The Safari, which means journey in the Swahili language, was regarded as one of motorsport’s most prestigious and celebrated events of its time, before departing the championship in 2002.
It was notorious for being by far the WRC’s toughest round. Rocky and rutted open-road gravel tracks, unpredictable weather which could transform dry and dusty trails into glutinous mudbaths in minutes and a route three times longer than other rallies created hazards unmatched elsewhere – but also ensured a Safari win was one of motorsport’s most coveted prizes for manufacturers.
The nature of the rally, organised by the WRC Safari Rally Project, a joint venture between the Kenyan Government Sports Ministry and the Kenya Motor Sports Federation, has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC. But its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic African wildlife.