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Maralal Travel Guide

Camel Derby

Maralal is an ideal place for camel safaris, camels are perfectly adapted to this landscape, and they are used as pack animals rather than riding, but camels with saddles are usually supplied for those who want to ride. As a real camel country, each year, the Camel Derby brings color and action to the streets of Maralal.

The World famous Maralal International Camel Derby has been running since 1990, organizers use the event to raise funds towards alleviating some of the problems surrounding water and education of the nomadic communities living around Maralal. Serves also to combat the degradation and desertification of the environment.

The Maralal Camel Derby is held from July to October every year, during the three day event, spectators from all over the world come to Maralal. Amateurs and professionals from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England, France, Spain, Japan, South Africa, and United States among other countries have participated in the race.

The Derby is the most prestigious camel race in Africa, a great social event and the major event on the Maralal calendar, everyone is invited. Local and international, amateur and professional competitors take part in the race.

The race is based at Yare Safaris Maralal Lodge, from where the races will start. The amateur class is open to anyone wishing to ride; you have the option to pick your own camel for a few thousand Kenyan shillings. The professional Camel derby is a 42 kilometers marathon passing through the Maralal township road and running through semi-desert environments.

Winning the Derby is a great honour, many professional racers come from all over the world to compete each year and some of the finest racing camels are seen during the competition.

In addition to the Derby, a cycling race is also held concurrently with the derby, this race attracts dedicated professionals on world class bikes, as well as local amateurs. You will find also a triathlon, donkey rides, local dancing displays, stalls and other different events.

The Maralal Camel Derby is an entertaining festival that brings life to this small town.


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