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Camel riding in Botswana
When you talk about camel riding in Botswana the one thing that comes to everyone’s mind is the camel park Tsabong where the largest number of camels are found. Tsabong is the national park where most of the camels can be found in the country and these are said to have been donated to the park by the Botswana police. The Tsabong camel park is located in the Kgalagadi sand dunes which are located in the Kgalagadi Desert and a large number of camels can be seen moving around while others are seen resting in the provided shades in the park
A brief history about camels in Botswana shows that the camels are believed to have migrated into the Kgalagadi Desert in the 18th century and have been living in the area ever since. During the colonial times, camels in Botswana were used as a mode of transportation between borders as a way of patrolling Botswana and the neighboring countries and when the colonial era ended, the camels were put under the protection of the new government of Botswana.
The camel park started with about forty camels but at the moment they have risen to about 445 camels and since these are not commonly used as a means of transport like before, they are kept and cared for so that tourists and locals in the country that have never seen a camel get a chance to see and also ride on these animals that have humps. A camel ride through Botswana is a beautiful way to traverse the Desert part of the country. You will definitely need a tour guide as you head out for your camel ride in the country and some of the things that you will need while on your safari include the following:
- You actually do not need a saddle in order to ride a camel but you will need to put appropriate clothes for the ride that is clothing that will keep the sun from you like long sleeved pants, socks, sun glasses and a head gear to protect the sand while riding.
- If you do not want to be extremely uncomfortable while riding a camel, you should first ask the tour guide how to sit on the animal more comfortably, or sit with your legs hanging on either side of the camel and you should also ride the camel with a rhythm that matches its walking style.
- You should carry your luggage in a back pack because it might fall if you carry them in your pockets while riding.
Camels in Africa are mainly associated with Desert like environments and this is because for a very long time, they have adapted to the harsh weather conditions that are experienced in the Desert. Before you head out to Botswana for a camel riding safari, it is best to be equipped with knowledge about these animals and these are:
- When camels are resting, it is best if you give them their space because they always like their rest and it is during this time that they are often seen sneezing and eating.
- The humps that are found on the camels are used to keep the camel cool during the hot weathers and also to keep fat and not water like most of the stories say.
- Camels are emotional animals that is they can easily sense the emotions of whoever they transport and therefore you should try to control your emotions.
- They are majorly used for transport especially in the desert areas of the country
- When camels are born, they do not have humps as they start appearing after the camels start eating food that is sold.
- When you see camels peeing on their legs do not get alarmed as this is one of the ways they stay cool in the Desert.
- The camels use their spit as a defense against anything trying to attack them.
- There are two types of camels that is the Asian camels that have two humps and the Arabic camels that have one hump.
A camel ride in Tsabong ecotourism camel Park
The Tsabong ecotourism camel park is located in Kgalagadi where it is managed by three different communities and Tsabong acts as the capital city of Kgalagadi. When the government of Botswana failed to take care of the camels after the colonialists left, these animals were evenly distributed among the three communities which have been taking care of the camels since then. The three communities that have been taking care of the camels within Tsabong are the Tsabong community, the Maleshe community and the Maubelo community and these have been working together with the Botswana tourism organization to make sure that the Tsabong ecotourism camel Park is well maintained.
From the time that it was set up, there are have been introduction of different types of camels in the park and this has given tourists a chance to actually get to know the types and also ride on them. It has also been cleared to be a good breeding ground for more camels which means that in the near future there will be more camels in Tsabong for everyone to ride. The Tsabong camel Park has been good economic wise to the surrounding community ever since it was opened up and many have been given jobs which has helped raise their standards of living.
There are also many camel related activities that are carried out in the Tsabong camel park and these include the following:
Camel riding, this is done all throughout the year and it is carried out by both the locals and tourists. When you get to the park, there is a specific age that is not allowed on the camels unless when they have an adult with them and no one is allowed to go for a camel ride through the Kgalagadi without the guidance of a proper tour guide. While camel riding, you will enjoy birding from a different angle, the landscape and you will also have a good view of the whole place for photography.
Photography, a camera is one of the best ways that one can enjoy a camel safari in Botswana. The camels will take you to the different parts of the desert where you will be able to capture the whole place with your lens and you will also be able to see all those tiny details that are not easily seen while driving through the country. As you head out for your photo sessions, make sure that the camera is around your neck to avoid it falling down and breaking.
Camel trekking, this is a recently introduced activity and many tourists are joining in the trend of trekking these large animals in Tsabong. The trekking is mostly done during morning hours and in the late afternoons because during that time, the heat is a bit bearable and tourists can easily trek along the sandy dunes. Remember to carry enough water as you head out for the camel trekking and make sure that you follow and do whatever the tour guide tells you to do.
Besides camel riding and trekking, you can also take a walk in the desert and also go for a quad bike ride in the Desert after your camel ride. The Tsabong ecotourism camel park will give you a chance to carry out all these and you might also get a chance to groom the young camels while on a tour around the Park.
Other activities that you can also carry out while in the Tsabong camel Park include guided walks which will take you around the park and on your walk you will also be able to see the numerous Desert birds that habitate within the area and some of the animals that live around. There are also accommodation facilities around the Tsabong where you can rest and if you are not so sure about which ones to use, you can still ask your tour operator the best accommodation facilities that you can use that fit within your budget.
A safari to Botswana as a country is incomplete if you do not go for a camel ride because these add to the beauty of the Kgalagadi Desert and sand dunes along with the other animals that habitate within the area. It might not be a big trip as the ride does not last long but the feeling that you get while taking a camel ride will always remain with you and that is why you should not miss out on this exciting adventure. Planning your camel trip through Botswana is not all that hard and before you get to the country, you can inquire from the different people who have gone for camel riding in the country or ask your tour operator about what is needed for a good camel riding experience and when to exactly visit the country for a camel ride.