If you want to know that camels can run very fast, ask camel herd boys but seeing for yourself will be the best experience if you have never seen camels racing. Maralal international camel derby is once in a year opportunity for you to enjoy camel racing among other activities during the event.
Kicking up the dust from 13th-16th August, Maralal international camel derby is set to a unique and adventures three-day event that is centered on camel riding.
This year’s annual event is again going to be held in Maralal town, a remote market town on a hillside in the rift valley of Kenya. It is developing very first due to many investors in the area and tourism activities that are booming in the county. The event attracts both local and international visitors as well as camel riders. For past years camel derby has attracted camel riders from England, South Africa, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and America among others.
Maralal is the ideal place for the derby because it is located at the heart of Camel County and is also a gateway to the untamed region of northern Kenya where people still go with seasons. The town is 350km from Nairobi city and it’s accessible through Nyahururu- Thomson fall by a tarmac road and passable all-weather road. It is an ideal stopover for people going to Lake Baringo via Maralal or visitors going to Lake Turkana and the famous Koobi fora National Reserve. It is home to Samburu people, cousins to Masai who occupy low rift valley areas of Masai Mara, Narok to some parts of Tanzania.
Camel has been the source of transport for Samburu and their neighbours Rendille. The annual camel derby is thus a celebration of the local way of life. The vehicle of choice is the single humped dromedary.
The 21km camel race event is set up for both the amateurs and pro riders rather than just watching from the side-line. Apart from camel derby the refreshing cultural experiences is other fact that will make you not to miss this year’s camel derby. Those who attend this event experience local dance from Samburu and Turkana community, Samburu Manyatta, traditional ceremonies as well as Samburu and Turkana hand-made art. Other adventures events beside the prestigious camel riding are the bike cycling competition and a lot of fun for the kids as well as local delicacies.
The event brings life and colour and celebration to the usually remote town as well as visitors who will enjoy all aspects of the event. As more visitors experience the event the more it will be beneficially to the local community. If you are visiting Kenya in early August Maralal international camel derby is a must-go-event