Desert safaris are popular excursions into the desert landscapes outside major cities in the Middle East. These guided tours take visitors out of the bustling urban environments and into the remote, sandy vistas of the desert in customized 4×4 vehicles. Desert safaris offer a unique chance to experience the natural beauty and culture of desert regions.
Highlights of the Desert Safari Experience
A desert safari gives visitors the opportunity to see spectacular desert scenery and formations up close. Some key highlights include:
- Thrilling ride over sand dunes in 4×4 vehicle with skilled drivers
- Adventure over steep climbs and quick descents of towering sand dunes
- Chance to ride camels, iconic animals of desert regions
- Unique perspective from atop a camel as you journey through desert
- Ride boards down the slopes of sand dunes for an exciting activity
- Experience sandboarding, a variant of snowboarding on sand instead of snow
- Marvel at incredible sunset views over the desert’s sandy, rippling terrain
- See the sunset’s colors shimmer over the dunes for breathtaking photo opportunities
Bedouin Camp Site
- Visit traditional Bedouin desert camps and experience their hospitality
- Witness customs like shisha, Arabic coffee, henna tattoos up close
- Watch exhilarating Tanoura spinning and belly dancing performances
- See falconry displays that showcase desert hunting skills
Why Go on a Desert Safari?
Desert safaris enable visitors to step out of the bustling city into tranquil desert scenery. They also offer cultural glimpses into desert traditions through Bedouin camp visits. Additional advantages include:
Unique Desert Scenery
- Witness the desert’s endless golden dunes and dramatic formations
- Chance to see desert wildlife like camels and oryx antelopes roaming
- Dune bashing, sandboarding offer adventurous ways to explore the desert
- Camel rides give a taste of traditional desert exploration methods
Glimpse of Cultural Traditions
- Experience Bedouin hospitality including Arabic coffee, meals, and henna
- See falconry, dancing reflective of Arabic and desert cultures
Great Value Activities
- Safaris often last 6+ hours but come at affordable pricing
- All transport, food, entertainment and guides included
Best Practices for Desert Safari Goers
To make the most of your desert safari experience, keep these tips in mind:
Choosing a Tour Operator
- Select reputable companies with certified drivers and well-maintained vehicles
- Read reviews and inspect cars thoroughly before embarking
Preparing for Desert Heat
- Stay hydrated and aplicate sunscreen for sun protection
- Wear light, breathable fabrics to keep cool
Respecting Cultural Traditions
- Dress conservatively during camp visits out of respect for traditions
- Ask permission before photographing people
- Follow guides instructions for your safety during dune bashing
- Wear seat belts and remain seated during thrilling rides
What to Expect from a Dubai Desert Safari?
Dubai is renowned for its Arabian desert safari experiences. Here’s what you can expect:
Dramatic Dune Landscapes
- Red and golden sand dunes with unique shapes rising out of desert plains
- Striking contrast with desert vegetation like ghaf trees dotting the sands
Camel Farm Visits
- Stop at camel farms where hundreds roam to see country life
- View camels up close and even try camel milk ice cream
Lavish Arabic Feasts
- Savor Arabic dishes like hummus, grilled meats, rice dishes
- Outdoor seating under starry skies or tents for magical atmosphere
Exhilarating Dune Bashing
- Buckle up for thrilling rollercoaster-like ride over iconic red Dubai dunes
- Feel adrenaline rush as car tackles steep ascents and quick sandy descents
Stunning Desert Sunsets
- See incredible fiery golden sunsets over desert landscape
- Marvel at how sunset bathes rippled sands in orange hues with photo ops
Frequently Asked Questions
- What should I wear on desert safari tour?
Light, loose and breathable clothing like cotton shirts and linen pants work best. Bring layers for cold nighttime temperatures.
- What footwear is appropriate for desert safari?
Closed toe shoes like sneakers are preferable for stability during dune bashing. Sandals can result in sand/heat discomfort.
- What meals do desert safari tours provide?
Most tours offer barbecues with Middle Eastern dishes like hummus, rice, kebabs. Vegetarian options are usually available.
- Is camel riding safe for kids and elderly visitors?
Many companies offer gentle camels ideal for kids and seniors. But check age/height restrictions before booking rides.
- Can I book a private desert safari?
Yes, private VIP desert safari tours with customized itineraries and luxury vehicles can be booked for groups and families.
- How much does an evening desert safari cost on average?
Evening desert safaris typically range from $50-100 USD per person depending on program inclusions and operators.
- Should I tip my desert safari guide and drivers?
Tipping isn’t strictly necessary but is appreciated. Around $5-10 USD per guest is considered an appropriate tip.
- How long do desert safari tours last?
The average safari lasts 6-8 hours from hotel pickup to drop-off in the afternoon/evening. Durations can vary based on itinerary.
- Is desert safari suitable for seniors and those with limited mobility
While camels offer less bumpy riding, dune bashing may be too intensive. Check with tour provider beforehand.
- Which desert has the best safari tours from Dubai?
Most desert safaris take visitors out to the sweeping red and golden dunes located in Dubai’s Arabian Desert.
- Do I need travel insurance for desert safari tours?
Insurance isn’t mandatory but provides coverage for injuries/accidents during dune bashing and activities, so consider optional policies.
- Is there an age limit for kids to partake in desert safari activities?
Age/height stipulations may exist for rides like dune buggies or camels. Verify specifics with your tour operator before booking.
- Are desert camps open year-round or seasonal?
Desert camps typically operate October through April peak season. Summer months see extreme heat restrict camp operation hours.
- Can you see wild animals like camels or oryx during dune bashing?
Sightings aren’t guaranteed but possible. Remote nature of desert landscape means wildlife still roam certain areas.
- Which is better for photos – sunrise or sunset desert safari?
Sunset safaris are enormously popular for photography thanks to incredible golden light blanketing desert sands at dusk.
- Do I need vaccinations like hepatitis A/B for desert safari trip?
No special vaccinations are required except routine boosters. Speak with your doctor about any preexisting health conditions beforehand.
- Is there buffet dinner provided on overnight desert safari packages?
Most overnight tours involve evening barbecue meals under the stars while breakfast/lunch buffets come with accommodation. Varies by operator.
Key Takeaway on Desert Safaris
Desert safaris provide an exciting opportunity to venture into remote and picturesque desert landscapes to witness their splendor up close. From thrill-seeking adventures like dune bashing to glimpses of traditional culture at Bedouin camps, desert safari tours showcase unique desert experiences along with adrenaline-filled activities against visually stunning backdrops few get to see firsthand outside the Middle East’s arid landscapes. With excursions lasting just a day or overnight packages for extending your desert immersion, partaking in a desert safari adventure should rank at the top of any Middle Eastern travel itinerary for the cultural and desert scenery rewards they reap.
A desert safari undoubtedly makes for a memorable Middle Eastern travel experience with its striking desert scenery serving as the background to exhilarating activities and warm cultural hospitality. While the adventures span just a day, the experiences and photographic moments they create last a lifetime. From watching golden sunrays dance across windswept sand dunes to eagerly riding out into the unknown atop a ship of the desert, desert safaris capture Arabian magic at its finest. Don’t deny yourself this once-in-a-lifetime chance to blaze your own trails across iconic desert sands for an incredible glimpse into hidden bedouin worlds seldom explored by outsiders. You’re guaranteed to depart with your own treasured tales of Arabian days and nights.