Camel Safari in Jaisalmer, India

We booked a one and a half day, one night camel safari, which was just the perfect length for us!  We wanted the experience of spending the night in the desert, but we didn’t want to stay too long.  We booked our safari through Ganesh Travel for 850 rupees per person.  You can read our review of Ganesh Travel here.

Even though American tourists are not that common in India, our group of 8 consisted of 6 from the US and 2 from England!  There were two guys from NY (Josh and Steve) and two gals who are cousins (Marie and Khadija), also from NY.  It was nice to have people to swap stories with who could relate!  Josh and Steve were even craving Chipotle burritos- our favorite!

After meeting up in town we were taken by jeep out to the desert, where the previous group was returning with the camels.  I got a cute camel with a pink blanket which I thought was a girl, but it turned out Bicky was actually male.  The only female camel was Manju, who had a one-year-old baby that accompanied us.  George went with Manju, who also carried a carton of eggs for our breakfast ;).

Camel funny face 🙂

We started with a three hour ride through the desert.  Most of the terrain was flat sand with scrub brush.  We started out going through a huge wind mill farm.  Some people thought that ruined the view, but I was happy to see that they are utilizing wind power in the state of Rajasthan.  (We later found out that the windmills are owned by various companies and actors and the power is sold to the government.)  We stopped at a few villages along the way, where the children ran up to us asking for chocolate, school pens, or rupees.  I guess that’s what happens when some tourists give them gifts, they expect something from every other tourist.  Luckily no one in our group was handing anything out, so they would give up after a while and were entertained instead by having their photographs taken.  I don’t like the concept of making the village people into a tourist attraction, especially when it feels like they bring us there in hopes that we will give the kids money.

Heidi riding a camel
Camel Caravan
Village in the Thar Desert

After three hours of riding in the strong sun it was time to stop under a shade tree for a leisurely lunch. The guides unloaded the camels and tied each of their two front feet together.  The camels awkwardly strutted off in various directions- trying to make their escape.  Our guides then cooked lunch from scratch, even making the dough for chapatti bread.  After eating there was still time for an hour long nap, but most of us stayed up chatting, instead.  Josh and Steve had lots of entertaining misadventures to share, and were eager to talk to native English speakers, after not being around any for a while.  It sounded like they’d fallen for almost every trick in the book and would have made a great “Harold and Kumar go to India” movie.  It made me feel better about having been so skeptical of people, since there clearly was a basis for that skepticism.  Their stories also reassured Marie and Khadija that their experiences hadn’t been all that bad, after all.

After the lunch break it was time for 3 more hours of camel riding, to reach our camping site on a sand dune.  We had time to take photos on the dune and rest a bit while dinner was being prepared.  After dinner it got dark pretty quickly and we sat around a camp fire while the guides played instruments and sang.  It was still so warm out we didn’t need warmth from the camp fire, but it was good to keep the insects away and provided some light.  Around dark the dung beetles started crawling over our feet.  George had read that they get in people’s beds and clothes at night, but they weren’t that bad, especially since they don’t bite.

Yay! We reached the sand dune!
Making camp
Goodnight camel

We were all really tired, and called it a night around 10pm.  We set up our mats and blankets a bit downhill from the camp site, where there wasn’t as much camel dung.  The sand wasn’t comfortable at all, and the mangy looking dog that showed up and slept at our feet worried me.  It was soon after a full moon, and so bright that it was hard to sleep.  We got up the next morning around 6am, after hardly any sleep.  We ate breakfast, which consisted of white toasts, jelly, interesting peanut butter, and boiled eggs (the ones George’s camel had been hauling through the heat of the desert).  After breakfast our group split in two, with four of us heading back to town and four staying for the 3 day 2 night safari.  Those of us heading back were all glad to be doing so, when we felt how sore we were from the previous day’s ride.  George and I might have been interested in a longer safari if it had a destination, but they were just going to wander through the desert some more and then camp in the same place.  We had enjoyed our camel safari and were ready to head back to a shower, clean clothes, and a cold Pepsi, please!  Luckily the Ganesh Hotel we were spending that night in was cleaner than our previous room in Jaisalmer.  By mid day we were freshened up and headed out to a yummy lunch.  I was glad we had decided to take the train the following day, instead of right after the camel safari, since we were sore and could use some rest.

George and Heidi with our Camels

5 thoughts on “Camel Safari in Jaisalmer, India”

  1. Just came back from an 8 day trek to ABC (Annapurna base camp) and was reading all the latest blog updates… I’m glad you’re having a good time in India (despite all the scams and urine smell and etc… it’s still a wonderful country 🙂 Amazing photos, as usual! Hugs from Nepal and enjoy!

  2. Hi Mariana!
    We hope you are having a wonderful time in Nepal! How was the trek? We are enjoying being back in the south of India. Just a few more days, though.
    Take care!
    P.S. What is your blog address? I can’t remember it.

  3. I am looking to book a safari for 2 days-1 night. Do you know how much it cost?
    Where can i book it?

    Thank you,

  4. Hi Jenny,
    We booked a 1.5 day 1 night camel safari through Ganesh Travel for 850 rupees per person. Ganesh Travel is located inside the Jaisalmer Fort. We liked the safari and our guides, but we did not care for the guy who we booked the tour through, Sebastian.

    You can also book camel safaris through almost any hotel in Jaisalmer, but you might pay twice as much.

    You may want to read our article about Avoiding Hotel/Safari Scams in Jaisalmer:

    Have fun on your camel safari!

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