Maralal Annual Camel Derby

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The Annual Camel Derby in Maralal is an epic Kenyan event, the ultimate race of skill and endurance with a Camel, enjoy our blog!

When you go on a Kenya Safari, it is not just about the endless savannah, or the kilometres of pristine beaches that fringe the coastline.

It is also about the unique cultures and events that the country offers, some quite balmy. One of those events is the Annual Camel Derby in the Maralal area, a remote desert outpost in Samburu County.

This event has put this sleepy little town on the world map. For the other 360 days of the year it is back to being a sleepy little Samburu town, but for a few days of the year during the month of August, locals and tourists gather from all over the world to watch or take part in a unique event, the Camel Derby.

Camels are common up in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya; alternatively known as ‘Ships of the Desert’ these ungainly beasts can go days without water in the hot and dry conditions of the world’s driest regions.

Maralal is a haven for nomadic cultures, and that includes travellers from all over the globe visiting on their Kenyan Safaris. The single humped dromedary camel is an essential part of life for many of Northern Kenya’s nomadic people.

Each year, the Camel Derby brings colour and action to the streets of Maralal as the finest Camels in the district are gathered for the big race. While most of Kenya’s camel rearing communities do not ride them- using them as pack animals- they are excellent handlers and judges of an animal’s strength and potential.

Winning the Derby is a great local honour, and each year the title is fiercely contested. For anyone in the region around this time, attending the Derby is a must. The three day race event is a chance to experience culture, colour, action and adventure first hand.

This is not just a spectator sport - if you are going to attend the derby, why not saddle up and join in?

We can tailor make a safari for you to coincide with this unique event.  Contct Steph on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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