There are a number of ways to take in the desert landscapes of the world. However, walking is exhausting and riding through the endless sands in a vehicle leaves something to be desired. This leaves only one option - camel riding. A leisurely trek swaying back and forth on the back of the camel is easily the best way to experience any desert. Camel riding tours are popular in Africa and the Middle East, but camel tours are also pretty well known in some places in the world that visitors might not expect.
With a history of nomadic Berbers that lived and died on camelback, Morocco is still the number one place to go for camel riding tours. Not only will visitors find them in plenty, but a trek through Saharan dunes that rise as high as 50 metres off the ground is a thrilling experience. Camel treks in Morocco can last anywhere from two days to two weeks traversing the desert. Visitors can take in a stunning sunrise on top of a sand dune or sit down for an evening meal in one of the few nomadic Berber camps left today. Most who visit Morocco like to live like a sheik, but going for a camel ride through the landscape provides a look at the country's best preserved natural landscape and can gives visitors a chance to experience the enduring culture of the desert dwellers.
Right alongside Morocco, Egypt is one of the most well known destinations for camel trekking in the world. Visitors can enjoy camel treks as they weave between the Great Pyramids, trace along the Nile River or travel deeper into Egypt than most people ever see. One of the biggest highlights of a camel trek through Egypt's Sinai desert is visiting one of the few oasis areas. The green grass and blue water sit in stark contrast to the red, orange and yellow of the surrounding desert. Like in Morocco, those who venture into Egypt's desert on multi-day camel treks are treated to the culture and customs of the Bedouin people who are frequent hosts to tours passing through their paths.
As one of the most surprising places to find camels, Australia actually has quite a herd at their disposal. Camels where brought to the island nation during early colonization due to their advantage over horses in dry climates. Today, the tradition of camel riding through the outback remains a strong one. While Broome in Western Australia is the most popular place for camel rides, a trip to the Northern Territory is a must. Treks through the Northern Territory are literally off the beaten path, as there really is no path to follow. Camel treks provide the opportunity to reach some of the most remote regions of the outback for bushwalks or just to take in the sights. Some treks will even extend as far as the Queensland border, taking animals and people through rivers, lake systems and sprawling desert plains.
Although many popular camel treks take place just to the north in the Gobi desert, the lush country of China outside of the desert also holds a fascinating camel trek of its very own. Visitors to China can trace the country's Silk Road on camel back the same way many ancient merchants did. While taking in the rare sights of China, the camel treks down the Silk Road make stops at the ancient town of Dunhuang, the ruins of Tumenguan and concludes in the southern town of Hechang, just outside of the metropolis of Chengdu. While many think of China of having more of a history with horses rather than the camel, this beast of burden actually played a massive role in the development of transport throughout China's long and epic history. It was the camel that helped connect China to Europe and riding a camel down the legendary Silk Road is to literally take a step back in time to experience history.
Nick Holland, flickr.com/photos/nic1/4069108771/
Kenya is world famous for its amazing array of wildlife. It offers an absolutely stunning array of safari experiences that allow visitors to spot elephants, lions, zebra and much more. However, one of Kenya's best kept secrets is its incredible opportunity for camel safari. Touring the area around Ngorongoro Crater, the five day camel safari is the perfect experience for those that crave real adventure. Visitors can choose to walk beside their camel mounts or ride them the entire way as they spot Kenya's native wildlife at a safe distance for both man and camel. Unlike other camel tours, visitors will be treated to the constant sounds of African wildlife as they ride and make camp for the night. It is an experience that they will find on no other camel trek throughout the world.
Have you ever been camel riding? Where did you try it?
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