Planning to do a camel safari in Jaisalmer, India? We’ve put together 5 tips to ensure you get the best possible experience. Why? Because some backpackers come back disappointed.
The most common complaint is spending too long sitting on the camel (6 hours a day anyone?). Others complain that the tour guides are creepy. Or they were the only tourists on the safari.
So, while riding a camel through the desert and sleeping under the stars IS an amazing experience, you need to be savvy when booking your camel safari from Jaisalmer.
1. Choose a reputable company
Don’t book anything without consulting Trip Advisor or going on a friend’s recommendations. Do your research and remember to haggle! We paid 1,250 rupees per person but this varies wildly from place to place.
2. Ask the following questions
– How long will we spend on the camels per day?
– Do you get your own camel (highly recommended)?
– How many tour guides per group
– Is all food, drink and bedding provided?
– What happens if I get sick – how do I get back to Jaisalmer?
3. Choose the shorter tour
Do yourself a favour and choose the shorter tour! We strongly recommend the 1.5 day option: Hostel pickup at 11am, drive to meeting point in Thar Desert, do the camel safari and return the following morning.
The longer options mean longer on the camel. In some cases 6 hours per day! Way too long to be sitting on a camel.
TOP TIP: Choose a company that drives you to the meeting point in the Thar desert, as opposed to bringing the camel to your hostel. This cuts out an unnecessary part of the journey, where you’re just following the road.
4. Don’t go alone
Unfortunately there have been several reports of creepy tour guides and inappropriate behaviour. Nothing is creepier than being out in the middle of nowhere with a strange man so you’ll need to take extra cautions if travelling alone.
Ask who else is confirmed on the tour before booking – but be warned: some companies lie about this. We were told 2 American backpackers were joining us on the tour. Unsurprisingly, they were a no-show. You’re best off rallying a group of people together at your hostel and booking with them.
5. Take a hat and sarong
You will be out in the sun for the majority of the day, with little to no shade. Take a hat and something to shield your body from the sun! I fashioned a Lawrence of Arabia outfit from my hat and sarong. It’s also a good idea to wear light, cotton trousers.
On the tour you’ll visit an oasis/water hole, a small village and a lake. Take some sweets for the local children, or a school pen. They’re super cute!