Despite Morocco’s conservative nature, everybody is guaranteed a hump or two on our Souks & Sand tour. That is to say, riding camelback through the Sahara.
We’ll saddle up a caravan of these magnificent beasts and ride towards an authentic Berber campsite. The haunting desert sunset to follow will be the pomegranate on top of this unique experience.
Here are some fast facts about camels.
One hump or two?
There are two species of camels: Dromedary (one hump) and Bactrian (two humps). Despite popular belief, camel humps store extra fat cells, not water. The fat can be transformed into energy on long treks through desolate ecosystems.
They’re taking over.
Today, 14 million camels roam the deserts of the Middle East, Asia and Australia. A number that continues to increase to the detriment of some environments, such as Australia’s outback where they were introduced by British colonists in the 19th century.
Designed for the desert.
These extraordinary creatures are built head to hump to withstand unforgiving desert climates. Their eyes, nose and ears have special functions to prevent gusts of sand and debris from entering. As mentioned, their humps store backup energy — ideal when food and water are scarce. Finally, their double-toed feet are malleable and cushioned to prevent sinking into the sand.
Difficult to dehydrate.
A camel’s interior system is just as adept for the desert as its exterior. The average camel can lose 25% of its water stores before hitting dehydration — the average mammal would be dehydrated before losing 15%! Their urine is as thick as syrup while their feces is as dry as the Sahara. Of course, camels are also excellent at restoring supplies; when thirsty, camels can skol up to 40 gallons at once!
Beware the Camel Cavalry.
Despite their cumbersome size, a camel can run more than 40km/25mi per hour! When attacked, they use their powerful legs to kick. Not to mention, they can famously spit a thick gob of phlegm with incredible accuracy. In fact, these powerful creatures were commonly harnessed for desert militias throughout history and as recently as the 1930s.
Ethically cared for
Out Adventures has a strict policy that only allows for the incorporation of domesticated animals when it can be assured they are treated well. On our gay Morocco tour we ensure that our suppliers and camps have obtained official licensing to use the animals for such activity, and our local guide is constantly monitoring the animals’ health. Any complaints, issues or potential abuses are investigated immediately.
Enchanted by the idea of riding camel-back through the Sahara? Check out all of our upcoming Moroccan Souks & Sand departure dates.
A Q&A with Youssef Laamimi, the local Moroccan guide charged with shepherding us gays around his country. Read More
It was between the late 40s and early 50s when the gay literati of the time began flocking to Tangier, Morocco to escape the conservative landscape of America. Read More
10 things to know before considering gay travel in Morocco. Read More