No wonder camels were domesticated by people for so long. They can carry heavy weight, transport people and they’re a great source of milk, meat, and wool.
Except, if you own a camel and you’re low on a budget you really don’t have to worry too much since the camel can carry you and your weight over 150 km on very high temperatures in the desert and in the same time can stay without food or water for months.
This certainly makes them very unique animals.
What makes camel survive in the desert?
There are two types of camels, Dromedary with one hump that can be found in Northern Africa and Sahara desert and the two-humped Bactrian camel that lives in Asia.
Their humps are stores of fat (not water). This fatty reserves can be converted into energy or water when there isn’t any food available. That’s how they can survive without food or water for so long. When they actually drink water they do that very fast and can drink up to 100 l in about 10 min.
Although camels live on very high temperatures in the desert, the good thing is that they don’t sweat. Their thick coat on the back isolates them from heat and prevents the heat to be absorbed. Most of us, when exposed to high temperatures, will need water to prevent dehydration of the body which isn’t a case with the camels. This insulating ability of their tick coat refers to cold temperatures and snow as well.
Dromedary camels are herbivores animals. Their diet includes any type of vegetation that grows in the desert and because of their leathery mouth, they’re able to eat food that’s mostly avoided by other animals such as thorns and salty bushes. This means that there is plenty of food in the desert waiting just for them since no one else wants to eat the food they eat anyway. Moreover, it’s really a good thing that there is someone that actually can eat all those thorns and bushes that can only make somehow damage or unwilling accidents.
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Camels feet are huge and wide which enables them to walk long hours in the sand without sticking in the sand. They have very bushy eyebrows and two rows of eyelashes as well as hair in their ears which prevents the sand from making any damage to their eyes or ears. In some cultures, big eyebrows can signify a higher level of intelligence which can be somehow related to camels as well since they are considered to be very smart, but they don’t forgive or forget.
Although camels can run as fast as horses reaching a speed of 60 km/h, if they are racing with horses in the desert or in the sand with no doubt camels will win the race. Even though camels don’t sweat, there is still something about their smell that actually bothers the horses (those graceful and sophisticated animals) which makes them fear the camels. Throughout history, there were some battles that had very peacefully outcome when two of the armies encountered. One of the armies was riding camels and the other one was on horses. The one with horses simply left the battlefield.
There is one thing that actually these resistant animals can’t do. They can’t swim and I wonder why. I suppose if there was a little bit more water over there in the desert they would easily learn how to do that too
When you look at them standing with their heads up and their self-confident attitude saying:
I can do stuff that you can’t do, everyone will agree that it suits them well and it’s so justified too.
Camel Trekking Tours
Visiting that enormous sandy space in the Sahara desert is an adventure truly tempting and rare that probably many of us would like to experience. There are a few Camel Trekking Tours provided by eligible tour operators in Morocco that can take you to this once in a lifetime journey. These tours can last from one night and be even tailored to two weeks expeditions.
The golden dunes of Erg Chebbi near Merzouga are the most spectacular ones in Morocco and the dunes of Erg Chigaga located near M’hamid are attractive as well. Usually, when attending a one day Camel Trekking Tour you’ll be able to ride a camel across the desert dunes for about 2 hours until you reach the oasis in the desert where you’ll stay for overnight in Bedouin tents under the stars. In the evening you’ll be introduced to the traditional Berber cuisine prepared over the open fire. Although the highlight of these tours is the exceptional view of beautiful sunrises and sunsets there is a still possibility of bringing your own board if you’d like to experience some boarding on the sand as well. More romantic and peaceful or more adventurous, the choice is yours.
The most of the population in Morocco are Berbers with Islam as their primary religion. Berbers inhabited North Africa a few thousand years ago and Marrakesh is the only Moroccan city with significant Berber atmosphere.
While experiencing one of the extended 2 to 4 days tour you’ll be able to get closer to the nomadic Berber lifestyle of the people that live in the desert and pasturing camels as well as admire the tremendous sites and natural surroundings. One of the most interesting locations for visit during these tours is the traditional pre-Saharan habitat Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou which is listed under the Unesco World Heritage Sites located west of the Ouarzazate.
This city is known as the film capital of Morocco where a lot of movie scenes from many popular movies such as Jesus of Nazareth, Game of Thrones, Gladiator to name a few, took place here. From there across the Draa Valley, a stunning oasis and endless stretches of palms, the route will take you to the Sahara desert.
Camels - Old World Camels