Culture The Beauty of Africa

Enjoy Samburu Culture at the Maralal Camel Derby 2023

maralal international camel derby 2023
Avatar of Teresa Mwangi
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Maralal International Camel Derby 2023 is due for another thrilling edition from October 5 to October 8 in Maralal, Samburu.

It is more than a derby that draws scores of wanderlusts from all over to Samburu’s county headquarters, Maralal. The internationally acclaimed camel derby is an important aspect of peace and cultural tourism exhibited at the Yare Camel Camp in Maralal town.  It is also an opportunity to learn about the intriguing Samburu culture, the beauty of Samburu and why camels are valued in this community.

What is International Camel Derby and Festival?

The Maralal International Camel Derby 2023 is an international event celebrating the Samburu culture in Kenya. It is a unique and popular event celebrating the cultural significance and practical utility of camels in the region. Camels, during the derby, represent several aspects in this community as follows:

Samburu Cultural Heritage

Camels have a long history of being an integral part of the culture and heritage among the Samburu people. The camel is a symbol of their nomadic lifestyle and their reliance on these animals for transportation, milk, and as a source of livelihood.

maralal international camel derby 2023

The Samburu community use camels as a means of transport. Photo/Robb Report


Samburu is an arid area and camels are well adapted to survive in such areas. People use them for transportation of both people and goods. They provide a source of income through this business and also from selling other camel byproducts such as meat, milk and hides.


The Maralal International Camel Derby 2023 rides on the fame the event enjoys internationally as a unique sporting and cultural event. Hundreds of camels race spiritedly which is both entertaining and a great way to tell the world about Samburu’s culture. The sight of racing camels in this dusty town is symbolic of a beautiful culture people hold to without any reservations.

The Importance of Camels

The derby promotes camel sports and racing in Kenya. Camels are trained and prepared for the races, and the competition highlights the speed, endurance, and their agility.

Environmental Conservation

Samburu being an arid area experiences harsh vagaries of weather. Therefore; the camel race acts as an advocacy platform for environmental conservation.

Promoting Tribal and Cultural Unity

Besides tourism, the biggest high of this event is fostering and promoting the unity of this community. As pastoralist, communal clashes over pastures often erodes the unity fabric of nomadic communities. Thus, any effort geared towards fostering peace and harmony is always a welcome.

Maralal Camel Derby 2023 Dates Kenya

Samburu Maralal International Camel Derby 2023 takes place from October 5 through to October 8 at Yare Camel Camp. This camp sits at the Samburu National Reserve and it is renowned for its beautiful surroundings, welcoming personnel, and true Samburu culture. While it is synonymous with the international camel derby, Yare Camel Camp provides a diverse range of activities to cater to its guests’ interests.



Maralal International camel derby samburu

The famous Maralal International camel derby in Samburu. Photo/Film Crew Fixers Uganda

You enjoy camel riding, game drives, cultural immersion, and al fresco dining in the bush. Camel riding, in particular, stands out as a favored pursuit at the Camp, where visitors relish a guided excursion across the Samburu National Reserve.

Additionally, Yare Camel Camp extends an array of cultural engagements to enhance guests’ experiences. Immerse yourself in the Samburu way of life through interactions with the local Samburu people. Take part in traditional Samburu customs like storytelling, dance performances, and melodious singing, gaining deeper insights into their rich heritage.

For a memorable dining experience, indulge in bush dining, another popular activity at the camel camp. Delight in delectable cuisine beneath the twinkling canopy of stars, surrounded by the untamed beauty of the Samburu National Reserve.

Yare Camel Camp serves as an ideal setting to appreciate both Kenya’s breathtaking landscapes and the vibrant culture of the Samburu people. The camp’s extensive activity offerings cater to diverse interests, complemented by a warm and hospitable staff. If you seek an exceptional and luxurious camping adventure in Kenya, this Camp stands as the ultimate choice.


The Maralal International Camel Derby 2023 is a unique and exciting event that celebrates the Samburu culture and heritage. It is a spectacle of speed, grace, and power, and it is a must-see for anyone visiting Kenya. The derby also helps to raise awareness of the importance of camels to the Samburu economy and way of life for a nomadic tribe.

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About the author

Avatar of Teresa Mwangi

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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