I’ve been on my fair share of safaris over the years. From Jeep safaris in Africa to Elephant Safaris in North East India. I’ve been on boat safaris in the world’s largest mangrove forest (to look for the Bengal Tiger) and I’ve also been on two Camel safaris, once in China and another one in Northern Africa.
All of these safari experiences has been a lot of fun. However, the Jaisalmer Desert safari was something else, it was mind-numbingly boring. I don’t care how little you will pay for this “Safari”, it’s a complete ripoff however you put it.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. Milton Friedman
I should have known what I was getting into when everyone I talked to in my guesthouse (except the stoners) said they wouldn’t have done it again and the “alarm” should definitely have sounded when I discovered the people who were doing a two night/ three day safari were walking on foot instead of riding their camels.
Despite all of this, and since I’m such a polite person (most of the time) and my friends asked me if I wanted to join them for a “Safari”, I decided to go. Surely it can’t be that bad. I was reassured by the fact I’d enjoyed my previous Camel Safaris but this was a poor decision, a very poor decision.
The trip starts off with an hour long to visit a “traditional” village where our guide showed us around the village with information on its main economy; dried Cow shit, dried Camel shit, and if you’re very lucky you might even get to see some dried donkey shit – I shit you not (pun intended)!
Now before you jump to the comment section to inform me that I used an unreliable company and that you had a life changing experience during your trip to the desert I’d like to tell you that the company I used is rated top three on TripAdvisor and highly recommend by Lonely Planet, Rough Guide and most of the other big guidebooks out there.
So let’s return to the boring Camel trip. I didn’t even bother to take out my camera once while riding the Camel, which says a lot. After looking at different types of animal feces we drove to where we would meet the camels and start the “adventure”.
There were four other groups of tourists going on the exciting trip, one of the groups even returned to Jaisalmer that evening by car. The oldest person in that group, a Scottish gentleman put it out nicely before they left “Life is too short to go back with the Camels”.
There was only one person who seemed to enjoy the Camel ride, that person the smartest person on the trip for they arrived prepared with a bottle of rum. Drinking rum, smoking bidies and listening to music while the rest of us were bored. Unfortunately, he didn’t share his secret weapons… German!
If you believe you will ride trough vast, desolate deserts, think again. You will ride next to windmills, huge freaking windmills, across the tarmac highway, only the last twenty minutes involved riding trough the sand dunes. But not everything you see is this disappointing, the food is great and both the sunset and sunrise are stunning.
But the highlight of the trip was by far when the “beer man” arrived with ice cold beer for sunset, he didn’t arrive on camel himself (beer would never be cold then) but with a Nissan Micra! Yes!
The camp spot is not a remote sand dune under the stars, it’s a tiny sand dune next to a parking lot.
Additional information about Jaisalmer Desert Safari.
More or less every hotel/guesthouses and travel agents in Jaisalmer will try to sell you a desert safari trip while the prices only vary a few dollars for the camel ride, so are what the company’s offers AFTER the trips done the big difference.
The cheapest trips will probably not include anything besides the camel ride and the food during the trip, while the better company’s offers, free use of a hotel room with a hot shower and a bed where you can rest to your train or buss leaves in the evening.
And free transfer to the train/buss station.
There’s no danger during the trip, but the sun is strong so be sure to drink enough liquid during the trip.
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