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Top 5 camel safaris in Africa

The continent of Africa is known for its wide range of terrain – from the dry plains of the Serengeti to the lush jungles of the Congo, which help to attract tourists to the national parks in search of exciting safari adventures and eco-tourist trips.

If you’re looking for an unusual way to see the landscapes of Africa, a camel trek could be right up your street. Camel tours are popular amongst tourists to desert regions, from excursions of a few hours to week long camping trips through desert landscapes.

These trails allow you the opportunity to explore landscapes, view wildlife from the backs of these hardy beasts and sleep under the stars within camps where you can rest up and enjoy local food and drink.

Whether you’re looking to travel around for just a few hours or embark on a week long desert safari, here’s a quick guide to a few countries that can be explored using the animal affectionately known as ‘the ship of the desert’:

Egypt

Desert tours by camel are available from the resorts of Sharm El Sheikh as well as on the outskirts of Cairo, and give you the chance to escape the Pyramids to try something a little different.

Take a trip over the dunes of the Sinai region shaped by swirling winds over thousands of years, exploring sights such as St Catherine’s Monastery and the scenery of the Arada Canyon.

St Catherine’s Monastery

This particular tour begins in Cairo, and takes you over the dunes of the Great Sand Sea in a twelve-day excursion across the dunes, en route to the cities of El Qasr and Bahariya – where you can relax and enjoy some traditional Egyptian cuisine.

Along the way there is the chance to stop and rest at traditional Bedouin settlements, sample local food such as Maglubeh (a chicken and vegetable dish) and Mansaf (a lamb dish served with rice) and enjoy a cup of mint tea after a day’s trekking in the harsh desert climate.

Egypt camel safaris

Tunisia

Beginning at the ancient ruins at Carthage, just outside of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, this 12 day excursion visits some of the nation’s most famous monuments – including the Great Mosque of Kairouan and the Colosseum at El Djem.

The deserts of Tunisia have acted as a backdrop for many Hollywood films; Star Wars, Indiana Jones and The English Patient. The dwellings of Matmata offer a hotel service along the way, giving you the chance to spend the night in these bizarrely unique dwellings on your journey across the Sahara.

Matmata

Along the way you’ll get the chance to rest and recuperate at a traditional Berber village and discover a number of Roman ruins such as Dougga before your return to Tunis.

Tunisia camel trekking

Morocco

Morocco has a varied landscape from the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert, both of which can be explored on camel tours, where you’ll be accompanied by local guides and learn about the Berber people along the way.

Beginning in the historic city of Marrakech, this tour begins with a drive over the trails that wind through the Atlas Mountains, stopping at kasbahs along the way, including the UNESCO recognised Aït Benhaddou, a Kasbah (or fortified city) which has acted as a backdrop for films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.

Upon reaching Ouled Driss, you will then hop on board your camels and embark on a trek over sand dunes, passing palm plantations on the way. During the journey you will cross the Wadi Draa (Morocco’s longest river) and enjoy traditional tajine-cooked Moroccan food and superb sunsets as you set up camp for the evening.

Upon your return to Ouled Driss you have the opportunity to explore the town and purchase some souvenirs such as pottery and jewellery before your journey back to Marrakesh.

Camel safaris Morocco

Namibia

Namibia is a nation of geographical extremes – from the dry Namib desert to the rugged and rocky Skeleton Coast – which stretches for 6,200 miles down Namibia’s west coast and is littered with wrecks and whale bones which have bleached in the sun over the years, as well as vast colonies of fur seals.

Exploring the Namib-Naukluft Park by camel (around a four-hour drive west of the capital Windhoek) allows you the opportunity to experience the harsh conditions of an ever changing landscape and catch a glimpse of the wildlife that call the Namibian deserts home – including fennec foxes, gemsbok antelope, brown hyenas and jackals.

Tours range from two-hour treks along a dry riverbed to day-long trails which take you deep into the desert, with an overnight stay in a camp en-route before returning to base camp at Hilton Farm.

Namibia camel tours

Tanzania

Tanzania is the location of Mt Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa at over 19,000 ft – and camel safari tours around the foot of the mountain can be an excellent way of viewing a rich range of flora and fauna of the Kilimanjaro National Park – from antelope and elephants to leopards and hyenas.

Over three days you can explore the national park on camelback, accompanied by local Maasai guides who will provide knowledge of the area and some of the best places to spot wildlife. After a day’s trekking you can relax in comfortable tents and drift off to sleep whilst listening to the sounds of the wildlife outside.

When preparing for a camel tour it is essential that you include the following items in your luggage:

• Light and comfortable clothing – including long sleeved shirts and blouses.

• Comfortable hiking shoes.

• Hats, scarves, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen.

• Sleeping bag.

Some tours will offer you the chance to rent some of these items though it can be worth double checking their availability before you travel.

Written by the Egypt holidays team at travelsupermarket.

3 Responses to Top 5 camel safaris in Africa

  1. CameltrekkingExcursions February 28, 2014 at 12:14 am #

    http://cameltrekking-excursions.com/1night-in-desert-erg-chebbi1) Camel Trek “Classic”- 1 night in Erg ChebbiTour:
    (1 Night in desert ) begins in evening, we organise the camel ride for the night in desert from a hotel near the sand dunes, The camels will be packed with foods, blankets and everything else which we will need. The trek will start right into the desert for 1:30min, We will spend the night in an equipped camp with drums music in the middle of the Sahara,this is a great opportunity to take lovely pictures of the sunset and sunrise, when we arrive at the camp we walk to the high dunes to see the sunset ,It will be a magical night when the sky is clear of cover and stars sparkle and shine with intensity. During the first night, there will be a wonderful dinner around a campfire,we will spend the night in nomad tents ,In the morning we will ride the camels backing to Merzouga , you’ll have the breakfest and shower in the hotel in Merzouga.
    ThPrice : 35€ EUR per personIncluded :
    – A room in the hotel where we organise our desert trips to leave some of your luggage & shower
    – Parking for you car (if you have
    – Nomad tents (Desert camp)
    – Dinner and breakfest
    – Camel each ( Camel ride for (1:30 min)
    – Bottled water
    Sandboarding in the dunes

  2. Camel Safaris And Trekking In Morocco September 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    The Erg Chebbi sand dunes at Merzouga represent an excellent centre for the exploration of Morocco’s sandy or true desert, they are considered to be one of the great sights of Morocco, The Erg Chebbi dunes can be reached most directly from Erfoud through an off-road trail or via Rissani on paved road. The Erg Chebbi desert dunes fascinate Moroccans and foreigners alike. Mention “Merzouga” anywhere in Morocco and people will tell you of the power of the sands to cure rheumatics who come here to be buried up to the neck in the sand. Widely believed, but never seen! The Erg Chebbi dunes also have a wide-ranging aesthetic appeal; witness the film directors, writers, artists and photographs who struggle to convey their beauty.

  3. Camel Safaries Morocco November 29, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Camel Safaries welcomes you to one of the most interesting places to stay during your visit to Morocco– the beautiful and amazing sand dunes of Erg Chebbi in the Southeast of Morocco.

    A camel ride is a great way to experience the dunes. For those up for the ultimate adventure, we offer desert tours that will take you through the Erg Chebbi dunes on a camel. Watching the sun rise or set over the sand dunes of Merzouga may be the most spectacular experience you have on your trip to Morocco. The Erg Chebbi, the name of these sand dunes, is said to have some of the highest dunes in Morocco. Indeed, the dunes and the desert wildlife are impressive. Merzouga is an excellent base from which to explore the desert, and bird-watchers will be enthralled with what they see. A lake forms near Merzouga which attracts pink flamingos, and other rare birds stop here during spring migration. The desert is also the year round environment for many desert reptiles and mammals.

    Take an overnight excursion over the dunes for an experience to remember. You will see waves and waves of sand dunes at sunset as you ride your camel. In the morning, you will watch the sunrise from Algeria as it catches the dunes, and in the evening, enjoy a campfire dinner before you fall asleep under the stars. Either in the middle of the desert or in the surrounding villages, you will experience the life the nomads did inside an authentic berber tent. This wonderful experience is the perfect romantic setting in the desert of Erg Chebbi.

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