Migration Gravel Race. Attention wildlife crossing!
The competitive gravel stage race in Kenya's Maasai Mara, will be more than the most memorable cycling experience one will ever live and supports a greater socio-ecological cause.
June 23 - 26, 2021 | 4 days | 4 stages | 650km | 8000 m
The Maasai Mara... an area of pristine savannah in southwestern Kenya. A landscape characterised by grassy plains and rolling hills, criss-crossed by rivers. A nature reserve where lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras and hippos live. Where wildebeest herds cross the open spaces during their annual migration and the bright red cloaks of the Masai tribes characterise the image of the surrounding villages.
What supposedly sounds like a photo safari is the place that will demand the utmost from experienced gravel racers during the "Migration Gravel Race". A four day semi supported stage race across the wilds of the Maasai Mara, Kenya, taking place June 23 - 26, 2021.
The 650 km route courses over single track, game trails, red clay, and rough hard pack gravel. At an average daily elevation of 1900 m through Maasai villages, plains, rivers, mountains and across big game country.
Because unknown wilderness is never completely safe, the race and route have been carefully planned and scouted by the very experienced team of adventure tourism experts, who have been organising trips in this area for over a decade. Besides a proper briefing and wilderness code of conduct, all contestants will receive a gps tracker, provided by the organisation. There will be re-supply points, rangers to ensure safety and each stage ends at a secure designated check point.
In order to guarantee the necessary basic fitness and to ensure that at least one third of the limited places are available for African participants, the competitors will be pre-approved to race. The entry ticket to an unforgettable experience.
International entry fee: 950 €
(East) African entry fee: 625 €
A race to conserve nature
The Migration Gravel Race, pays off on a serious matter: The delicate balance between conservation and local land use. Riding through an area as pristine as the Maasai Mara, one can clearly see the impact of humans on the land and the migratory patterns of wildlife. Considering how land was set aside for conservation in Kenya, mostly during the colonial period and who is benefiting from the revenue generated from tourists visiting that land, it today clearly favors the elites and those whose landholdings remain from the colonial period. As a consequence, “conservation” is an unword among certain factions of the local population and regarded as just another tool to dispossess the historic custodians of the land.
Being concerned with the welfare of wild animals is only one side of the coin. The other side is the legitimate question of the local population, why the protection of animals is above the basic provision of their own family.Cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts have a responsibility to show the rightful owners of this land the intrinsic economic value of undeveloped land.
Without overstating the impact of a four-day race, the aim of the Migration Gravel Race is to use this event as a tool to demonstrate that undeveloped land can be a meaningful source of income for local communities. Including local communities in the bounty of tourism, revenue is the only way to sustainably incentivize the preservation of the land and wildlife. The future of conservation lies in making local communities key stakeholders in the process. If cyclists, adventurers and tourists want to continue enjoying unspoiled vistas, money needs to be put where the values are. The Migration Gravel Race is aiming to be a first modest contribution to a new kind of conservation in Kenya. Additionally, 1/3 of the available race entries will be reserved for (East) African cyclists. Furthermore, a sum of the international rider's entry fees will be used for Kenyan Riders youth development. It's time to make cycling more inclusive and accessible.
Application and more information: www.migrationgravelrace.com
The MGR and the underlying Team Amani project aim to support inclusivity in the sport by creating more race opportunities for East African riders, explicitly in collaboration with local partners.
Learn more about Team Amani: www.teamamani.com
Please find a detailed background interview here: bikepacking.com
Royalty free images / gallery for direct download (© MGR – @saltlake_lian): HERE
Press release for download:
202012_MGR_Save the Date.docx
DOCX - 133 Kb
If you have questions or need more information, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Dani O. Team