Win-Win campaign – PORSCHE 911: RALLY FOR TUSK – supports funding for wildlife organizations in Kenya and beyond. Tusk is a UK-based organization that supports existing wildlife programs in Africa which have proven successful.
New Jersey-based Kim and Mitch McCullough, right, are currently running their ‘72 Porsche 911 in the legendary East African Safari Classic Rally, in an effort to raise funding for wildlife organizations in Kenya. Based on the collapse of tourism due to COVID-19, donations for conservation efforts have been severely impacted. The 9-day rally has reached its halfway point and will cover a total of nearly 5,000 km, crossing borders between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The origins of the Safari Rally, hugely popular among Kenyans and worldwide off-road competitors, date back to 1953. Now restricted to cars manufactured before 1985, “the world’s toughest classic rally,” as its organizers are calling it, is celebrating its 10th year as an event for classic cars.
According to automotive journalist Mitch McCullough, who has spent his lifetime dreaming of the chance to compete in the grueling endurance event, he and his wife Kim created their own PORSCHE 911: RALLY FOR TUSK campaign to generate awareness and, more important, donations, which will be matched by the McCullough’s through their donation page @ https://support.tusk.org/campaigns?id=Rally-for-Tusk
“We want to support local conservation efforts through Tusk’s mission which has been formed to amplify the impact of conservation initiatives across Africa by supporting the most effective local organizations, investing in their in-depth knowledge and expertise. The conservation projects provide not just protection for Africa’s wildlife, but livelihoods and wellbeing for thousands of people across the continent,” said Mitch.
The rally is 2,600 miles long, some of it over the roughest terrain imaginable. Unpaved special stages, where drivers go as fast as possible, make up more than 1,200 miles. The event is grueling, demanding complete concentration of driver and co-driver for long hours at a time. The McCulloughs are in a ‘72 Porsche 911 prepared by UK-based Tuthill Porsche for the Safari Rally.
“As we motor through Kenya, we want to contribute to successful conservation programs so the wildlife in Kenya is here for future generations,” said Kim McCullough, an automotive marketing executive. “There is a lot of great news for wildlife in Kenya thanks to the amazing work that has been done by organizations Tusk supports, such as the Big Life Foundation, Tsavo Trust, and the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.”
Fences between vast government-owned wildlife parks and massive private conservation preserves have been removed, allowing large animals to roam freely around nearly boundless tracts of land.
The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary adopts orphaned elephants then prepares them for a return to life with wild elephant herds. Reteti buys goats milk from Kenyan farmers, providing income for them. So, instead of killing the baby elephant, the farmer now calls Reteti to extract the elephant and eventually return it to the herd. And according to the McCullough’s, it’s a win for everyone.
The Big Life Foundation is stopping unscrupulous poachers in their tracks by hiring armed Maasai rangers who patrol in 14 vehicles, two aircraft, and at 30 permanent outposts to arrest poachers.
Tsavo Trust protects the “super tuskers,” the final gene pool of elephants whose tusks reach the ground, from poaching. Tsavo Trust oversees an area the size of Switzerland, giving these amazing elephants as well as endangered black rhinos a right to life in the wild.
“An American dollar goes a long way in Kenya, and no contribution is too small,” McCullough said. The McCulloughs are matching all donations to the “Rally for Tusk” program.
Just $275 buys enough goats milk to feed a baby elephant for three days; $215 Employs an armed anti-poaching ranger for a month. A donation automatically generates a letter from Tusk that can be used for tax deductions.
While the East African Safari Classic Rally origins trace back to the early 1950s, with its inaugural rally named “The Coronation Rally,” the event first gained global competitors in 1957 and became regarded by the FIA as an international motor sport. In 1960, the name changed to the East African Safari Rally, crossing borders between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Re-invented again in 2003 as the East African Safari Classic Rally, the event became regional in nature but recreated the spirit of rallying from its heyday. Today, with nearly 50 entrants in classic rallying cars ranging from Porsche 911s to Ford Escorts, Datsun Violet GTs and 240/280 Z’s, as well as VW Golf, Renault and Peugeots, the rally continues to entice adventurous competitors from all over the world.
For more information about this event & PORSCHE 911: RALLY FOR TUSK, please visit https://www.eastafricansafarirally.com/