Ugandan rally enthusiasts are highly geared up for this year’s edition of the Safari rally Kenya due next week in Nairobi and Naivasha. 

Many Ugandan fans missed out on the exceptional event last year due to stringent COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, with the border now fully open, hundreds are prepared to cross over for the rally spectacle.

The Safari rally made a return to the world rally championship series  after 19 years last year.

This year, the WRC comes back to Africa with the  latest generation rally cars of the hybrid era. 

“For the last three years with the exception of 2020, I have been taking fans to watch the Safari rally. Last year we beat all odds created by covid to make it to the big event,” said Emma Emaru; a travel organiser for the Safari rally.

“This year the hype is high. Every rally fan wants to be in Kenya for the WRC event. So we decided to make it something of a sports tourism trip. For my group, I will first take them to Mombasa for two days and then the Safari rally,” he added. 

Some of the fans from last year’s Safari rally| by Innocent Mutaawe

Uganda is undoubtedly the country with the biggest rally fan base on the continent and would travel miles to find a rally event. 

However, unlike last year, only one driver; Duncan Mubiru will represent Uganda in the Safari rally and he will be running under the Kenya National rally championship category. 

“This time round we are going in huge numbers. A big group will be in Kenya by Sunday and Monday. 

“On top of enjoying the race, we also want to see what happens at the service park. Kenya, is the closest place we can experience WRC and we want to be part of every things that happens,” says Hamid Ntare, a renown rally fan.  

This year’s event will yet again feature some of the most celebrated rally drivers including Sebastien Ogier.

The French driver  will return to defend his Safari rally win.

The nine-time world rally champion Sebastian Loeb also returns to the event after 20 years. 

Finnish driver Kalle Rovanpera under Toyata Gazoo Racing comes to Kenya leading the WRC leaderboard with 120 points. He holds a solid 55 points lead over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville who is placed second. 

Safari rally will kick off on Wednesday 22nd with a shakedown run before crews head to the Nairobi super special stage at Kasarani. That will be followed by three days of racing in Naivasha. 

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