25th November 2010 marked an important day in the Rhino Charge calendar. Rhino Chargers, sponsors and friends of Rhino Ark convened at the Carnivore, Simba Saloon for the premiere of the ‘Spirit of the Charge 2010’ film. Hundreds turned up for this fun filled event that was characterised by delectable food, competition awards and fine wine.
Car 38 guests at the film premiere
Gavin Bennett, Master of Ceremonies and editor of AUTONEWS introduced the film- a 26min production that is now on sale for Kshs 2,000.
The event’s co-sponsor, the Carnivore provided a grand buffet and barbecue. Live entertainment was performed by The Itch band. Prize giving for the top five fund-raisers and Rhino Charge website photo competition awards also took place. Fuji Kenya Ltd donated the photo competition prizes while Access Kenya sponsored the top five fund-raisers prizes including t shirts and caps. The top fund-raisers this year were Alan Mckittrick- Car 5, Chris Welles- Car 10, Mark Tilbury- Car 35, Ben Woodhams- Car 39 and Sean Avery- Car 38 who also emerged first overall. Rhino Ark’s Valerie Gunputrav and Kate Mwangi presented the gifts to the Chargers.
Valerie & Kate present a prize to Sean Avery & Harry Brainch of Car 38
Closing the formal proceedings of the event, Rhino Ark Management Committee Chairman Colin Church reminded the gathering that although fence construction was completed, the much greater long-term challenge of fence maintenance remained.
The UK Rhino Charge was recently held on 3rd October 2010 at Pippingford Park, Nutley, East Sussex, TN22 3HW. As in previous years the event was organized by John Bowden, Rhino Ark UK Trustee and Rhino Charger.
In previous years competing vehicles have ranged from a 1950 Series One Landy, a 1958 Hotchkiss Jeep and an Auto Union Munga through various Range Rovers, Land Rover Series 2s, 3s and hybrids to a brace of Discovery’s and a new Land Rover 110 Station Wagon.
This year, a total of £9,407.97 was raised.
Pictures by Hugh Wright
The communities that gave no cost labour time to build sections of the fence near their farms on Mt Kipipiri – Kipkiama Cecaffe and Gita- won the East African Wildlife Society’s Michael Werikhe aware for services for conservation in the Aberdares presented to them by President Kibaki (centre).
The award is in memory of the great conservation pioneer, Michael Werikhe who in the nineteen eighties and nineties walked thousands of miles in Kenya, other African countries and all over the world to raise awareness at the plight of the Black Rhino threatened by the globally organized efforts to poach rhino for its horn. The choice of winner is made by the Rhino Charge Committee.
In the picture back centre is Professor Fred Owino, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on the Mau. Prof Owino is currently chairman of the EAWLS. At back right is the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Dr Noah Wekesa.
The perpetual trophy is created by the Kenyan artist Kioko. Each annual winner receives a replica donated by Rhino Ark.
Total’s Eco-challenge gave Rhino Ark a special award for its conservation work in the Aberdares . Total MD, Felix Majekodunmi (left) presents the award to Rhino Ark’s Eric Kihiu and Valerie Gunputrav at a ceremony held at Carnivore on November 24th 2009. Mr. Majekodunmi commended Rhino Ark’s outreach programmes for tree nurseries for fenceline communities in the Aberdares. This is the second such award Rhino Ark has received.
This year’s Quattro Charge held at a spectacular new venue- Lukenya, saw John Kanyali beat 43 other competitors, bagging a total of Kshs 130,000 that will go into his kitty for the 2010 Rhino Charge. The new venue was a real challenge with steep ascents and descents. The vibrant spectators cheered on as competitors steered through the rough terrain. 71 year old Jaswaran Sehmi came in second in his 69 year old 1940 ex-military jeep MB.
All 25 Charger entrants divided the net Kshs 1.2 million kitties to go towards their 2010 Charge entry fund raise. Total raised inclusive of running costs is Kshs 1.5 million.
Greetings All, and welcome to our Blog!
As all of us here at Rhino Ark are new to the idea of blogging, it has taken quite a while for us to get started!
The Aberdare Ecosystem is a precious resource, rich in flora and fauna, whose conservation I am very privileged to be part of. Through this blog we (Colin, James and I) hope to share our experiences as we continue in our quest to ensure it remains protected.
I look forward to being part of the blogging community and interacting with you all.
Red-collared widow bird spotted at Kiambogo in N. Aberdares