Travels in India

Matt Welsh

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Camel safari in Rajasthan

After a couple of days in Jaiselmer, we returned to Jodhpur where we spent three days on camelback out in the Thar Desert. We arranged this through a one Roop Singh, who runs camel safaris out of his family's small farming village, a few hours' drive from Jodhpur. While camel safaris are big business in Jaiselmer (you are constantly harassed by touts trying to get you to sign up), it's virtually unknown in Jodhpur and we strongly recommend going with Roop and his family! (If you're interested, Roop can be reached through the Govind Hotel in Jodhpur.) This is the real deal - visiting small farming communities out in the desert who have seen very few foreigners.

The safari itself basically involves many long hours riding on the camels (which is more painful than it looks), but with a long stop for lunch. We spent one night camping out in the desert - it gets very cold at night - and another staying in the Singh's village, just sitting around the campfire, drinking whisky, trying to communicate with the head of the village, the veritable Baba Singh, who wears a huge yellow turban and speaks maybe two words of English. It was an incredible experience and probably our most memorable time in India.

Photograph Copyright (c)2001 by Matt Welsh and Amy Bauer. All rights reserved.