Going on a desert safari is an exciting experience for people of all ages. The desert offers a thrilling landscape to explore, with towering sand dunes, camel rides, exhilarating dune bashing, traditional Arabic cuisine, Tanoura dancing, henna painting and more. Determining the appropriate age group for your family or group depends on the activities offered and your personal preferences regarding adventure and safety.
Who Can Go On Desert Safari?
Many desert safari providers allow children of all ages to participate. However, some activities like dune bashing in a 4×4 vehicle may have minimum age requirements or recommendations. When booking your desert safari tour, inquire about:
- Minimum ages for activities, especially dune bashing
- Child safety policies and protocol
- Child-friendly options and accommodations
Responsible tour providers have measures in place to ensure a safe, customized experience for younger visitors. Activities can often be tailored to children’s ages and preferences.
Infants and Toddlers
Children under 3 years are generally not permitted on 4×4 dune bashing rides due to the bumpy, turbulent nature of driving over hilly desert sand dunes. This vigorous activity could pose safety risks for babies and toddlers.
However, many other desert activities like camel rides, henna tattoos or evening entertainment are appropriate for very young visitors. Some key accommodations for infants and toddlers include:
- Baby-friendly meals and snacks
- Shaded play areas at camp sites
- Light itineraries with ample rest time
- Baby supplies like diapers, wipes, food etc.
Responsible tour guides ensure parents can participate while keeping very young children safe, comfortable and entertained.
From ages 4-8 years, children can participate in more adventurous activities based on their height, weight and physical abilities. Dune bashing may be permitted depending on the child. Verify ahead of time. Other popular activities include:
- Camel rides
- Quad biking
- Cultural dances/entertainment
- Henna/face painting
- Handling falcons or other animals
Kids in this age group delight in trying new things but can get overwhelmed or tired out. Look for family-friendly tours that offer age-appropriate activities and downtime for naps/meals.
Youth ages 9 years and older can participate in the full range of desert safari activities, given proper guidance and supervision. These ages may enjoy:
- Exhilarating dune bashing
- Sandboarding down towering slopes
- Quad biking through open desert trails
- Day/night desert photography
- Falconry or animal encounters
- Henna, snacks, entertainment
Tweens and teens tend to have ample energy and curiosity for adventure. Responsible tour operators provide proper safety gear for risky activities while letting this age group explore their limits.
By 18 years old, young men and women can decide for themselves to join desert safari tours. Most providers allow unaccompanied adults ages 18+ to participate in all advertised activities, with signed legal waivers. This demographic often seeks:
- Dune bashing, quad biking and sandboarding
- Sunset views, stargazing and photography
- Camel treks, falconry, animal encounters
- Night camp with entertainment and Arabic cuisine
- Cultural dances, singing, bonfires and mehr
As independent legal adults, young people ages 18+ can enjoy safaris with their peer group. Private tours allow customization around interests and activity levels.
Families with Kids
Many desert camps and companies offer family-friendly tours to suit parents and children of varied ages. Family packages often include:
- Age-appropriate activities for kids
- Customized tours and meal times
- Childcare services at camp sites
- Safety measures and child protocols
- Comfort amenities like play areas, toys, games etc.
Look for providers with experience managing multi-age desert tours. Choosing activities wisely and packing properly allows families to share in the safari adventure.
What is the Minimum Age for Dune Bashing?
Of all desert safari activities, thrill-seeking rides in 4×4 land cruisers pose the highest safety risks, especially for young children. Therefore most tour operators enforce rules regarding minimum ages for participation.
General dune bashing guidelines require riders to:
- Sit properly with seat belts secured
- Keep heads, arms and legs inside cars
- Follow driver instructions carefully
Additionally, factors like height, weight, physical ability affect whether very young passengers can ride safely. Rules vary amongst companies but common dune bashing minimum ages are:
- 3 years – Generally not permitted
- 4-7 years – Case by case based on child’s size and development
- 8+ years – Often permitted with legal guardian waiver
- 18+ years – Considered independent adults who can decide for themselves
When booking tours with dune bashing, clarify company policies for young riders. Responsible safari outfits prioritize child safety above all else.
When is the Best Time for Kids to Go?
Desert conditions change drastically from day to night, averaging 25°C difference! Such extremes can really affect kids and babies. The best time for young children to visit desert camps or go dune bashing is typically:
Starting safaris in the morning takes advantage of:
- Cooler temperatures under 30°C
- Lower sunlight intensity
- Opportunities for daytime photography
- Energy levels before naps
Rising early prevents midday heat and fatigue. Kids often enjoy action-packed mornings before resting in afternoon shade.
Late afternoon/evening tours allow children to:
- Sleep through the hottest hours
- See colorful sunsets over dunes
- Experience cultural dances
- Play games under moonlight
Temperatures dropping below 30° provide relief while night skies dazzle young imaginations.
When scheduling desert safaris for families, opt for mornings or late afternoons to spare kids from harshest conditions. Know children’s limits and build in relaxation.
Desert safaris offer exciting, exotic adventures for visitors of all ages. While many activities like camel riding or falconry pose no issue, vigorous dune bashing carries safety risks requiring common sense age and size minimums. Responsible tour operators accommodate young visitors with family-friendly policies, age-appropriate itineraries and safeguards like child seats. Through customization and proper precautions, desert camps welcome children and adults alike to discover Arabic culture under golden desert skies.
Desert safaris reveal the mystery and grandeur of Arabian sands to thrill-seekers from across the globe. While safari staples like dune bashing offer adrenaline rushes, many activities charm all ages with sunshine and history. Understanding age policies for rigorous 4×4 rides ensures kids stay safe while families tailor their packages for customized fun. Whether honeymooning couples or multi-generational clans, the desert unifies visitors in wonder under starlit skies. Respect this powerful landscape and embrace local heritage―then watch your footprints vanish as if written on water. The desert always awaits your return.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best age for kids to go sandboarding?
The best age is typically 8 years and up. Kids should be big enough to carry the board and control descent.
- Can I take my 2 year old on a camel ride?
Yes, 2 year olds can ride camels if held by parents. Maximum one child per saddle. Verify company policies.
- Is dune bashing safe for babies?
No. Babies under 3 years should not join dune bashing due to significant safety risks.
- What is the minimum age for falconry?
Most camps allow children 5 years and up to gently handle tethered birds for photography. Supervise at all times.
- Can my 10 year old sandboard alone?
Children under 12 years should sandboard with adult supervision for safety, even on beginner slopes.
- Does dune bashing have age restrictions?
Yes, providers often prohibit children under 4 years while kids under 10 require guardian permissions. Check current policy.
- What activities do toddlers enjoy?
Toddlers delight in simple activities like playing in sand pits, short camel rides, storytelling, songs and finger painting.
- Is henna tattoo safe for my 7 year old?
Yes, henna causes no harm to kids. Choose small simple designs. Avoid eyelids, lips or intricate patterns.
- Can teenagers go dune bashing?
Most companies allow teenagers 13+ years to participate alongside a legal guardian’s signed permission.
- Are there baby supplies at desert camps?
Yes, family camps stock baby necessities like formula, pureed foods, diapers and toys. Confirm when booking.
- What should kids wear in the desert?
Dress kids in light, loose layers covering skin plus hats, sunglasses and closed shoes with grip. Pack extra clothes.
- Can toddlers ride ATVs or quad bikes?
No. Minimum age for supervised quad biking is usually 8-10 years old depending on child’s size and motor skills. Very risky for young children.
- Is Arabian dancing appropriate for kids?
Yes, choreographed dances like Tanoura whirling skirt dances mesmerize kids with colorful, flowing costumes. Quite family-friendly.
- Can teenagers sandboard alone?
Not recommended, but some camps allow solo sandboarding for teens 15+ with signed waivers from guardians. Supervise from base camps.
- What modifications help babies enjoy desert safaris?
Travel at non-peak hours, limit sun exposure, pack familiar foods/toys, plan short tours plus frequent feeding/diapering stops.
- Can 5 year olds participate in everything?
No. Children under 6 should avoid vigorous activities like dune bashing, quad biking or unsupervised sandboard descents due to safety risks. Most camps accommodate young kids well with gentler options.
- Is falconry safe for kids under 5?
Falcon encounters pose no harm when properly supervised but young toddlers may get startled. Owl interactions tend to run more smoothly for this age bracket.
- What snacks do kids enjoy at desert camps?
Popular picks include hummus with pita chips, pasta dishes, pizza, chicken strips, French fries, ice cream and frozen lemonade.
- Do tour companies provide car seats?
No, visitors must provide their own forward-facing car seats for toddlers plus boosters for older kids under 145cm tall. Mandatory for transportation.
- Can I book a private family tour?
Yes, many companies offer private desert safaris tailored to kids’ ages and interests with guides focused solely on your family’s experience.