Camel Race - Wadi Zalaga

(10th January 2017)

Camel race at Wadi Zalaga is an event with 34 years of tradition. It is very unique and interesting Bedouin event, which is always happening at the same day, January 10th. I have always missed Camel race about few days. Finally, this year, I had a chance to be part of this.


Normal desert wadi Zalaga is usually transformed from an ordinary desert into a rugged race track for the annual Muzeina (Ma Zaanah) tribe versus Tarabin tribe Camel race, which is surely the biggest event in the Bedouin sporting calendar. Muzeina, which represents Dahab, and Tarabin are two of the Sinai 's biggest tribes. Almost 35 years old race usually brings to Wadi Zalaga hundreds Beduoins from the whole Sinai. Everybody camp here, and early morning, freezing morning, before 8 AM, the race started. It is totally mad, as at the same time when camels driven by little boys leave the start, everybody jump into their 4x4 cars and follow the whole competition. Wadi turns into dusty place with zero visibility, but with beautiful lights effects, as early morning sun comes into the valley.

Traditional race started, when the boy from Tarabin wanted to marry a girl from Muzeina. Apparently, neither tribe wanted this marriage, but they would agreed only if the Tarabin boy won a camel race against the best riders of Muzeina. Against all expectations, he did win, and ever since then, here is a Zalaga Race. For local Bedouins, camels are a HUGE source of  pride and derbies are fiercely contested. As a spectator, they’re the most authentic events you can see. There’s nothing staged about them. They’re REAL; by locals, for locals.

Also this year, 2017, the winner was a boy from Tarabin :D... Go go Dahab Muzeina at 2018!