AN ENDURO RACE AND THE DISCOVERY OF THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY HIDDEN GEMS.

It started off with an invite from Tuliza Cottages to spend sometime at their amazing cottages in Elementaita. Last minute change of plans and the journey to Tuliza cottages would start off with a weekend camping experience that came with the least information. Being the adventurous duo we are, we added our two teens into the plan and took off. Our experience during our two years’ travels, is that too much planning is similar to “too many cooks” and just spoils the broth/fun. The only confirmed information about the camping was; a race and people who wanted to meet us. That sealed the deal. But when my nephew called to ask about the race, I realised I did not know if it was mountain bikes or motorbikes. I had concluded, if the guys want to meet us, then, it must be motorbikes.

1st Destination, Malu Conservancy for the camping and the enduro race.

Saturday morning, we packed what we needed and got into our car en-route to Malu Conservancy. We had a map and did not bother checking weather or road condition. Though we really don’t plan much, weather, road condition and route plan is a must. We blame this oversight on lockdown. Looks like we shut down everything since the lockdown. This was our first adventure/travel since March 15th 2020.

What you need to know: – From Nairobi, avoid the road construction between Waiyaki Way and Limuru junction. Due to construction, this section is busy and very chaotic. Use either the Kikuyu bypass or the Limuru road (also has road construction going on but we found less traffic on that route). From there, it is just the usual Nakuru highway madness of very reckless, impatient and zero courtesy drivers. The drive is however on all tarmac which should lessen your headache until you turn off at the Great Rift Lodge turning. You will take the opposite direction and head towards the bridge. Go right through under the bridge. By this time, you should have engaged your four wheel drive and if you are on a two wheel drive like us, it is time to abort the trip especially if it is raining. If it is not raining and no rain expected, make sure your car has a reasonable ground clearance for some rocks along the way. Your petrol, tire pressure and engine check should be on point. There is no rescue or petrol station from here. The off-road experience will be for about 11 kilometers.

The enduro community is simply amazing. From pushing us out of the mud, calling for help, offering to tow us, storing our car for the night and driving us to the campsite for the remaining 7 kilometers. There is so much love in this community am signing up as support crew, only because I do not think I am fit to ride the enduro, otherwise, that is what I would have gone for. We finally arrived at an amazing camp, set up by Punda Milia. They should be your plug in for all your camping trips. They have everything you need for camping from overland trucks and the set up can include tents, lounge, fire (this time no fires were allowed) and a kitchen. You can also let them know what you are looking for.

Meeting our host – Martin.

While waiting for rescue, a young man riding a KTM 350 – two stroke enduro bike came by. He seemed to know us well, we had never met him before. He would end up being the scrutineer for the next 7 kilometers. He played the role of either helping, calling for help or advising. Not even the four wheel drives were lucky on this road. Majority ended up in the ditches or with their diffs tightly hooked on the rocks. The rain had literally wreaked havoc on the road. And this is how we got to meet Martin Theuri for the first time. Right on the track, doing what he does best; Enduro riding!

Little is talked, published or mentioned about the Kenya Enduro riders. I visited the East African Motor Sports Club website where I thought I would find more about the Enduro racing in Kenya. Though the website home page states “Welcome to the East African Motor Sports Club, The oldest and largest motorcycle club focused on Enduro and Motocross in Kenya, there was nothing about Enduro. So I decided to interview Martin and here more about the sport.

Watch the full interview here. He is an inspiring young man.

Click the links to see the great getaway destinations we discovered. Tuliza Cottages, Punda Milia and Malu Conservancy.

Leave a Reply