Jaisalmer Camel Safari
One of the main attractions in Jaisalmer is going on the Jaisalmer camel safari in the desert near the Pakistan border. Given the opportunity to ride a camel and camp in the desert, I simply could not resist. I have wanted to ride a camel in a desert for a long time and I finally had my chance, turban and all!
We booked our tour at Dylan’s Guest House and Cafe, which is the guest house we were staying at. Of course, there are many tour guides that organize trips but Dylan’s offered a free room and shower for the day upon returning, which is absolutely necessary after playing in the sand. The Jaisalmer Camel Safari tour cost 1700 rupee, about $26 USD, and includes everything you need for the day and a half trip.
The jeep picked us up at 8 am and took us to a couple of local sights on the way to camel point. When we arrived in the desert the camels were just returning from the previous days tour and were ready for another journey.
The desert in Jaisalmer is not the rolling sand dunes I had pictured, its quite green compared to other deserts I have seen. The locals even try to farm the area with lentils and watermelon… (watermelon in a desert, really?) We rode the camels for about 2 hours before stopping under a shade tree for lunch. The guides prepared a fire in the sand and cooked up an amazing lunch of vegetable curry and chapati, in seemingly endless portions. After lunch we took a nap, waiting for the midday heat to pass. We also enjoyed a rest from rising the camels, it turns out they are not the most comfortable animal to ride!
We hopped back on the camels and rode for about another hour, this time entering into a more familiar desert scene of rolling sand hills before coming to a large section of sand dunes. The guide had a small camp set up with raised beds and somewhat of a cooking area, very basic but all that was really needed for desert camping.
Once the sun started to lower along the horizon we walked up to the top of the sand dunes to play around and unintentionally get completely covered in sand. Its really unavoidable. Be careful to protect your camera, the fine sand will work its way into every crack possible so do not change lenses or set your camera down in the sand. That should be obvious, but I figure it could help someone from learning the hard way!
For dinner, the guide prepared another fresh vegetable and rice dish with chapati cooked over an open fire. After we were done eating and the sun had gone down, the guide lit a fire and we sat around it enjoying the beautiful night!
The next morning we work up early to watch the sunrise over the sand dunes with a nice hot cup of chia prepared by the guide. A breakfast of eggs and toast was served shortly after as we all struggled to wake up. After breakfast, we packed up and made the very uncomfortable and bouncy journey back to the jeep.
The Camel Safari was certainly an experience, but I am not ready to hop back on a camel any time soon!
What to bring for the Jaisalmer camel safari:
Hat or turban