Camel racing is a popular sport in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar- essentially most of the Middle East and Australia. And now Kenya is in on the action.
Held mostly for sports betting and as a tourist attraction, camel racing is whereby- as the name suggests- contestants ride camels and race them.
The International Camel Derby is held yearly since 1990 in Kenya near Maralal, Samburu County.
It is the most prestigious camel racing event in Kenya which attracts local and international camel riders. It celebrates Samburu culture and is held by the Samburu County Government. This event is sponsored by Magical Kenya and Kenya Commercial Bank.
The race begins in the centre of the town. Local leaders flag it off and the camels break off in whichever direction they choose. Amateurs often find themselves going where the camel wants to go. Seasoned professionals, though, know how to guide their camels to the finishing line by talking to their camels. Spectators report that they use English, Swahili or Samburu.
Cycling races are also held concurrently. Mountain bikers cover challenging terrain where they cycle their hearts out for glory.
The event is one of the most unique and is held in the resplendent Maralal town where views rival those from photo-shopped post cards.
If you missed the event this year, perhaps you should mark your calendar for the next Samburu County camel race update. The 2017 docket was already held from 31 August to 3 September.