Safari Rally guru Nagin Chouhan passes on

Nagin Chouhan -who for donkey’s years served as Mount Kenya area coordinator of the iconic Safari Rally- has passed on in his Nairobi residence aged 85 years.

Chauhan was an indefatigable supporter of the old type Safari events during the days of Bharat Bhardwaj.

What’s more, he was an avid collector of vintage cars and famously known for his Dodge Kingway at the prestigious Concours d’Elegance.

Nagin also worked with KWS and Income Tax Committee after he was appointed to the position by the late President Moi. He played golf, had a trout farm and loved going on safaris.

He was a charitable person who would never shirk from helping his local Nanyuki community, a Charter Lion, an old Free Mason and the list goes on and on.

“His passion for vintage cars was out of this world. Bhardwaj appointed him and trusted him immensely for his diligence and commitment towards motorsport,” Nagin’s daughter Sonal Chauhan explained.

Back in the day, Nagin was instrumental in bringing rallying up north, by and large, spreading the vibe with verve and vigor. He died on 24th November 2020 due to kidney and heart failure.

Born on 17 May 1935, Nagin spent 80yrs in Nanyuki before retiring his business at the Mount Kenya Service Station.

He was professionally a banker with Barclays Bank and instrumental in the opening of several northern branches before starting his personal business in the late 70s.

Nanyuki started off with Clubman Rally Championship events better known as CRCs then upgraded to the elite Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC).

The fabled Mt. Kenya Rally (presently Nanyuki Rally), ran under the “Motorsports Section” of Nanyuki Sports Club with the stewardship of Nagin Chouhan, then the Mount Kenya Area Chairman of the prestigious WRC Safari Rally. Bimal Patel took over the chairmanship of the Motor Sport section from Nagin in 1995 after returning from studies.

Between 1986 and 1997, Nanyuki rallies ran as part of the second tier Clubman’s Rally Championship (CRC).

Nanyuki ran it’s maiden KNRC on Saturday August 29, 1998 when legendary Jonathan Toroitich “JT” (son of former President Moi) emerged the winner in a 2000cc Toyota Celica.
The Chouhan family played a pivotal role in the development of the rally-sport in Laikipia region. Nagin’s daughter Sonal served as PRO for Nanyuki Rally. Nagin’s son Hitesh Chouhan was a rally competitor and an organiser.

Hitesh participated in many KNRCs as navigator over and above gracing the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally.

Nagin ventured into East African Safari Rally activities in the late 1950s, a few years after the Coronation Safari.

Former President Kibaki awarded him the “Order of the Grand Warrior” for all his charitable and conservation work in Laikipia region.