The world’s largest road rally charity, “Budapest-Bamako,” was proudly founded by
a Hungarian internet entrepreneur, Andrew Szabo on the 26 th December, 2005, where
forty-two teams lined up in Budapest for the inaugural run of the Budapest-Bamako.
Budapest-Bamako is a charity car race in Africa and the largest car rally in the world.
The rally is an assistance adventure and navigational race from Europe to Africa
aimed at meeting new people, helping the needy, sharing meals, drinks, stories, and
culture, visiting and donating gifts in local communities, having a good time with
like-minded people, and destroying stereotypes.
The 2024 Budapest-Bamako took off on the 26 th January 2024, from Budapest, the
capital city of Hungary, and participants will get a glimpse of the Touareg life and
Saharan cultures in Morocco. The rally will visit Mauritania’s most spectacular
places, with some classic destinations and pure Saharan driving. The grassy and
bushy savannas will welcome the rally in Senegal, the dry savannas will be replaced
by densely forested, wet green areas through the mountainous plateaus, including the
Fouta Djallon highlands in central Guinea.
From the Republic of Guinea, the rally will enter the lovely land of the Republic of
Sierra Leone, where His Excellency Dr. Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, and the
foresight and developmentally oriented Minister of Tourism and Culture Honorable
Nabeela F. Tunis, and the people of Sierra Leone will welcome them with joy and
The nation of Sierra Leone was identified to end the Budapest Bamako rally because
it has been identified by visitors as a pleasant and peaceful tourist destination where
palm trees are naturally lined with shinny sandy beaches and typical African villages
will always await patiently to welcome visitors.
Hon. Nabeela F. Tunis, staff, and volunteers of the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural
Affairs have put in motion a never-to-be forgotten welcome beach party with natural
seafood chefs and local musicians to grace the rally finishing ceremonies at the
Interestingly, in 2020, the humility and receptive nature of the people of Sierra
Leone, under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada, president
of the Republic of Sierra Leone, led the Budapest Bamako rally to break all previous
Seven hundred and thirty participants from 80 different countries entered the longest
and most ambitious edition of the rally that ended in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The
2020 line-up included a Hungarian priest and 68-year-old Hungarian operetta diva,
Osyyald Marika, and the Budapest Bamako rally’s founder, Andrew G. Szabo,
decided to take the rally to another West African destination of Sierra Leone.
For the first time in the rally’s history, teams had to drive across Guinea. The
Guinean authorities welcomed the rally with open arms, but amid political chaos and
anti-government protests in Labe led the organizers to change the route of the rally
through the town of Gaoal-Kindia and finally came to the rosy and humanly friendly
city of Freetown.
In 2020, the Budapest Bamako charity rally planted a fruit orchard in Sierra Leone. A
Romanian team delivered 5,000 school bags full of supplies to school children in
The 2022 rally was the longest, hottest, and wettest rally in the history of the event.
The start had to be postponed twice because of COVID-19 shutdowns in Morocco.
The rally finally started on the 21 st October 2022, at Budapest Airport in Budapest,
The rally registered 547 people and 247 teams from 75 countries. Unlike any other
previous Budapest-Bamako rally, it took 19 days and covered 9,432 kilometers.
Unlike in previous years, the participants had to cross the Sahara in October, when
daytime temperatures sometimes reached 50 degrees Celsius.
The oldest participant was 70-year-old Polish driver Julian Obricki, who returned to
Africa for the first time since the 1988 Dakar Rally. The rally traveled through
Guinea for the second time and finished in Sierra Leone.
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and members of the Sierra Leone
government gave a warm welcome to those who reached the finishing line in
Freetown, Sierra Leone.
In 2022, a solar electricity system was donated to the Emil Torday Elementary
School in Masiaka, and 2000 fruit trees were planted in the town of Masiaka.
More importantly, the Budapest Bamako has been fully covered from inception by
cable and satellite media outlets, including but not limited to the British media crews,
Hungarian national broadcaster RTL Klub etc.
The 2024 Budapest Bamako will be fully covered by the Afrique Europ Magazine
media crew led by Chief Editor Nkalulu Lokombe for the first time. This global
multilingual media outlet will publish the 2024 Budapest Bamako rally in French,
English, and Portuguese, respectively.
Editor-in-Chief of Afriqu’Europe magazine