A Different Kind of Derby
The Maralal Camel Derby offers a new way to tour Kenya. Unlike traditional wildlife safaris where you sit in a Land Cruiser and scour the plains of a national reserve, in this international camel derby, you explore the region from the back of a camel. This international event brings together races, tribes, and social classes to see how far the beast of the desert can go.
Maralal Camel Derby 2014
The camel race takes place annually, in August. Maralal is about 248km from Nairobi, and it is accessible by road and by air. The race attracts jockeys, amateur and professional, as well as corporate bodies and tourists who just want to see it all happen. Locals also join spectators for a glimpse of this hotly contested race. Locals act as handlers for the jockeys.
Mingle with the Samburu and other tribes that inhabit this region and you will know a thing or two about their nomadic lifestyle. The Samburu have a rich culture defined by their way of dressing, cultural activities and social relations. Discover more about the Samburu as you buy curios and beadwork in the villages.
This derby is a charity event aimed at improving the life of the community. The funds go to provision of water and education services. As the jockeys go round the town, a cycling race also takes place as part of the day’s activities. You can take part in both activities by joining the triathlon, which involves running, cycling and camel riding all together as one activity.
The Maralal Camel Derby is a three days affair, and you can spend the night within the town in Maralal Safari Lodge or Yare Camel Club and Camp among other venues. Enjoy the scenic views, the wildlife and courteous hospitality of this region.
This camel derby is the first of its kind. Add it to your list of adventures during a safari in Kenya and you will have explored every inch and breath of the country. Maralal is one of the towns in the northern section of the country. Characterised by dry weather conditions from January to December, dust storms and little to no rainfall, the northern towns of Kenya as not as popular as the coast or the Great Rift Valley. However, there are unique attractions in Maralal and Samburu that you ought to see. Additionally, this region is home to the rare five species.