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 indeed. One such event is the annual Camel Derby held every year in August in the Maralal region of Samburu County. The three day event has put this otherwise sleepy little town on the world map. Alternatively known as Ships of the Desert these ungainly beasts can go days without water in the hot and dry conditions of the worlds driest regions and are vital for the survival of the nomadic tribes that live there. Camels are generally not ridden by the nomads of the desert; instead they are used to transport goods, their strength and endurance prevail in the harsh conditions.
The annual derby is an action packed period where the strongest, fastest camels are gathered from the around the area and chosen for the race. To win the prestigious title is quite something and therefore a lot of effort is put into training the winning beast, everyone hoping that their camel will be the champion on the day. It is not only about the race itself; it is also about witnessing the colourful Samburu people that flock in to be a part of this yearly tradition. Each year travellers come from all corners of the globe to both witness and take part in this extremely colourful event. Tourists even book their
Kenyan Safaris to coincide with the annual race. Picking the winning camel is purely down to luck on the day and skill of the rider. If you are around the area this is an event not to be missed, in fact why not join in, with a little luck on your side, you could be the next Camel Derby champion!