Sunday, 25 September 2011

Goat races in Dar es Salaam

Yesterday, we spent an interesting afternoon at the 2011 Annual Dar es Salaam Charity Goat races.

Yes, they race goats here in Tanzania...

Brought to Tanzania 11 years ago from Uganda, the Goat races is a charity that raises money for a number of worthwhile causes in Dar and the rest of Tanzania.  Last year they managed to raise over TZS 80 million (about $55,000) and this year seemed well on their way to reaching that mark again.

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The stars of the show getting some nourishment in before their race
It's really a fun day for young and old alike.  Plenty of entertainment for the kids, and plenty of booze for the adults ;)  The highlight is of course the actual goat races. 

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Lined up for the start of the race
There are 7 races, each sponsored by a company and the goats themselves are "bought" by goat owners - if your goat wins the race, you receive a nice money prize, which is often donated back to the charity.  

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And heading down the final straight...
The goats each have their own 'jockey', who carries them out to the start and lines them up before the race begins around the short track.  They're helped along by the jockeys running behind them until, after 2 tours around the track, a winner is announced.

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While No 8 was the most popular (due to the name I'm sure!), No 2 won out in the end

There's also betting on the goats.  Minimum bet from TZS 2,000 ($1.50) with no maximum, which of course all goes to charity as well. I managed to bet on one of the winning goats and made double back for my bet ;)

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Shrek family parading around the track
Other entertainment includes a fancy dress by adults parading around the goat track, which is pretty amusing to watch - some of them go all out - this year it was won by the Shrek family, but there were plenty of strong contenders.

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Goat owners are allowed in the middle of the
track to watch their goat (hopefully) win
All in all, a pretty fun and entertaining afternoon, and it's all in a good cause - for more info on the Dar goat races and the charities they have supported over the years - check their website out here :

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