Twenty five camels took part in two laps of five kilometres at the Ingall Camel Race, in the north of Niger Republic on Saturday, when the major Sahara camel race came alive.
This was is a flagship event of the “Salt Cure” festival, a great celebration of Saharan pastoralism trapped in the jihadist conflict in the region.
The race is considered one of the backbone cultures of most of these camel breeders not only in Niger but in the entire Sahara desert.
This rich culture of the Camel race has been passed down from generation to generation, as they consider it honorable given the fact that competitors are after glory but not the reward.
“Camel racing is something we inherited from our parents. We don’t do it for interest or money, if we can get the money, it’s okay. It’s more of something we grew up with, it’s for fun. In Europe, there is football, here it is the camel race. It happens once a year, once in a while,” Khamid Ekwel, camel owner said.
While most of the camels were drawn from all over the country and even from nearby Algeria, special and skillful riders were going to be successful in this competition.
A ten-year-old boy by the name Tchin Tabaraden won the much-coveted race after defeating 24 riders in the 5 kilometres race.