Jaisalmer borders the mystical Thar desert, and one of the consequential things to do when visiting the ‘golden city’, is an overnight camel safari. From trotting through the desert atop camels, followed by nights spent under the milky way, it is no wonder that tourists travel from far and wide to take part in this magical experience. In this guide, we will share our tips and experiences, to help you choose your own camel safari in Jaisalmer.
Our camel safari in Jaisalmer remains one of the highlights of our 2 months spent in INDIA. It’s not often you get to catch your breath in strenuous Rajasthan, therefore the day and night we spent in the desert was a welcomed break. Anybody who’s ever spent a night in the desert i’m sure will agree, that there’s something to be found amidst all that nothing…
OVERNIGHT CAMEL SAFARI IN JAISALMER – TOP THINGS TO DO JAISALMER
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HOW TO BOOK OVERNIGHT CAMEL SAFARI IN JAISALMER
It will come as no surprise that Jaisalmer is bursting at the seams with tour operators organising the desert camel safari experience. It can, therefore, be an overwhelming task when choosing the right one. Thankfully we had been recommended Trotters Jaisalmer ahead of our visit and we were not disappointed.
Trotters are a relatively small establishment; however, you only have to look at their trip advisor reviews to see they are a reputable company. Trotters offer the best desert safari in Jaisalmer, as theirs leads you through the most remote areas of the desert. We would highly recommend Trotters for your camel safari experience.
JAISALMER CAMEL SAFARI PRICE
Prices vary dependent on the package you choose; however, make sure to check Trotters recent price list. Below is a list of what you can expect to be included in the price:
- Collection from your hotel
- Jeep Transportation to & from the desert
- A personal camel
- Meals, refreshments, snacks & drinking water*
- Off the beaten track adventures
*Dependent on the package chosen
HOW LONG IS THE CAMEL SAFARI IN JAISALMER?
The standard camel safari packages include 1 or 2 nights in the Thar desert. This being said, Trotters can accommodate anywhere up to 21+ days. We opted for a 1 day, 1-night safari and for us, that was enough time. Although the experience is magical, it can also be uncomfortable at times. Be sure to know what you’re signing up for before you commit. In the itinerary below, we will share an honest review of our experience so you know what to expect.
OUR JAISALMER DESERT SAFARI EXPERIENCE
DAY 1 – JAISALMER TO DUNE CAMP
Our camel safari experience commenced around lunch time when we were collected by the Trotter company jeep. Accompanied by a group of 6 other travellers, we sped off on our journey into the desert. Before long, the sandstone architecture of the city had been replaced with arid golden landscapes. While a brisk, cool breeze filtered through the windows of the jeep; the heat mirage rippling on the road confirmed the soaring temperatures waiting for us outside.
Around 1 hour had passed when we arrived at our first destination, the ‘Serene Oasis’. The giant watering hole once served as the only water supply to the local villages. This means that some villagers would have had to walk for hours to gather water for their families. Thankfully the villages now have alternative water sources; however, there are other inhabitants of the desert who take advantage of the generous water supply. Thirsty camels have to drop to their knees when the water levels are low. Though surprisingly, they didn’t seem to have the hump about it! (boom boom…)
Soon it was time to head to the next stop, ‘Khaba Fort’. With the fort possessing a compelling history, it made for a nice addition to the itinerary. The fort was once inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins but was mysteriously abandoned some 200 years ago. Today, laid in ruins, the fort & village are consumed by an eerie solitude.
MEETING MICHAEL JACKSON (MY CAMEL)
After exploring the fort and admiring the views, it was finally time to meet our camels. When we arrived they were impressively dressed and ready to go. Much to my dismay, I was the first up to mount my camel, ‘Michael Jackson’. It was my first time riding a camel, and so I was not prepared for what came next. ‘Michael’ stood back legs first, and as he lurched me forwards I almost catapulted into the horizon (no exaggeration..)!
Once the group was ready, our guides gave the signal to commence the safari. The camels trotted forward in perfect unison, and it was clear they knew the route like the back of their hoof. It was mid-afternoon by this point, and the sun was unforgiving. We were thankful we had come well prepared with sunscreen and shawls.
As we walked through arid farmland and scrubland, our guides provided interesting facts about the camels. (Did you know they can drink up to 40 gallons of water in one go?) This was educational but also served as a welcome distraction from our numb legs and sore butt. It has to be said that riding a camel is not the most comfortable of experiences. Thankfully, the journey to camp is no longer than 2 hours.
A SUNSET TO REMEMBER
Soon enough, the setting sun projected a magical golden hour glow over the landscapes. With the sand dunes visible in the distance it felt like a tale from ‘1001 Nights’.
We arrived at camp just in time to catch the sun setting over the dunes. At the same time, we were welcomed warmly by the team, with delicious local snacks & traditional chai. There was even ice cold beers available at an extra cost. In the hours before dinner, we chatted among our new-found friends and enjoyed the extraordinary experience.
As darkness fell, the campfire roared into life, and the alluring smell of Indian cuisine had us all feeling hungry. The team had prepared a feast of freshly prepared curry, dahl, rice, and chapati. The food was delicious, and we happily accepted the refills that just kept on coming. When we could finally eat no more, the guides transformed random equipment from the camp into instruments. With a blanket of stars above us, the tantalising sounds of traditional Indian music carried us into the night.
*Travellers Tip – It was winter when we took part in the safari; therefore, the evening got extremely cold. Thankfully Trotters provided plenty of duvets and blankets to keep us warm.
As we lay in bed gazing at a breathtaking view of the milky way, we eventually fell asleep with shooting stars in our eyes.
DAY 2 – DUNE CAMP TO JAISALMER
We woke early to a fresh morning and the first hint of sunlight creeping over the dunes. The Trotters team were already preparing breakfast, and we were grateful for the hot pot of chai that was waiting for us. With blankets in tow, we made our way to an isolated spot at the peak of the dunes. We continued to watch on in awe as the sky exploded into a burst of colour. It was one of the most romantic sunrises we have ever encountered.
By the time we got back to camp, a simple breakfast of porridge, fruit, and biscuits laid waiting for us. As we ate, we enjoyed our final moments of peace and serenity in the desert. Soon it was time to gather up our things and commence our journey back to Jaisalmer.
We decided we would walk the 1-hour trek to meet the jeep, as we felt sore from the previous days’ journey. With instruction from our guides, we were left to lead the camels through the desert. The fast-paced trek was tough in the heat but also great fun. We certainly felt like we’d had a good workout by the time we made it to the jeep. After thanking our guides and saying our goodbyes, it was time to make our way back to the Golden City.
Although we didn’t have a room booked, Trotters kindly allocated us a room at their guesthouse so we could freshen up. From start to finish, their hospitality was gracious and welcoming. Thank you Trotters for a beautiful and memorable camel safari experience.
DO I NEED TO BOOK IN ADVANCE?
Trotters offer the option to book in advance on their website; however, it isn’t necessary. We booked our safari just one day prior through the Trotters office located just outside of the fort in Jaisalmer.
TROTTERS OFFICE MAP LOCATION
WHAT TO WEAR FOR DESERT SAFARI?
- Long-sleeved shirt and long trousers
- Sunglasses, sunhat, and shawl
- Protective shoes – We recommend Aleader 2 in 1 hiking shoes. Use this discount OURTASTEFORLIFE15 for 15% discount off your purchase.
AND WHAT TO BRING?
Check out our full packing list; THE BACKPACKER ESSENTIALS. You don’t need a lot to take to the desert:
- Any medication you might need
- Stainless Steel Insulated water bottle
- Toilet Roll (Please do not leave in the desert)
- Warm Clothes (it gets chilly at night!)
WHERE DO I SLEEP?
Trotters offer a unique camping experience, whereby you camp underneath the stars. Camp beds, pillows, and blankets are provided.
WHAT FACILITIES ARE THERE AT THE CAMP?
Please note there are no washing or bathroom facilities after leaving Jaisalmer. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us!
HAVE A BHANG-ING EXPERIENCE
You didn’t hear this from us; however, Jaisalmer is one of the few cities in India where it is legal to consume Bhang. That is only if it is purchased from the government-approved bhang shop. For those of you who don’t know what Bhang is, it is an edible form of cannabis. It is most commonly found in Bhang Lassis, a tasty beverage mixed with milk, sugar, and fruits. Or alternatively in cakes or cookies.
We bought some cookies to take with us on safari. Although we do not recommend taking Bhang in the heat, it made certainly helped make an enchanting evening spent under the stars, that little more magical.
Price- 1000 IDR for 10 cookies
GOVERNMENT APPROVED BHANG SHOP MAP LOCATION
WHERE TO STAY IN JAISALMER
Whether you are looking for luxury, mid-range, or budget, Jaisalmer is not short of great accommodation options.
Hostel – Swan Hostel – One of only a few hostels in Jaisalmer, Swan Hostel is the top choice thanks to its convenient location and comfortable dorm or private rooms.
Budget Private – Bohemian Guesthouse – We can personally recommend Bohemian Guesthouse, for affordable, clean & comfortable private rooms. A 15-20 minute walk from the heart of the city, some may be deterred by the location if you are planning just a short 2 day trip to Jaisalmer.
Luxury – Suryagarh Jaisalmer – For a touch of luxury in Jaisalmer, we would choose the Suryagarh Jaisalmer. Located in the heart of the desert you can expect celebrity treatment at this 5* hotel.
For more places to stay in Jaisalmer, you can check the latest prices HERE.
BEST TIME TO VISIT JAISALMER
The best time to visit Jaisalmer is in winter (November to March) when the weather is dry and not too hot. We visited Jaisalmer in November and while you could still feel the burn of the desert heat, it was just about bearable for us pale-skinned folk. It’s best to avoid Jaisalmer during the months of Summer or Monsoon.
More on Rajasthan
Are you planning a trip to Rajasthan? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
- One month in India – Ultimate itinerary & guide
- The Golden Triangle India – itinerary & guide
- 2 DAYS IN JAISALMER – ITINERARY & GUIDE
- 2 DAYS IN JAIPUR – ITINERARY & GUIDE
- 18 AMAZING PLACES TO VISIT IN UDAIPUR IN 2 DAYS
- The Best Rajasthan Itinerary for 5 Days or More
- GAY IN: JAIPUR – A 2020 LGBT+ TRAVEL GUIDE
Did you enjoy our overnight camel safari experience in Jaisalmer?
Well, that concludes overnight camel safari experience in Jaisalmer. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical country. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here where we share further travel advice & inspiration.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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Thank you for explaining the camel safari in Jaisalmer in detail, this will help me.
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