29th edition of Maralal International Camel Derby begins

Written By: Claire Wanja

The event attracts participation from far and wide, both locally and internationally.

The 29th edition of the Maralal International Camel Derby has begun at the Yare Camel Club in Maralal, Samburu County.

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Making the announcement, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier has said the event which began on Thursday and ends this Sunday provides an opportunity for Kenya to showcase its diverse tourism product that spans beyond the safari and beach offering.

The Maralal International Camel Derby is organized annually to promote the endowment of Samburu County in different aspects of tourism  such as unique wildlife located in northern Kenya, sports, scenic and cultural tourism as well as natural resource conservation.

The event attracts participation from far and wide, both locally and internationally.

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Dr. Radier said, “Kenya is a destination that offers rich sports and cultural tourism attractions. The Maralal International Camel Derby is among the key events that showcase Kenya’s tourism diversity as a destination. The camel derby is now a calendar event that showcases the diversity of not only the various cultures but the unexplored tourism and other economic opportunities in the northern tourism circuit. KTB is proud to be associated with this event which has grown over the years into the only event of its kind in the world.”

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She added that KTB has been working with all counties to identify tourism products that either have previously not been showcased as well as those that require to be transformed into top travel experiences.

The KTB CEO said, “KTB is actively collaborating with the counties to help them understand how to package, position and sell their tourism products as export-ready products in order to enable to attract visitors that will experience the products as top experiences that are at a world class standard. Our partnership with Samburu County in the Maralal International Camel Derby is part of that effort to showcase Kenya’s tourism diversity.”

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Samburu County Governor, H.E. Mr. Moses Lenolkulal said the theme for this year’s Maralal International Camel Derby event is “Celebrating our unity in cultural diversity through sport tourism and community conservation”.

“The Maralal International Camel Derby has over the years promoted cohesion and stability in Samburu County. This year’s event will not only celebrate our unity in diversity but also raise the banner for sports tourism and the involvement of local communities in the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife heritage.”

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International participants are expected to be drawn from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Germany, United States of America, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Poland, China, Japan, India, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ghana.

This year’s event will offer a rich menu of activities ranging from: camel racing, cycling, anti-poaching campaign run, cultural exhibitions, and entertainment among other performances.

Among the sporting events that will feature in the 2018 Maralal International Camel Derby include camel races (10 km amateur, 5 km camel race amateur, 21 km professional camel race, 10 km inter-counties camel race), 10 km anti-poaching race, 21 km professional anti-poaching race, disabled persons race, 21 km mamba bike race, 21 km professional bike, 21 km mamba bike race, 21 km professional bike race, kids’ bike race (boys & girls), and triathlon individual and team events.

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