SABOR ATTACK

Drama as bees disrupt Rhino Charge racing in Baringo

Business comes to a standstill after a participant's vehicle hits a beehive.

In Summary

• He said he was busy riding through the bushes when the insects descended on them.

• The abandoned vehicle was still in the bushes by the time of filing this report. 

A Rhino Charge participant receives first aid for bee stings at Sabor, Baringo South, on Saturday
A Rhino Charge participant receives first aid for bee stings at Sabor, Baringo South, on Saturday
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Drama unfolded after wild bees disrupted the Rhino Charge motor racing competition at the remote Sabor village in Baringo South on Saturday.

Business came to a standstill after a participant's vehicle hit a beehive and caused a swarm of bees to fly out.

"We were forced with my team to alight from the vehicle and run for our dear lives," driver Salim Manji said. 

He said he was busy riding through the bushes when the insects descended on them.

A racing vehicle cruises through an uphill terrain at Sabor, Baringo South, on Saturday
A racing vehicle cruises through an uphill terrain at Sabor, Baringo South, on Saturday
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

They and the spectators were stung and some of them jumped into the seasonal Sabor river to evade the attack. 

The abandoned vehicle was still in the bushes by the time of filing this report. 

Residents watching the racing show suggested lighting of fires to chase away the bees.

The 32nd edition of the Rhino Charge was graced by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and Governor Stanley Kiptis among other leaders.

Spectators scampers for safety after a swarm of bees attacked them in Sabor, Baringo South, on Saturday
Spectators scampers for safety after a swarm of bees attacked them in Sabor, Baringo South, on Saturday
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Since its conception in 1989, the annual Rhino Charge has raised over Sh1.7 billion towards the conservation of Mt Kenya, Aberdares and Mt Eburu forests.

Projects funded by Rhino Charge funds include construction of electric fences such as the 450km Mt Kenya fence.

The funds have also been used in the maintenance of the 400km Aberdare electric fence and the 43.3km perimeter electric fence around Mt Eburu. 

Proceeds from the vehicle entry fee to the venue go towards supporting host community projects like water tanks, schools, dispensaries and strengthening security.

Locals light fire to smoke away bees which disrupted the Rhino Charge in Sabor, Baringo South, on Saturday
Locals light fire to smoke away bees which disrupted the Rhino Charge in Sabor, Baringo South, on Saturday
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

In the recent past, Sh4.7 million and Sh4.5 million was given to the host communities in Nannapa Conservancy (Isiolo) and Naikarra and Olderkesi group ranches (Narok).

Besides the direct cash contribution, the Rhino Charge provides short-term employment opportunities to the local communities who get engaged in the preparation of the venue, as well as in supporting the running of the event.

Edited by Henry Makori