A desert safari trip is lots of fun especially when you are with people whose company you enjoy. If you find yourself in a country that offers this experience (Northern/Eastern Africa and the Middle East) you should definitely do it.
I had my desert safari trip in Dubai, (Getting a visa is now very easy with Emirates) Here are a few tips on how to have a great experience.
Do your research – When my sister’s friend said he had booked and paid for a safari for us, I was really excited. I had no idea what to expect and who he had booked with. It turned out to be the most basic experience. I know with a better operator it would have been much more fun. Check TripAdvisor they give amazing reviews of such operators, it can guide you to the best.
What to Wear & Items to take along – I was really looking forward to the trip, and Dubai being hot at the time even though it was technically ‘winter’, I imagined the desert would be hotter. My sister and friends all went with shorts and flip flops, I took my pashmina for ‘ in case’ purposes and it turned out to be very useful because it got chilly at night.
Wear loose clothing and sandals or flipflops, take one big bag for everyone, you don’t want to have so many items on your person. Take your suntan lotion, lip balm, sunglasses, water, small snacks. You don’t have to take money if you have your own cameras, every other thing is usually covered.
The Experience – At about 3pm we were picked up by a bus from a muster point and then driven to the desert. First on the list was dune bashing (recreational off-roading). I totally enjoyed this, but it’s easy to have your heart in your mouth. The jeeps usually have just four people including the driver. So tighten your seat-belts, it will get rough.
After about 15 mins, we were driven to the safari camp. There were camels, falcons and other little animals doing photo ops. The entire camp was about 30 people. The ladies opted to have henna tattoos while we chilled after the long ride and dune bashing. We were eventually ushered to our dinner tables, where many smoked shisha with glee. I tried it but ended up a sputtering mess. Food time! this is the sample menu;
First course(choose from following selection):
- Hummus, green salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, olives, coleslaw and Arabic bread
Second course(choose from following selection):
- Lamb chops, marinated chicken, beef burgers, barbequed potatoes, sauteed onions, steamed rice and lentil curry
- Arabic coffee and dates
It was buffet style, you could pay for table service if you wanted. While everyone was eating, smoking, relaxing with Arabian music. A belly dancer came on to grace our presence. I was mildly disappointed, I wasn’t expecting an Eastern European dancer but it’s Dubai though.
Night time fell, and after much picture taking, we were ready to leave the camp and go back home. We were driven to the muster point where we picked up our car and drove home! very tired but happy.