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Camel Safari in India's Thar Desert

Updated on December 3, 2012
My guide through the Thar Desert
My guide through the Thar Desert | Source
The traditional mud hut where we spent the night
The traditional mud hut where we spent the night | Source

In August 2010, my boyfriend and I embarked on a two-day camel safari from the golden city of Jaisalmer - located in the Rajasthan region of India. We rode camels amid sand dunes, saw the most spectacular sunset and shooting stars among the starriest nights, and enjoyed an enchanting performance by the local desert people to Rajasthani music.

A typical camel safari lasts 4 days and three nights, and offers a chance to explore the area in a very authentic way atop a camel, with entertainment by local folk performers, and visits to villages. A camel safari can be as short as a couple of hours or for those with more time and a bigger budget, can last up to 30 days!

We watched this beautiful girl perform a traditional Rajasthani dance
We watched this beautiful girl perform a traditional Rajasthani dance | Source

Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is the most known gateway to the Thar Desert. It is a fairytale-like golden fortress city that seems to rise out of the desert. The glistening gold color of the yellow sandstone buildings blend in with the surrounding desert, set apart because of its distinct location taking up the entire top of a hill. It was founded in 1156 and is very close to the Pakistani border. The fortress city is full of palaces, temples, and is a starting point of a great camel safari adventure.

My guide and I passing through the Thar Desert :)
My guide and I passing through the Thar Desert :) | Source
Atop a camel through the sand dunes
Atop a camel through the sand dunes | Source

Riding a Camel in the Thar Desert

The camel is a funny looking animal. When it’s not standing, it sits on its stomach, with its legs folded underneath. The face looks like it’s constantly grinning – just look at the pictures! Getting on a camel is easy but watch out. As it lifts itself up from the ground, a camel makes some jerking movements as it initially leans forward on its knees and then suddenly shifts all its weight and stands up. You need to grip tight! I really thought I was going to fall off but I held on tight and felt like I was on a roller coaster ride.

Getting the hang of riding is rather simple but pretty unique. Your feet dangle as you move through the desert. While riding, you hold on to a rope that’s attached to the camel’s nose which also helps guide the animal. Pulling the rope left steers the camel left, pulling right direct the camel to go right. Kicking your heels to the camel’s sides motions the creature to either begin moving or to speed up. Dismounting a camel is like a short free-fall drop at an amusement park when a camel abruptly lays down. Overall though, it's a blast!

My camel kept yawning as we watched the sunset
My camel kept yawning as we watched the sunset | Source

Best time to visit the Rajasthan region

It is recommended to visit Rajasthan between October and March. We visited in August, which was during the monsoon season in India and still absolutely loved it. If you don't mind getting a little wet and want to see the lakes full and vegetation green, the wet season is the perfect time to come!

What to bring on a camel safari

  • Long pants
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • A camera to capture your experience!

Jorge mounting his camel and his guide checking out his camera
Jorge mounting his camel and his guide checking out his camera | Source
My grinning camel
My grinning camel | Source
Source
The spectacular sunset
The spectacular sunset | Source

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

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    • SAQIB6608 profile image

      SAQIB 

      3 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

      In Feb, it was like awesome. Weather was pleasant at daytime but very cold at night, in fact very chilling.

      The Camel ride was great, its too and fro motion as you are atop the camel, writing name in sand and so many wonderful experiences. BAR-b-Q at night in desert was something but a treat. I have written a hub for it. May read if you find time.

      Cheers

    • Global-Chica profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna 

      3 years ago from New York, NY

      @Saqib6608 - How was it in February? I went in July and the weather was just perfect. It was a really amazing experience! Thanks for stopping by

    • SAQIB6608 profile image

      SAQIB 

      3 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

      I had a desert safari too back in Febrauary. Its always a unique experience. The days are hot and nights are colder. The vastness of desert really fascinates but to live there permanently is horrible.

      Cheers and Salaam

      SAQIB

    • profile image

      Desert Safari 

      5 years ago

      It is so informative blog...it is useful info.

    • Global-Chica profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks so much, epigramman! I am happy to have shared a piece of my travel experience and that you enjoyed reading about it and my pictures :)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      6 years ago

      ....wow it doesen't get any more exotic than this - from the most beautiful images and your passionate and exciting text - this surely must be one of those travel hubs where you say to yourself - wish I was there along for the ride of a lifetime - and you brought it all to us with this labor of love - lake erie time ontario canada 6:09am

    • Global-Chica profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      Thank you philipuae, homesteadbound, wytegarillaz, and Millionaire Tips for your nice comments :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Gorgeous pictures here again - love the grinning camel one! It sounds like a wonderful experience. Great hub!

    • wytegarillaz profile image

      wytegarillaz 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Love the pictures ! We went camel riding on the beach in Australia .Would be even more amazing there .

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      What a wonderful experience to have. it sounds like an amazing trip. Your pictures were great, and I bet that sunset was even better in person. Great hub!

    • philipuae profile image

      philipuae 

      6 years ago from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

      I can say the same, camel rides are not smoothest. Same in UAE. Interesting hub, need some pictures of Jaisalmer. Hope you will write another Hub about Jaisalmer.

    • Global-Chica profile imageAUTHOR

      Anna 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks for reading and your suggestions, Brittany! Wow a camel ride in Kenya must've been amazing.

    • brittanytodd profile image

      Brittany Kennedy 

      6 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      This is a great hub! The photos are so pretty and interesting (you should make the ones at the end bigger). I love the camels. I rode a camel in Kenya, and it's definitely not the smoothest ride ever. Thanks for posting, voted up, etc.

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