Let the ‘ship of the desert’ sail you across the sun-kissed expanse of the Thar while you soak in every sight and every sound, every colour and every scent and watch the sand dunes changing course. The Thar is not dull or lifeless as many are inclined to think. You will discover this in a camel safari in the Rajasthan desert as you travel past quaint villages and watch brightly dressed women fetching water from a well and listen to the melodious tunes of their folk song. If not these, the aroma of cooked food served in the comfort of blazing bonfire will create a lifetime of memories. Certainly, camel safaris are the best and most exotic ways to explore the mysterious desert. No wonder it is becoming the hottest selling travel packages of Asia. Though the Thar might not be as large as the Sahara or Namibia, it makes up with the majestic forts and palaces and the colourful vibrant life it supports.
Best Location: The areas covering Bikaner, Khimsar, Osian and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan are the best places for camel safari. Most safaris begin from Jaisalmer or Jaipur due to their good connectivity by road, air and train. The areas around Jaisalmer has more attractions such as the architectural ruins of Lodurva a former capital of the Bhatti Rajput, the Anasagar oasis, the sand dunes of Samm and the water source of Moolsagar where local women go to fetch water with pots balanced on their head. Best time for a camel safari is between November to March and it is best done in a group of 4 to 10. The safaris are available either as a short one day trip around Jaisalmer or for 2 to 7 days and few longer ones lasting for 14, 21, or 30 days for hardcore enthusiasts. At night sleeping arrangements are made in the villages or temporary bivouac camps in the desert.
Things To Bring: Most of the camel safaris are held in winters, so you will need lots of woollen sweaters. Bring sleeping bags and blankets, nights in the desert get extremely cold. To protect yourself from the scorching heat, bring a sun hat, sun glasses, and sunscreen lotion and your own toiletries. Also bring a first aid kit.
General Information: While booking your camel safari be sure to find out what is included in the price they are charging. Ask if arrangements are done for sleeping and eating. Same of the tour operators do no provide mineral water so you might have to take your own.