What are the chances for a tropical jungle girl from Costa Rica to ride a camel safari through a desert and spend the night under the stars? Well, I just did it while I visited Jaisalmer in India, and it was one of the most incredible experiences I ever had!
Since I came to India, I thought of going to the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert. But as I wanted to have an enjoyable experience in a desert, it’s much better to plan a good season for visiting it. I mean, you don’t want to be in the middle of dunes at over 50 degrees celsius, right?. So, I patiently waited for many months for the chill temperature to come to visit this fantastic place, as the best months to visit are October and November. In the meantime, I was spending the beautiful summer in the Himalayan Mountains in Rishikesh, Manali, Vashisht, and Parvati Valley. Once the winter hit, I decided to to a two months Rajasthan tour through Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur.
The desert I visited is called the Thar Desert, and it’s the outside of Jaisalmer city in the State of Rajasthan. This dessert shares borders with Afghanistan and is an immense desert. Still, the part of the sandy dunes is relatively small.
To reach Thar desert you must go outside the city by car or other transportation, but don’t worry because options are everywhere! That’s one of the things that was part of my initial concern. Which of all the options was the best to take?
Camel Safari in Jaisalmer
When I stayed in Jaipur, the first city I went to in Rajasthan, I did volunteer work at the Elephant Sanctuary. Rahul, the owner of the Sanctuary, told me his good friend from The Real Desert Man Safari provides an excellent tour to visit the Thar Desert riding with Camels. When I entered his website, I saw all the good reviews he had, plus Rahul told me that he takes good care of the camels and the whole team behind. Long story short, I went with them, and the reviews were correct! This team is fantastic. They all are locals who know the place very well and are very professional. I highly recommend them.
For me, this experience was just fantastic!. Talking about the tour, it began with a Jeep ride through the desert, and it’s so cool because you pass by some desert villages to get an idea of how people live. Desert living is very different from any other type of living I have ever experienced before. For example, I saw some ladies walking long distances carrying a water-filled mud container. This experience makes me realize how lucky I am to live in places where the water is easily accessible.
Another thing that surprised me was seeing the waste (garbage) in the surroundings of the villages; of course, how can they have a garbage collection system?! Not a chance. What I thought was why they don’t manage to put all the garbage in a hole or something like that? But well, I guess it’s a cultural thing.
After one hour more or less of jeep ride, we reach the camels. My camel’s name was Bablu, and he was a sweetheart. I hop in Bablu’s back, which by the way, he was lying on the floor so you can jump in quickly. It feels so weird when it gets up! First the back legs and then the front legs: you just have to hold on tight! And to do this, what you have is just one horn in front of you to hold on tight, and that’s it. In the beginning, I have to say that it was a challenge; it moves a lot! and you are not used to it, but eventually, you start getting much more comfortable.
We ride the camels for one more hour until we strictly reach the desert dunes for sunset. This is the magic hour, the colors in the sky are so beautiful and intense. Plus, it’s very peaceful. I sat down with my cup of chai tea and let the magic hit me. I was able to do a beautiful meditation before it started getting colder.
A night in the Thar Desert
When the night came, the temperature dropped significantly. Still, the guys from the safari managed to keep us warm with a campfire. They cook for us a fantastic dinner packed with rice, dal, vegetables, and chapati. I have to say that it was delicious! We sat down by the fire and sang and danced for some hours. Oh, I almost forgot, we even got a cold beer; what are the chances? Ha!
Around 9:30 at night, I went to my bed (which, by the way, it was just a mattress) and lay down under the blankets to the most unforgettable stars in the sky. It was one of the most memorable nights I have seen! I stared at the sky for at least one hour or so before my eyes fell to sleep.
The next day, we woke up for the sunrise, and although it was freezing, I hopped out of my bed and started walking to the top of the dunes. The sky began to be more explicit, and it was crazy beautiful! The boys told me that breakfast was ready when the sky was more transparent. We eat fruits, oatmeal porridge, and some biscuits and bread. And chai! In India, chai is never missed! While we were eating, the boys managed to get the camels ready for our way back. With our belly complete, we start our journey back!
So, you can see in much more detail this crazy adventure in my video.
If you are around Jaisalmer, I recommend doing the Camel Safari in Jaisalmer tour; trust me, it’s worth it all the way!