Rendille Camel Caravan

Rendille camel caravan

Although the Rendille do not ride camels, they do load their homes and all their household possessions on the backs of male animals when shifting camp. These beautiful caravans - one of the most arresting sights of northern Kenya - can cover up to 40km in a six- to eight-hour travelling day, each camel loaded with sixty-five to ninety kilos. Camels need to be watered only every 10-14 days, but when they do, they drink enormous amounts. This is drawn from water holes dug deep inside wells or seasonal riverbeds, using a container of camel-skin which is passed from man to man until it is finally poured into a trough on the surface for the camels. Laborious though this is, the real hard work is getting to the wells, as good foraging land is often far away.

Credit: photo copyright © Michel Laplace-Toulouse, all rights reserved; reprinted by kind permission. Find more of his work (in French) at


Traditional Music & Cultures of Kenya
Copyright Jens Finke, 2000-2003

also by Jens Finke
Chasing the Lizard's Tail - across the Sahara by bicycle - fine art photography