May 9, 2022
The Sahara desert lies in the far east of Morocco sits. The best way to enjoy and experience the desert region and the camel rides in Morocco is by taking a guided tour from Marrakech, Fez, or Merzouga. Merzouga and Zagora are the gateway towns to the beautiful golden Morocco desert dunes.
To reach the desert it would take at least a full day of travel on the Atlas Mountains and the desert roads. Travelers have an option for a two-day, three-day, or four-day desert tour, which they can book in Marrakech or online. There are many unique things to do in Marrakech but to experience the real deserts, a camel hike trip or camel trek in Morocco is recommended.
For a camel ride, it is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes like pants and shirts. Avoid wearing shorts for the ride as the camel’s fur is rough and scratchy and can irritate your skin, with long exposure to the rough fur you may end up having scratches and cuts on your legs.
The desert weather is hot which will make you sweat a lot, so preferably wear cotton clothes or breathable materials which can allow your skin to breathe in the heat. Wear scarves or hats along with sunglasses for shade.
Popularly known as the ‘Ships of the Desert’, camels have always been an important part of people’s lives in desert regions of Morocco. Many tourists look forward to watching the beautiful iconic animal upfront and wish to ride it to enjoy and experience the desert life.
Depending on the number of people enrolled for the camel ride tour in Morocco, either one or two people can ride 1 camel. Though the camels are tall, children can safely ride them with an accompanying responsible adult who can be seated in the saddle seat behind the child. Young children below the age of 3 years have to sit on a parent’s lap while riding the camel.
Camels are known to be very gentle animals; they enjoy sniffing at humans and at times even playing with their hair. Male camels may be aggressive and fight with their counterparts, however, camels that are bred in captivity are usually trained not to bite or attack. They have very large teeth which they use to bite in case of provocation or attack. Overall camels are very friendly towards humans.
Camel riding is not dangerous, but you need to follow some things to ensure your camel ride is smooth and uneventful. Remember to walk always on the side of the camel, avoid standing in front of it. While sitting on the camel, swing your legs over the back and position yourself in the middle.
A stirrup can help you mount; it assists you in getting up or down the camel. The camel gets up from its hind legs first, so you should lean back in your saddle when it gets up. Next, when the camel begins to rise using its front legs you should lean forward to avoid falling down or losing balance.
Don’t panic or react if a camel from behind comes up close to your camel or rubs itself against your legs, camels like kissing and sniffing each other, it is just a form of expression and not an attack.
Remembering these few tips will ensure you don’t fall off the camel or experience any unforeseen instances while riding the camel in Morocco. The camel will then raise its front legs, as it does this you should lean forward.
The truth is that camels were not born to be ridden by humans. However, with the adverse conditions of the deserts, camels have been trained to become an important part of life for people residing in deserts. With the growing influx of tourists in Morocco, the demand for camel rides and camel treks in Marrakech has increased.
The camels have to be trained to bear the weight of riders on them as they move through the sandy deserts. The training may end up turning violent as they are beaten with sticks or whips. There are times when they are frequently overloaded. Many caretakers even chain and muzzle them.
Therefore it is important for you as a tourist to ensure that the camel you are riding is well taken care of and not tortured by its caretaker. If you see anything amiss, you should raise the concern and insist on change.
As far as the question of whether camel safaris and camel riding are ethical, we could say they are as ethical as the other wildlife safaris if not more if you go through a professional and righteous tour operator. It is the responsibility of the camel’s owner or caretaker for the welfare of the animal. And you as tourists can have a direct impact on what type of treatment is given to the camels and what behavior you support.
If you want to enjoy camel rides or camel treks in Morocco, it is important you do it ethically. The first thing is to visually inspect the camel to ensure it is well taken care of, if you see the camel is hurt, sick, limping or undernourished refuse to ride it. Next check the harnesses, saddles, tethers, and nosebands of the camel, are they too tight?
Are they hurting the animal or giving it sores? If you see so, ask the caretaker to take a look at it and loosen them. Observe if the handlers beat their animals or yell at them unnecessarily, do they ill-treat them? If yes, go to another handler. The people who ill-treat their animals should be boycotted, do not give them business, this will force them to take better care of their animals and not treat them badly.
Generally, a camel should not carry more than 150kg weight, so avoid overloading the camel. Though you may be looking forward to riding the camel together with your friend or loved one, if your combined weight is above 150kg, it would be considerate if you both ride different animals.
Avoid hiring operators or handlers who overload their camels and most importantly pay a reasonable price for your camel ride, as your money will help maintain the animal better. You can also donate to charities that care for the sick, retired, and ill-treated camels.
Yamina Tours are passionate tour operators and destination Management Company which offers a diverse portfolio of Moroccan tours customized to meet the customer’s needs.
We support the ethical treatment of the camels and do not believe in harming the animal for human pleasure. We work only with camel handlers and caretakers who take good care of their animals and do not ill-treat them or overwork them.
If you are looking forward to enjoying camel rides and camel treks in Morocco, which are ethical, email us at email@example.com or call us at +12028486666 to know more about our various tour options.