What to Expect When Riding a Camel on a Desert Safari

Camel Safari

camel safari in the desert

Imagine watching a sunset over a big desert with endless sand. You’re sitting on a camel, feeling its smooth steps. This is what a camel safari feels like. A camel safari is not just a trip across the desert; it’s a special adventure that connects you to old traditions and the beauty of nature. Why should you try a camel safari? It’s a unique way to see the desert and learn about its history and animals. Plus, you can travel like people did a long time ago. In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about planning a camel safari. Whether it’s your first time or you’ve done it before, this guide will help you get ready. Let’s start this exciting journey!

Understanding the Camel

So, before you hop on and start your camel safari, getting to know these incredible creatures a bit better is essential. Camels are often called the ‘Ships of the Desert.’ But why? Because they have unique body features that make them perfect for life in hot and sandy places.

Their broad, padded feet help them walk easily on sand without sinking. And their humps? Contrary to popular belief, they don’t store water. Instead, they hold fat, which gives them energy when food and water are hard to find.

There are different types of camels, too. Some have one hump, while others have two. The one-humped camel is called a dromedary, commonly found in the Middle East and parts of Africa. On the other hand, the two-humped camel, known as the Bactrian, lives in Central Asia’s colder regions. Each type of camel is special and suited to the area where they live.

But camels are more than just desert travelers. They have been a part of human history for thousands of years, helping people move from place to place, carrying goods, and even providing milk and meat. So, as you prepare for your safari, remember to appreciate these amazing animals for all they offer and their deep connection to the desert’s history and culture.

Getting Ready for Your Camel Ride

what to wear on camel ride in Dubai

Now that we’ve gained a deeper understanding of camels let’s focus on preparing for the ride itself. It’s not just about hopping on; there’s a bit of prep work involved to ensure a comfortable journey.

What to Wear

Deciding what to wear on a camel ride is crucial. We have a detailed guide called “What to Wear on a Camel Ride” that you can refer to, but here’s a quick overview. Light, breathable clothing is the way to go. Think of long-sleeved shirts and loose-fitting pants to protect against the sun and prevent chafing. And don’t forget a hat or cap to shield your head from direct sunlight.

What to Bring

Hydration is key! Always have a bottle of water with you. The desert can be deceptive, making you feel cooler than you are because of the dry air, but you’re still losing moisture. Sunscreen is another must-have, protecting your skin from the sun’s strong rays. And, of course, bring a camera or phone to capture the breathtaking views and memories.

Mounting the Camel

This might seem tricky at first, but with a little guidance, it becomes easy. Camels kneel to allow riders to climb aboard. Always approach the camel from the side, not the front or back, because it can get startled. Once you’re seated, hold onto the saddle handle firmly. Remember, the camel will first lift its back legs, then its front, which can be a bit surprising for first-timers, so be prepared.

But it’s not just about being physically ready. Mentally, preparing for the experience is equally important. Understand that camels, while mostly gentle, are living creatures with their own personalities. Some are calm and steady, while others might be a bit more spirited. Always listen to your guide, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. The more informed you are, the more enjoyable your ride will be.

During Your Camel Ride

dress code during camel ride

So, you’ve prepared well and are now aboard this majestic ‘Ship of the Desert.’ But what should you expect during your camel ride? Let’s dive in!

How to Sit Properly

Just like any ride, the way you sit on a camel plays a crucial role in your comfort. Keep your back straight and your feet tucked in front. Don’t lean too far forward or backward. Instead, sway gently with the camel’s movements. This will not only make the journey more pleasant but also lessen any soreness you might feel later.

Holding On

Camels have a unique, rhythmic gait, different from horses. It might take a little getting used to. Always hold onto the saddle handle, especially when the camel rises or sits. But don’t grip too tightly; remember to relax your hands and arms, allowing for a smoother ride.

The Experience of the Ride

Riding a camel is more than just a physical act. It’s about immersing yourself in the vast desert around you. You’ll notice the endless sea of sand dunes, each with its own shape and size. As you move, the desert might seem silent, but it’s filled with life, from the tiny desert beetles to the larger gazelles in the distance. Each moment offers something new, so keep your eyes peeled.

But remember, as much as you’re enjoying this experience, it’s crucial to be aware of your camel’s needs too. If it seems restless or in distress, notify your guide immediately. After all, a happy camel means a happy ride!

Discovering the Desert Landscape

As you sway atop your camel, immersed in this captivating camel safari, it’s not just the ride that’s mesmerizing but the enchanting desert landscape around you. But what exactly can you expect to discover during this journey?

A Sea of Sand Dunes

The desert isn’t just flat, barren land. It’s a dynamic terrain with dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. Each dune, shaped by the wind, has its own unique contours and shades, painting a picture of nature’s artistry. But these dunes aren’t static; they’re ever-changing, shifting and evolving with the winds, offering a fresh canvas every time you visit.

Oases in the Desert

Every now and then, you might stumble upon a lush oasis. These green patches in the middle of the desert are like nature’s miracles. They’re vital sources of water and life, attracting various desert creatures. An oasis is more than just a sight; it’s a lesson in nature’s resilience and adaptability.

Desert Wildlife

Contrary to popular belief, the desert is teeming with life. From the swift-footed desert foxes to the graceful gazelles, there’s a whole world of creatures adapted to the harsh desert conditions. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a rare bird or two, making its way across the sky.

Night Sky Wonders

If your camel safari extends into the night, prepare to be awestruck. Far from city lights, the desert sky reveals a tapestry of stars, planets, and meteor showers. It’s a sight that reminds you of the vastness of the universe and the beauty of our little corner in it.

But as you discover these wonders, it’s essential to tread lightly. The desert, although vast, is a fragile ecosystem. Respect its beauty, avoid leaving behind waste, and always listen to your guides about where it’s safe to go and what areas to avoid.

Tips for Enjoying Your Camel Safari

Embarking on a camel safari is an adventure like no other. But to make the most of this experience, a few tips can come in handy. Whether it’s your first time riding a camel or you’ve done it before, these suggestions will help you savor every moment.

Relax and Trust the Process

It’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness. But remember, camels have been trusted travel companions for centuries. Relax your body, breathe deeply, and let yourself synchronize with the camel’s rhythm. The more relaxed you are, the more enjoyable the ride will be.

Engage with Your Surroundings

While the camel ride is an experience in itself, the desert offers a wealth of sights and sounds. Listen to the whispers of the wind, observe the shifting shadows of the dunes, and let the vastness of the landscape captivate you.

Capture the Moments

A camel safari is a treasure trove of memories waiting to be captured. Whether it’s a breathtaking sunset, a silhouette of your camel against the horizon, or even a selfie with your new four-legged friend, don’t hesitate to take photos and videos. But always ensure your actions don’t disturb the camel or the environment.

Stay Hydrated and Protected

The desert can be deceptively demanding. Regularly sip on water, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty. And as we mentioned before, always wear sunscreen and protective clothing.

Be Respectful

This isn’t just about respecting your camel, which is crucial, but also the guides and the local culture. Listen to stories, ask questions, and immerse yourself in the traditions of the desert dwellers. This enriches your experience and deepens your understanding of the place.

Enjoy the Small Moments

From a shared laugh with fellow riders to the gentle gait of your camel, it’s the small moments that often leave the most profound impact. Cherish them.

Cultural and Historical Experiences

Venturing through the desert on a camel is more than just an adventurous ride; it’s a voyage through time and traditions. The desert has been a silent witness to countless stories, and a camel safari often becomes the bridge connecting you to these tales.

Bedouin Traditions

The Bedouins, the nomadic desert dwellers, have roamed these sands for centuries. As you journey through the desert, you might encounter their temporary settlements, marked by tents and livestock. It’s a chance to witness their traditional way of life, from brewing aromatic teas to sharing age-old folktales around a campfire. Their hospitality is legendary, and accepting an invitation for tea can be one of the most heartwarming parts of your journey.

Ancient Trade Routes

The deserts were once bustling trade highways. Camels, often termed the ‘ships of the desert,’ played a pivotal role in connecting distant lands. Trace the paths of ancient merchants, who braved the desert’s challenges, carrying spices, silks, and precious gems. Each dune might have a tale of its own, of long-lost caravans and bustling trade hubs now buried in sand.

Desert Architecture

Every now and then, the vast expanse of sand might surprise you with architectural marvels. From ancient forts guarding oasis towns to intricately designed wells, these structures are a testament to human ingenuity in such harsh landscapes. They tell tales of kingdoms, battles, and civilizations that once flourished here.

Music and Dance

The desert nights are often alive with rhythms. Traditional dances, accompanied by the beat of drums and the strumming of lutes, can be a soul-stirring experience. These dances, passed down through generations, are not just entertainment but narrate stories of love, bravery, and the ever-changing desert life.

What Not to Do on a Camel Safari

A camel safari is undoubtedly a memorable adventure, but like every journey, there are do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. While we’ve discussed the things you should do to make the most of your experience, it’s equally essential to know what to avoid. This not only ensures a pleasant journey for you but also shows respect for the animals and local traditions.

Sudden Movements

When you’re atop a camel, sudden actions can startle the animal. Whether it’s reaching out quickly for your camera or making abrupt movements, always remember to stay calm and move gently. Not only will this ensure your safety, but it also makes for a smoother ride.

Loud Noises

Camels, despite their size, can be sensitive creatures. Shouting or making loud noises can stress them out. So, even if the excitement gets the better of you, keep your enthusiasm at a check. And if you’re on a camel ride with others, remind them to do the same.

Overloading the Camel

These resilient ‘ships of the desert’ have been carrying loads for centuries. But that doesn’t mean they should be overloaded. Always adhere to weight limits and avoid carrying unnecessary items. Respect the camel’s well-being and remember that they too can get tired.

Ignoring the Guide's Advice

Your guide knows best. They have, after all, spent years understanding camels and the desert terrain. Whether it’s instructions on how to mount the camel, where to hold on, or when to take breaks, always listen to their advice. Ignoring it could lead to unforeseen problems.

Disturbing the Natural Habitat

The desert might seem vast and endless, but it’s a delicate ecosystem. Picking plants, chasing wildlife, or leaving behind trash are big no-nos. Always carry a small bag to dispose of any waste and ensure you leave the desert as pristine as you found it.

Neglecting Personal Care

The desert’s beauty can be mesmerizing, but it’s also a harsh environment. Not wearing sunscreen, forgetting to hydrate, or wearing inappropriate clothing might seem like small oversights but can have significant consequences. Always prioritize your well-being.


A camel safari isn’t merely about riding a camel; it’s an immersion into deep history, rich traditions, and the profound mystique of the desert. Every step taken on this journey offers insights, from the graceful stride of the camel to the ever-changing hues of the desert sands.

Preparation is Key

Being well-prepared ensures a smooth and enriching safari experience. It’s not just about packing the right items or wearing the appropriate attire, but also about having a mindful presence. Respecting the desert’s fragile environment and the animals that call it home makes the journey rewarding for both you and the world around you.

Our Special Camel Ride Tours

For those with a sparked interest and an itch to dive right in, we provide a spectrum of camel ride experiences tailored to a variety of tastes:

Craft Your Desert Story

Every camel safari is a tapestry of tales waiting to be woven—of vast landscapes, vibrant cultures, and personal escapades. Now is the moment to set forth, join us, and etch memories that echo through time.


Camel safaris are generally safe, especially when conducted by experienced guides and operators.

Yes, children can participate, and in fact, we offer a special “Desert Camel Riding for Kids” option.

Essentials include comfortable clothing, sunscreen, a hat, water, and a camera.

Absolutely! Many operators, including us, offer private camel safari options.

While camels are not typically aggressive, they can bite if they feel threatened.

Riding a camel can be a unique experience, different from riding any other animal.

Young caucasian woman tourist riding on camel in Egypt desert

Are you a traveller at heart?

You may have a never-ending bucket list full of adventures you can’t wait to take. But, with only a few weeks a year open for vacations, you probably want to make the most of every trip.

The Middle East is full of breathtaking sites and interesting culture, unlike anything you see back home. Among these countries, the UAE stands as one of the most popular tourist destinations. In fact, Dubai is the fourth most visited city in the entire world!

So, how can you make your trip to the UAE unforgettable? Riding a camel in the desert is touted as a once in a lifetime experience. But there’s more to a desert safari than meets the eye.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover what to expect when riding a camel on a desert safari.

People Will Try to Sell You Desert Safaris on the Street

As one of the most popular tourist activities, you can bet that you’ll run into tons of people trying to sell you desert safaris wherever you go. Since this will be one of the highlights of your trip, you should avoid these street sellers at all costs.

Instead, do your research before you arrive in the UAE. Find a reputable company that has good reviews and a safari option that meets your needs. This will help ensure you have a great time on your safari and can happily cross one item off your bucket list.

Safaris Can Be Very Long

A desert safari and a camel ride are two very different things. A camel ride usually only takes a few minutes, but a safari is much longer. There are many different safari lengths and options, ranging from a full day camel safari to a month-long desert safari!

When planning your trip, make a list of everything you want to do. Decide how much time you’re willing to spend riding a camel on a safari, and make sure you have enough time left over for all the other wonderful things to do in the UAE.

It’s Not the Same as Horseback Riding

“I’ve ridden horses before, so a camel should be no problem!” Well, not exactly. The truth is riding a camel and riding a horse are very different. You’ll have to learn how to mount a camel and how to properly balance yourself.

During an overnight safari, you’ll likely only spend a couple hours at a time riding a camel. This is because it’s very hard on your bottom, and you’ll notice that your butt will begin to hurt before the day is over. But don’t let this deter you – it’s all worth it!

What to Expect When Riding a Camel on a Desert Safari

When you plan your trip to the UAE, make sure to include room for a desert safari on your itinerary. Riding a camel in the desert is considered one of the top things to do, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Be prepared to search for a reputable safari company, make time for a multi-day safari, and be prepared for your butt to hurt.

Are you ready to take the next step? Book your camel safari with us today!

Elina Shaukat
Grumpy but gorgeous.