This year’s annual Rhino Charge Challenge collected a record Sh108 million, up from 102 raised last year as the fund raiser event broke the 100million shillings mark for only the second time in the 27 year history of the event.
The annual Rhino Charge has over the past 27 years established itself as a prime fund raising event, supporting initially just conservation but of late also supporting the different host communities, where the annual event is being held.
The Rhino Charge 2015 was held in Kalepo, Namunyak Conservancy in Samburu County. Car number 5 of Alan McKittrick raised kshs.7,595,979 to again remain the highest fund raiser for the 13th consecutive year. Since entering the Charge in 1989, the team has raised a staggering kshs.116,073,282.
Then Car number 23 of Peter Kinyua raised kshs.5,620,000 this year to emerge second on the fund raisers’ lists, with Car number 35 of Mark Tilbury raising kshs.4,546,925 in third place.
Rhino Charge was started in 1989 to raise funds for the construction of the Aberdare Electric Fence. It has since been extended to Mt Kenya and Mau Eburu.
“I am so happy to see the Rhino Charge and its conservation mission continuing to gain momentum with the KES 100 million mark being surpassed for two years in a row. The new arrangements established this year for the spectators, including the online ticketing system, worked very well and were commended by a number of competitors and spectators alike,” said David Lowe, Clerk of the Course.
“As the event grows bigger, the reviewed organization of the event made it possible to minimize its ecological footprint and improve spectator experience and safety. I am delighted to note that our hosting communities not only benefit from the access fee from thousands of participants, but also get their profile raised as a tourist and conservation destination”, he added.
Camping fees totaling KES 4,190,145 million was raised from entry fees into the venue by all visitors. The funds will go to local conservation projects in Kalepo run by a local committee as well as to support the overall management of Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust. This represented a remarkable increase from last year’s host community of Kalama Conservancy’s KES 2.9 million camping fees.