A safari conjures up a romantic image of a travel across jungles and mountains. Earlier safaris were on foot, but now the modern safari is often conducted by a 4 wheeled driven vehicle. The desert safari is another mutation of the age old safari and is every bit as exciting. In particular the city of Dubai offers desert safari that is basically a travel through the sand dunes.
The desert is a barren area made of sand and small hillocks called dunes. These dunes have a peculiarity in that they are not static and keep shifting with the direction of strong winds. When moving in the desert sand storms are fairly common and at that time visibility can be reduced to zero. Thus there is a need of a special 4×4 wheeled vehicle. Generally tin Dubai the Toyota land cruiser is very common. The vehicle is roomy and with AC on does not get heated in the hot desert. Earlier desert safaris were on camels – but that was in a bygone age.
While you are in Dubai you can book a desert safari with any of the umpteen tour operators available. All tour operators who run the Dubai desert safaris follow set route and regime. You will invariably be picked up from your hotel or place of stay. This is in the morning and you will be part of a group of six who all travel together.
All the vehicles assemble at a starting point. As a rule no single vehicle is allowed to go out into the desert. It can be dangerous as disorientation can cost you your life. Thus an entire fleet moves together. This is a thrilling experience and generally the desert safari will drive on in the desert and converge on a camel farm. You can then have a short ride on the camel. and also have a look as to how camels are bred.
The safari will then move on and take you to Bedouin camp. This is wonderful experience and you will see how the Bedouins- the earlier nomads live in the desert. A Bedouin camp will also have an oasis and you can feel the cool waters and the romantic surroundings. Local girls will also apply exotic henna designs for you. Bedouin camps these days have all basic amenities and you can freshen yourself. You will also be served exotic barbecue dinner with Lebanese girls doing a belly dance for your benefit. The belly dance is the high point of the evening and sometimes girls from Mumbai are also drafted for this show.
The belly dance signals the end of the safari which can take from 5 to 6 hours. They are generally priced between $ 50 to $65 per person. This price includes pick up and drop, food and refreshment as well as camel rides, and application of Henna and Mehandi for the foreign women. All in all it is an interesting outing.