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Roaming Africa Tours and 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 tests the speed and strength of the camels, and the handling abilities of their owners or jockeys. Its one of the unique travel experiences in Kenya and it is held annually, around midyear, just outside of Maralal Town; it is a great attraction for many International visitors and locals alike. Its a serious sport with a wonderful spectacle with a fusion of colours, cultures and marvellous animals: all competing in the desert for the honours of having the top camel in the world.
If camel riding is not for you there is also a bike race or a 10 Km running race, where you can take in the spectacular landscape of the Samburu County as you compete over a demanding course. The bike race attracts a mixture of world class bikes and local amateurs, on bikes that don’t always manage to see the finish line.The Maralal Derby Event also features , donkey rides, local cultural dancing displays and stalls where curios and handicrafts are available. The competition, raging since 1990, pits the best international jockeys and their one-humped friends against the reigning Kenyan champions.
Maralal Derby Event 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.
Yare Camel Club and Camp 3km is located south of the township of Maralal in northern Kenya. In addition to the camel races you will also find cycling races, donkey rides for the timid, darts, different challenge events, local dancing displays and stalls. The camel races are broken into two main events over a number of days.The first of them being Novices and Amateurs, so don’t expect to be just a spectator on the side lines, you have the option to hire a camel and handler for the day, saddle up and join in for this rapid, furious and hairy 10km ride on the back of a beast. The most challenging race is Elite Camel Race which is, a 42km marathon over a measured distance, passing the Maralal Township and running through semi-desert environments. No handlers or assistants are allowed to be used; you are left to the mercy of the desert and your own devices or imagination.
Depart Nairobi in the early morning to begin the long drive towards Maralal via Nyahururu. We stop at Thompson falls to visit the spectacular falls (entry fee at extra cost) before continuing further north. We enjoy a picnic lunch en route and as we approach Maralal town; we pass Mugie ranch where you sometimes spot wildlife along the road. Giraffes, zebra and elephant have all been spotted as you drive past. We arrive Maralal safari lodge in the early evening in preparation for camp set up (cold night). Alternatively there is the possibility to upgrade to rooms.
Maralal safari lodge is owned and operated by AFRICALITY, a UK registered charity and all proceeds from your visit support the wildlife. We are 100% not-for-profit.
Experience wildlife as you’ve never seen it before as the animals approach within a few meters of the cabins, monkeys clamber on the roofs and more. Guests love opening their doors and seeing zebra, eland and impala grazing on the lawns, or hearing the leopards and lions roar in the night.
We offer 14 luxurious Swiss chalet style rooms, each equipped with a fireplace and a private balcony. There is also a swimming pool available. Meal plan: lunch & dinner
Day spent partaking in the event (main program to be released later by the event organizers). The race begins in the centre of town with a throng of camels at the at the start line. Flagged off by local dignitaries, the race begins with initial chaos as the camels break across the line. The less ‘professional’ camel jockeys often lose control of their over-excited animals which often decide to run the race in the completely opposite direction! A day of laughs and fun! Return back to Maralal safari lodge in the evening. Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Enjoy another entertaining day
The main even visit will be at Yare Safari Camel club with sundowner later. Return back to Maralal safari lodge
Break camp in the early morning and depart back to Nairobi; leaving the tranquil setting of Maralal safari lodge. Lunch en route and arrive Nairobi in the early evening. Meal plan: breakfast and lunch. End of services.
Most people camp over the weekend, travelling up from Nairobi on the friday night and travelling back on the Sunday.