, SAMBURU, Kenya, Aug 14 – Hotels in Samburu County are in full capacity ahead of the 26th Edition of The Carmel Derby scheduled to start on Saturday.
The Derby which is one of the most unique tourist attractions in the country has attracted over 10 countries with over 100 entries from both local and the international community.
Already Maralal town is all pomp and colour in readiness for the big day. Many cultural activities are in the pipeline that includes a traditional wedding.
“The Maralal Derby is more than just a race, its entertaining festival of fun and local competition that brings this small desert town to life,” said Samburu County Governor Moses Lenolkulal.
He said the County on its own has invested about Sh12 million while other partners have chipped in about Sh8 million making the total investment to about Sh20 million.
Lenolkulal hopes to make the derby one of the most sought after event in the world with plans to partner with World Tourism Organisation.
“We are also coming up with marketing strategies targeting Asia as well as link the event with other international events,” he added.
The race will begin in the centre of town where a throng of camels will be at the start line and will be flagged of by local dignitaries that includes the governor as well as Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa.
Prior to the event the camels were taken to a medical clinic to make sure that they were fit for the derby.
“We normally check the breathing, heart rate, skin conditions and any other infections,” said Samburu County Director of Vetirinary Services Daniel Macharia.