Camel Derby

The Maralal International Camel Derby

Think: a single-humped animal that originated in East Africa, later spreading to Arabia, that is able to survive long periods without water, and able to withstand changes in body temperature that most other mammals would die from; this is the dromedary camel, and intriguing creature of the desert first domesticated 3,500 years ago and used since as an important pack animal. Sports Wave Africa Safaris takes you to The Maralal International Camel Derby which brings hundreds of beasts and their owners together in the desert near Maralal.

The Maralal International Camel Derby is both a serious sport and a wonderful spectacle: with entrants from Australia, America, New Zealand, Canada, England, France, Spain, Japan, South Africa and around the world, it is a fusion of colours, cultures and marvellous animals: all competing in the desert for the honours of having the top camel in the world. Hosted at the Yare Camel Club and Camp, 3 kilometres south of the township of Maralal,  The Maralal International Camel Derby tests the speed and strength of the camels, and the handling abilities of their owners or jockeys.

In addition, cycling races, donkey rides, local dancing displays and stalls where curios and handicrafts, among other things, are available. The theme of The The Maralal International Camel Derby is “Hit ‘em up, move ‘em out, raw hide” promising much exciting camel racing in the desert. The competition, raging since 1990, pits the best international jockeys and their one-humped friends against the reigning Kenyan champions.

The competition provides a useful way to promote awareness of increasing desertification: the rapid spread of deserts inland, eroding arable lands, occurring as a result of increasing industrial pollution and climate change. Two events take place over a number of days, making The Maralal International Camel Derby, a great festive few days of superb spectacle. Join in the fun by hiring a camel and a handler for the day, and enter the amateur races over 10 kilometres for a fun ride through the desert. The elite race is 42 kilometres, passing through the Maralal Township and semi-desert environments.

Enter the The Maralal International Camel Derby to discover just how versatile these creatures of the desert are. Finely tuned to withstand the most arid of conditions, camels will amaze you at how far they can go; their bodies have adapted to desert conditions, making them the ultimate vessels that glide effortlessly through the desert.For the fun filled road trip to maralal, participation in the Carmel Derby and return to Nairobi please talk to us and well make it more than your wildest dreams.


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