When you take a trip or safari into the Moroccan Desert you are going to see camels. You are going to see camels in their natural environment, camels carrying goods and genuinely hard at work, and camels waiting for to you ride them.
The thing about camels is they are in fact more intimidating up close, than they are on a television screen. Camels, whether they have one hump or two, are pretty large. And they are not like dogs who endear themselves to you. Camels are aloof, they are proud, and there are those who think they are arrogant!
Actually, camels are fascinating creatures. Firstly, if you get to ride a camel in Morocco, and we really suggest you do, you will have assistance. Camels kneel down for you to mount them and it’s an easy process but it can be a bit unnerving. A guide will always be there to keep the camel in place, and to help you get up. Once you’re up, it’s a bit like balancing on a horse. There’s a hump for you to hold, and of course, there are reins too so you can balance and feel secure.
Riding through the desert on a camel is incredible. You feel like a Bedouin or a Nomad. The scenery is amazing – red sand, dunes for miles, the dark blue sky, and unless you ride to an oasis which you may well do, there is nothing around. Of course when you do a camel desert safari, there is in fact plenty around, you just don’t see it easily. Guides carry delicious snacks, drinks and will set up camp for you in a shady spot (tea stop, water stop, lunch stop) in a luxurious and adventurous manner. You may be going for an hour ride, a half day ride or on an overnight safari. There are many options for camel safaris, and they are all amazing.
A group of camels is called a caravan of camels, and we have all seen photographs as they walk through the desert in a long line, sometimes up to 1000 camels at once. Camels were used as carriers of goods, including salt, cotton, tea and gold, and were an important part of the Trans-Saharan trade route. Their specially adapted body features, eyes, eyelids and hair, protect them from the sun and they can walk for days without water. Their humps are filled with fat, not water as perviously thought, which will keep them going for days.
Camels can go quite quickly, but not when you are on top of them. When you ride a camel in Morocco, you are going to go slowly and leisurely so the journey is safe and you can take in the beautiful desert landscapes. Give your camera to the guide so he can get good pics of you perched on top of a camel, and don’t forget to dress appropriately. Long pants so your legs don’t get scratched, a long sleeved shirt to protect you from the sun, and of course, a local Moroccan scarf or turban to cover your head from the sun!