With just a week left before the world’s top drivers zoom off in the WRC Safari Rally, Naivasha town in Nakuru County is reaping the benefits.
A spot-check reveals that several major hotels and luxury camps in the town are fully booked, as crews, fans and media from around the world gather for the rallying extravaganza. Hoteliers aren’t the only ones laughing all the way to the bank.
A spot-check by Business Today also revealed a major spike in AirBnB rental prices in Naivasha ahead of the event. Hosts on AirBnB are charging as much as Ksh15,000 a night for a stay in a one-bedroom apartment during the rally weekend, capitalizing on the fully-booked hotels and the search for accomodation.
Traders and vendors in the area are also set to reap big. Small businesses including restaurants and eateries are cashing in.
Many Kenyans are headed to the town for a fun-filled weekend with several events lined up – including the 30th edition of the popular Koroga Festival, this time to be headlined by reggae star Tarrus Riley.
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The festival has attracted the backing of major corporate sponsors including KCB Group, a long-standing supporter of rallying events in the country.
Thousands of revellers are expected to attend the festival hosted by Capital FM. It is set to take place the Garden on Moi South Lake Road, Naivasha. It will be officially known as the WRC Koroga Festival following the signing of a deal with the organizers of the rally.
“The WRC Koroga Festival will be a four-day food, fashion, and music festival that will bring us the best talent from across the continent to showcase the best we have from here in Kenya and around the region. We will bring together the best Kenyan DJ’s, and the best artists and create an opportunity to enjoy the Safari Rally on a totally different level,” Capital Group Commercial Director Farida Idris announced.
Social media has been awash with Kenyans making plans to paint Naivasha red over the weekend.
Last year, as the Safari Rally made its return to the WRC calendar after a two-year absence, the Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed-led Sports Ministry had projected that it would inject around Ksh6 billion into Kenya’s economy.
Kenya secured rights to host the Safari Rally every year until 2026.