This year’s Maralal camel derby is set for 30th August to 1st September 2013, with more countries expected to participate in the event following renewed confidence on the destination after a peaceful general election held on 4th March 2013
According to the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) one of the major sponsors of this event, enquiries from various countries are being made; an indication of interest the annual event has continually attracted over the years both locally and internationally.
KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa says marketing and publicity campaigns have been organized to increase tourists flow to the region during the derby.
“This is one of the key events; we are leveraging on to open up the northern tourism circuit in line with our tourism diversification strategy. A part from showcasing the culture, the region is known for spectacular sceneries, unique wildlife species, heritage and other attractions,” says Ndegwa.
Last year, the annual event attracted a sizeable number of domestic and regional participants as well as participants from several countries from across the globe including US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, India, Ghana , France, South Africa, Brazil, China, Poland among others.
Samburu County Governor, Mr. Moses Kasaine Lenolkulal says, “The County is partnering with KTB and other sponsors to boost the profile of the sporting event that has been attracting both local and international participation”.
“This event is meant to pull the crowds and sports enthusiasts to the northern part of the country which has a number of unexplored tourism attractions. As Samburu County, we shall aggressively market this circuit with the help of KTB” says the Governor.
He says the annual event has gained international recognition over the years and disclosed that it has registered participants from 16 different countries in the past years.
“Under our theme of promoting peace through Culture and Sports, we have lined up camel races for the amateurs and professionals, peace marathons, bike competition, traditional dances, cultural shows, culinary show among other cultural exchanges from a wider array of traditional neighboring ethnic groups including the El molo, Dassanech, Boran, Pokot and of course the Samburu and Turkana among others” says the governor.
He says winners of different categories will be awarded with prizes while some money will be channeled towards helping the poor and vulnerable groups such as orphans and disabled in the community.