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East Africa Classic rally just five days away as organisers release final route details

By Lynette Matheka
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
Onkar Rai on his way to winning the Meru Rally. PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

The eagerly awaited battle between man and machine at the ninth edition of the East Africa Safari Classic Rally is five days away and organisers have released details of the route that promises an exciting nine days for crew and spectators.

The rally, which will be flagged off at Sarova Hotel in Mombasa on November 27, will see the over 20 drivers who have entered so far cover 4,500km between Kenya and Tanzania with 1,700km of those being the competitive distance spread across 24 sections.

Crews will be expected to cover between 390 and 500km, both competitive and transport in a day.

Tanzania will host two of the longest competitive stages, one being the 156km section eight that will begin at Monduli and end at Mtu wa Mbu in Arusha. Section 14, a 155km stretch, will start at Horohoro and conclude at Magozoni in Tanga.

The two stages have been singled out by the organisers as areas that will test the crews’ endurance, stamina and concentration to the limit.

The first stage is between Mombasa and Voi where drivers will tackle 76km on a very fast wide road with adverse bends and blind brows for 42km. The next 20km narrows and if wet, could prove very challenging as the terrain changes from the red soil to black cotton.

The final stretch is on an open road. The stage has been designed to help crews settle down. Section two will test crews’ navigation as it is set on a fast twisty road with many hidden holes and ruts over brows.

These give way to a thick bush with blind diverts and the typical Tsavo with broken tree stumps scattered all over which could damage cars. The last section of the day will see drivers ascend and decent the iconic Taita Hills characterised by hair-pin bends.

The second day has drivers crossing over to Arusha from Voi as they traverse fast and narrow roads which open into slow twisty rocky ones.

The final section of the day is a 117km endurance stage with blind and broken concrete drifts opening to rough rocky roads with blind ditches. Drivers then climb to Monduli which is dotted by hairpin bends too.

On Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, drivers run in sections across Arusha and Tanga before crossing back to Voi where they will have another day of action with the final day concentrated in Mombasa. 

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