|To Hell’s Gate on a Wheelbarrow||Hells, Gate National Park||June|
|Lewa Marathon||Lewa Conservancy||June|
|Rhino Charge||Kenya||June/ July|
|Wildebeest Migration||Maasai Mara||July to October|
|Mararal Camel Derby||Mararal||September|
|Cycle with Rhino||Nakuru National Park||September|
|Mt. Kenya Extreme Challenge||Mt. Kenya||October|
|Ngulia Bird Ringing||Tsavo West National Park||November|
|Safari Sevens Rugby||Nairobi||November.|
|Lamu Cultural Festival||Lamu||November|
Lamu Cultural Festival is a celebration of both the past and the future, and the beliefs and traditions that are the heart and soul of the Lamu community.
Most visitors to the island fall in love with this relaxed and peaceful lifestyle, and visiting during the Lamu Cultural Festival is a chance to experience Lamu life at its most exuberant and joyous. Each year, Lamu comes to life during the annual Lamu Cultural Festival. Several competitions and races are staged during this week long festival. These events are designed to each encourage local skills or practices that are central to Lamu life.
These include traditional Swahili poetry, Henna painting, Bao competition… Bao is probably the oldest known game in human history, with archaeological evidence suggesting that the game has been played throughout Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years. In order to preserve and encourage the art of dhow sailing, now threatened by increasing availability of engines and prefabricated boats, a dhow race is also held.
The town’s finest dhows are selected to compete, and race under sail through a complicated series of buoys, combining speed with elaborate tacking and maneuvering skill. Other events include swimming, and at times a challenging cross country race along the waterfront, all the way to Shela village and back- all in the physically draining heat of the day.
The real highlight of every festival involves the town’s most endearing symbol- the donkey race. Local donkey jockeys literally spend the entire year honing their riding skills for this event, and the winning rider wears his title with great pride. Being a winning donkey jockey requires a specific set of skills. As with most such races, small physical stature is helpful, but keeping a stubborn donkey moving and on course requires a definite talent.
Lamu Cultural Festival is a celebration of both the past and the future, and the beliefs and traditions that are the heart and soul of this community. Most visitors to the island fall in love with this relaxed and peaceful lifestyle, and visiting during the Lamu Cultural Festival is a chance to experience Lamu life at its most exuberant and joyous.
The Maralal Camel Derby is an annual event, held midyear just outside of Maralal town. This is Kenya’s best known and most prestigious camel race, attracting both local and international competitors. The event is a major draw for spectators as well as racers, and the competition is fierce. Considered one of the highest honours in camel racing, many professional camel racers come to compete each year. Some of the finest specimens of racing camels are seen in town during the race period.
The race is a great social event, and the major event on the Maralal Calendar. Both competitors and visitors to Maralal join in the festivities in and around town. The atmosphere in town on race day is electric and entertaining. The race begins in the centre of town, where a throng of camels at the at the start line. Flagged off by local dignitaries, the race begins with initial chaos as the camels break across the line. The less ‘professional’ camel jockeys often lose control of their over-excited steeds, which often decide to run the race in the completely opposite direction.
As the amateurs head off in whichever direction their camel chooses, the professionals break free and head for the course at breakneck speed. Cheering supporters line the route, and the final stretch is always alive with excited spectators as the winners cross the line. A cycling race is also now held concurrently with the derby, with mountain bikes racing over a demanding course. The cycle race also attracts its share of dedicated professionals on world class bikes, as well as local amateurs on bikes that in some cases never see the end of the race.
The Maralal Camel derby is more than just a race. It is an entertaining festival of fun and local competition that brings this small desert town to life. If you are visiting Kenya during the race period, don’t miss Maralal.
June is the month for the Rhino Charge. This unique off-road car rally is held every year to raise money for the construction of a perimeter fence around the Aberdare National Park. The Aberdares National Park is a sanctuary for the endangered Black Rhino and an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers, Kenya’s main rivers. The Aberdares is a hidden world of wildlife; its thick vegetation provides perfect cover for countless species. The Aberdares National Park is a sanctuary for the endangered Black Rhino and an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers, Kenya’s main rivers.
A variety of vehicles will aim to reach 13 checkpoints scattered over approximately 100 square kms of rough terrain in a 10 hour period via the shortest distance possible. Competitors are supplied with a 1:50,000 scale map of the venue, co-ordinates of the 13 Control Points and their Start position. During the rally, teams have to make the decision between taking a safer, wider route or taking a riskier more direct route. The teams must then plot the control points on the map and decide their route. Navigation is by compass or GPS and the winner is the competitor who visits all controls in the shortest distance, GPS measured.
The Rhino Charge is a truly unique event, both sporting and social. Hundreds of spectators head into the bush to watch the event, setting up campsites and starting off early to get to the Gauntlet (a combination of 2 or 3 checkpoints that invariably involve river crossings and other difficult obstacles). If you are visiting Kenya – the Rhino Charge is a must see event. The funds raised from the Charge go directly to Rhino Ark, a conservation charity working to fence Kenya’s Arberdare Forest, affording protection to endangered species and habitat. These precious forests, home to Rhino, Elephant and many other rare and threatened species are being threatened by deforestation, logging and ongoing human-wildlife conflict.
The Safari Sevens are held each year at the Kenya Rugby Union Football Club (KRFU) on Ngong Road in Nairobi. The Sevens is a major international Rugby competition with a wide range of teams coming to play in one of the most popular Rugby Sevens in the world. The Sevens are also a major event on the Nairobi Social calendar and there are plenty of lively social events in town for the duration of the matches.
The Safari Sevens is now a world recognized tournament in the global sevens rugby series. In the international arena, the Kenya rugby seven-a-side team has had a good run in the IRB Seven’s series. Kenya is primarily well known for her world class long distance runners, but now, the country can boast of a fine sevens rugby squad and a tournament as big as the team itself. For rugby fans in Kenya, the Safari Sevens is a great chance to see Kenya’s top players in action against some of the best teams in the region and internationally on home soil.
Visitors to Kenya during the Safari Sevens can enjoy thrilling rugby on the field and fantastic safari options before and after the sevens, plenty of action and excitement on and off the pitch.
Lewa Downs, a private ranch and rhino conservation area, hosts an annual marathon in June through the property. This race is run over a bush course that winds its way across open plains, through forest and hills. The race is a charity fund-raiser set up to raise money for the conservation of wildlife, in particular rhinos. The event attracts many international competitors, and is open to both professional and amateur runners.
The Lewa marathon is a race with a difference, often watched form the roadside by many of the species it has been set up to protect.
Is a cycling event held each September at Lake Nakuru National Park
To Hell’s Gate on a wheelbarrow is an annual Corporate Team Building challenge whose primary objective is to raise funds for the construction of a Conservation Education Centre in Hell’s Gate National Park.
Held in September
Every year the picturesque hills and plains of Maasai Mara come alive during what has come to be known as the most spectacular show on Earth. One of the seven wonders of the modern world, the wildebeest migration.
The annual journey for survival sets out from the vast Serengeti plains in Tanzania, where more that 1.4 million wildebeest and further hundreds of thousand zebra and gazelle warm their spindly limbs to embark on a migration journey covering over 18000 miles . In a seemingly choreographed clockwise fashion, the grazers move in scenic grace in pursuance of water and greener pasture while predators keep on tow, presenting a constant danger.
Lions, cheetah, leopards follow ready to pounce on any wildebeest that strays a bit off the heard, or is may be too weak to handle the journey. The predators know better than jump into a mass of over a million hoofed mammals.
Migration is part and parcel of a wildebeest life. Some people call grazers the bonafide nomad. At the close of July the wildebeest would normally have cleared the better part of the western corridor for and venture north. At the end of August the herds gather at the ranging Mara River, here they have to face real prospects of either drowning or being mailed by hordes crocodile. The ones that manage to cross reside at the Mara awaiting the advent of short rains, before embarking on the journey back to the sprawling grandeur of the Serengeti. The masses surges back to the fresh pasture in Serengeti around November.
African Thrills would like you to join this migration spectacle and thus offer range of choice for accommodation within and around Maasai Mara. From the game lodges to safari camps the choice is yours. We will also organize superb safari options that will leave you yearning for more ….. our activities include safari drives, nature walks, enchanting balloon safari, bush breakfast, bush dinners, picnic in the wild, sun downer…….we will ensure that your stay in the Mara is truly memorable.