Kerio Valley Scrutineering
The Rhino Charge is a peculiarly Kenyan event, raising funds to protect the Aberdares ...
This is achieved by around sixty heavily modified 4x4s, complete with slightly nutty crews, tearing up and around other stretches of Kenyan countryside on a fiendishly devised orienteering challenge.
Teams become quite obsessive, preparing their chosen vehicles - 'Chargers' - some months in advance.
(Not all that time goes into the vital and complex task of packing the cooler box with beers, honest...)
this year's Charge was in the Kerio Valley
I joined team 59 - the 'Randy Kruza's (a play on the Kenyan pronounciation of 'Land Cruiser')
early on Friday morning, the vehicles started to trundle in for scrutineering
different varieties of mutant Land Rovers
the real off-road monsters however were the Unimogs - Mercedes UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät
(first designed shortly after WWII for use as slow-moving tractors for Germany's turnip harvest!)
there were a large number of planes, a helicopter and two gyrocopters on the small airstrip
everyone gets in on the scrutineering - old and young!
(is it me, or are the crews getting younger?)
the heavens opened right on cue - just after the maps and checkpoint coordinates were distributed
late night preparations, fuelled by beer and... ketchup?
how hard can it be?