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Events In St.Catherine

The Annual Wadi Zalaga Camel Race

The day before the camel race the Sinai Peninsula was covered with a thick layer of clouds with hardly any little holes to let the sun come through, and after sunset heavy rains hit the Wadi Zalaqa area. People who camped out tried to seek shelter wherever they could, but it wasn’t an easy task in pitch dark.

A year ago, when the annual Wadi Zalaqa race was on, it was also raining. A coincidence or gift from above, everybody was very happy: rain in the desert is always a blessing. On the day of the race the Bedouin gathered at the foot of Jebel Dalal to discuss if the water-soaked wadi was safe to hold the race, as camels might slip in these conditions. They decided to go ahead with it and the race started, with the camels shooting off followed by a fleet of cars.

There were still many ponds from the floods of the previous night and the wadi was indeed slippery, but the cars raced at amazing speed over the bumpy terrain to follow the camels and to get to the finishing line first to see the winner. After all the camels and cars arrived, the Bedouin gathered again to announce the winner: this year it was from the Muzeina tribe. After the race the tired camels have to go home too, but, luckily for them, not on their four.

The Annual Wadi Zalaga Camel Race is an exciting and authentic Bedouin event, but tourists are also welcome. There were actually quite a few foreigners mixing with the Bedu, and if you missed this one, we hope you can make it next year! Bring plenty of warm and waterproof clothes, who knows, God might bless the race next year again.