The one-of-a-kind rhino charge exercise at Sabor in Marigat Baringo South Constituency got underway early Saturday morning, with Baringo Senator Gideon Moi officially declaring the event open.
However, as the day wore on, one of the speeding cars veered off the road and crashed into a tree that was hoisting a beehive unleashing swarms of angry bees at spectators.
The unexpected turn of events caused spectators to leap to their feet, fleeing the bees’ wrath.
Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis, who was giving a live interview, had to pause in the middle of his message as he scampered for safety.
“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.
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.
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.
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.