Eighty five cars are due to leave Nairobi on Thursday (27 March) at the start of what many consider to be the world's toughest motor rally.
GV Mechanics working on cars (Alpine Renault workshop) (3 shots)
SV Car no. 2 (Lancia) around circuit
TV PAN Car no. 4 (Colt Lancer) along road
SV PAN Car no. 33 (Colt Lancer) past camera
GV Hard of elephants and car no. 14 (Datsun) drives past
SV Car no. 60 (Moskovitch) past wilderbeasts
SV Moskovitch towards lioness
GV Elephants and Moskovitch circuits them
Initials CL/2246 CL/2302
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Eighty five cars are due to leave Nairobi on Thursday (27 March) at the start of what many consider to be the world's toughest motor rally.
The Safari Rally will cover nearly 6,000 kilometres, (3,700 miles) in five days and take in much of Kenya's roughest countryside.
The route is almost entirely on dirt roads, taking in mountain tracks, river splashes, mud, semi desert and mountains.
The rally used to be called the East African Safari until the Tanzanian and Ugandian sections were eliminated last year.
Since it started in 1953, the rally has only once been won by a non East African driver. That was Hannu Mikkola of Sweden in 1972.
This year, however, experts are predicting local drivers will be hard pressed, with the strongest challenges coming from the works entered Italian Lancia team, the French Alpine-Renault team and the French Peugeots.
No experts are overlooking however the local driver, Joginder Singh, "the flying sikh", who won his second Safari last year.
He'll be driving a Colt Lancia this year, the same as last year.
When President Jomo Kenyatta flags the first car off, the entrants will have almost 55 hours of almost non stop driving ahead of them at an average speed of about 100 kilometres an hour (60 m.p.h.)