Fast machines, surveillance helicopters electrify ‘Vasha’

A helicopter patrols the route

A helicopter patrols the route as Republic of Ireland's Graig Breen navigated by Paul Nagel racing on a Ford Puma cruise through Kedong stage in Naivasha during World Rally Championships Safari Rally on June 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Accustomed to a lull town, the “noisy” rally cars and the hovering choppers that are mostly landing at the Service Park have brought a new oomph to the town
  • Meanwhile, more than 3,000 traders made their way to the Kedong spectators stage to sell their wares in anticipation of making quick money


Helicopters circling under the clear blues skies and rally cars blowing dust in the wild is a thrill-a-minute affair within Naivasha.

Those who have made it to the spectator’s stages at Kedong have a story to tell.

With the throaty helicopters flying over Naivasha town at intervals, locals are dashing out of their houses, shops and markets to catch a glimpse of the flying phenomenon.

Accustomed to a lull town, the “noisy” rally cars and the hovering choppers that are mostly landing at the Service Park have brought a new oomph to the town.

For the youngsters who love action movies and stay glued to the screen enjoying scripted actions, the happenings in Naivasha draw them closer to reality.

“The whole scenario is electric. Such moments are rare and we are enjoying every bit of it,” said rally diehard Kamau Njuguna.

The seasoned rally fanatic has, for years, kept tabs with the global event, with the return of the rally after 19-years hiatus, giving him sentimental memories.

“In my younger days, I was a route marshal during the famous Safari rally event. Since then, I have grown fond of the event,” said Njuguna.

He was a bit disappointed after failing to make it to the main venue of the event at the Wildlife Service Research and Training institute, the heartbeat of the event.

“I missed out on accreditation and what remains of it is to follow the action on TV,” he said, visibly dissatisfied rally lover.

But he promised to make it to the fan stages at Soysambu, a move that will perhaps rekindle his childhood escapades when he used to, against his parents’ wishes, dash to the roads to watch the speedsters of the time compete.

Meanwhile, more than 3,000 traders made their way to the Kedong spectators stage to sell their wares in anticipation of making quick money.

A trader, Ndirangu Kinyanjui, said he arrived in the area at around 5:00am and the reserved grounds were flooded with traders from across the country.

At the time the area was teeming with a sea of humanity as rally fans also made their way, occupying vintage points as drivers zoomed by.

“Most of the traders are from Nairobi… we have a few locals,” said Kinyanjui.

He said the sales were good with the number of spectators increasing as the day went by.

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