on an exciting safari drive and spot the “big five” animals, with rally cars whizzing by. At night, enjoy delicious nyama choma barbecues under the stars.

With its demanding course and exotic locale, the Safari Rally promises an unforgettable motorsport adventure. No wonder it’s considered the “rally that bites back!” If you’re up for the challenge, the wilds of Kenya await.

The Challenging Terrain of the Safari Rally Route

The Safari Rally route winds through Kenya’s scenic yet challenging terrain. As a competitor, you’ll have to navigate narrow dirt roads, steep inclines, and rocky paths to make it to the finish line.

The rally begins in Nairobi, taking you through the Great Rift Valley. This vast valley features volcanic peaks, forests and grasslands. The roads here twist and turn, climbing up and down the valley walls. Be prepared for bumpy rides and hairpin turns!

From there, you’ll venture into the arid Laikipia region, home to semi-nomadic tribes and wildlife conservancies. The dusty trails here cut through the bush, with little room for error. You’ll have to drive cautiously to avoid collisions and getting stuck in the soft sand.

The final leg goes through the Aberdare Mountains, with dense forests and treacherous slopes. The unforgiving roads cling to steep cliffs, making for a thrilling finale. But one wrong move could send you over the edge, so take it slow on the slippery downhill sections.

Successfully conquering this challenging yet breathtaking route is a true test of skill and endurance for any rally driver. But the rewards of experiencing Kenya’s striking landscapes and vibrant culture firsthand make all the difficulties worthwhile. The Safari Rally is a journey you’ll never forget!

The Beasts of the Rally: Ford vs. Toyota

The WRC Safari Rally is dominated by an epic rivalry between Ford and Toyota. These legendary brands have been battling it out in the Kenyan bush for decades.

Ford’s Fierce Focus

Ford has won the Safari Rally a record 30 times, starting with the Cortina in the 1960s and 70s. The Ford Escort took over in the 80s and 90s, piloted by drivers like Ari Vatanen and Colin McRae. Today, the Fiesta WRC is Ford’s weapon of choice. With its turbocharged 1.6L EcoBoost engine, the Fiesta has the power to tame Africa’s rough terrain at breakneck speeds.

Toyota’s Tenacious Tacoma

Toyota entered the rally scene in the 1970s with the Corolla and Celica. But it was the Hilux pickup, introduced in 1979, that made Toyota a force to be reckoned with. The indestructible Hilux won back-to-back victories in the 80s. Toyota’s current rally champion is the Yaris WRC, with a 1.6L turbocharged engine pumping out over 380 horsepower. The Yaris continues Toyota’s tradition of building podium-finishing vehicles that can handle anything.

Rally fans are always eager to see these two giants go head to head again on the open savanna. With 30 wins for Ford versus Toyota’s 27, this historic rivalry is still anyone’s game. The roar of high-performance engines and the spray of dirt as the beasts of the rally tear past make this competition a must-see display of power and skill. Safari Rally 2022 is shaping up to be another showdown for the ages between Ford’s Fiesta and Toyota’s Yaris. Place your bets!

The Magic of the Safari Rally: More Than Just a Race

The Safari Rally is so much more than just a race. It’s a journey into the heart of Kenya’s stunning natural landscapes and an opportunity to experience the local culture.

The Thrill of the Chase

Driving at high speeds through dirt roads and bush terrain provides an adrenaline rush like no other. Following the rally cars as a spectator, not knowing what scenic vista or wildlife awaits around the next bend, adds to the excitement. The challenging course winds through villages, up mountain sides, and across the savanna, providing a visual feast for spectators.

A Chance to Connect

The Safari Rally brings people together from all over the world who share a passion for motorsport and adventure. Fans bond over the shared experience of witnessing this iconic race in person. Locals also open their communities to visitors, with roadside vendors selling traditional fare, and homestays allowing people to lodge with welcoming hosts.

Discover the Beauty of Kenya

From the green, rolling hills of the Rift Valley to the open grasslands of the Masai Mara, Kenya’s striking landscapes will stay with you long after the engines have quieted. The diversity of scenery and wildlife along the rally route highlights all that this East African country has to offer. Catch a glimpse of zebra, wildebeest or even a pride of lions, surrounded by the vivid colors of the savanna.

Whether you’re there to see the rally cars in action, experience the culture, or simply immerse yourself in the environment, the Safari Rally is a multi-sensory adventure that brings you close to the heart of this captivating country. The memories of a vast crimson sun setting over the African bush or sharing stories with new friends under a blanket of stars will endure, even after the dust from the rally cars has settled.

How to Experience the Safari Rally as a Spectator

Plan Your Trip in Advance

The WRC Safari Rally covers hundreds of miles of terrain over multiple days. As a spectator, the key is planning. Book lodging, transportation and any guided tours or events you want to experience well in advance. The rally attracts visitors from all over the world, so spots fill up quickly.

Choose Your Location Wisely

With stages taking place across Kenya, you’ll need to select which locations you want to view. Some of the most popular spots are near lakes in the Rift Valley, like Lake Naivasha or Lake Elementaita. You can also head north to the Laikipia region or west towards the edge of the Mau Forest. Wherever you go, aim to arrive at the stage location at least 2 to 3 hours before the first car is expected to build the excitement and get a good vantage point.

Pack Essentials Only

You’ll be navigating dirt roads and camping under the stars, so pack lightly but prepare for any weather conditions. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layers of clothing, a jacket, hat, flashlights/headlamps, insect repellant, basic toiletries, binoculars, and a basic first aid kit. Don’t forget any important medicines and a charger or portable charger for your electronics.

Immerse Yourself in the Culture

While the rally is the main attraction, take time to learn about the local culture. Sample traditional Kenyan cuisine, like ugali, sukuma wiki and chapatis. Learn some basic Swahili phrases to interact with locals and vendors. Explore the natural scenery at nearby game reserves or national parks. Buying handicrafts from local artisans is a great way to support the community.

Experiencing the WRC Safari Rally as a spectator lets you glimpse into Kenya’s captivating landscape and culture. With some advance planning and the right mindset for adventure, you’ll find it an unforgettable journey into the heart of this beautiful country.


You’ve just taken a whirlwind tour through the wilds of Kenya following the WRC Safari Rally. The stunning landscapes, exotic wildlife, and vibrant culture have left you with memories to last a lifetime. While the rally itself was an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride over treacherous terrain, the real adventure was everything in between. The warmth of the Kenyan people, the vibrant colors and sounds of the villages you passed through, and the sheer beauty of open savannas teeming with life – this is the heart and soul of Kenya. Though the rally cars have long gone, Kenya’s call of the wild will stay with you. If you listen closely, you can still hear the echoes of lions roaring in the night, calling you back for another journey into the heart of this captivating land. Kenya awaits – and the adventure never ends!

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