A trip to Dubai conjured up Sex And The City 2 vibes. I pictured walking in the desert wearing a brightly coloured kaftan with a scarf draped on my arms and some kind of tropical head gear. So when we got to Dubai and booked our desert safari I thought my dreams were going to come true!
We booked our excursion through a vendor at the hotel and on the day I sat in the hotel lobby wearing my most ‘desert safari vibes’ outfit and eagerly awaited our ride.
So the kaftan and flip flops idea went swiftly out the window because on the agenda for the day was camel riding and quad biking, practicality was a priority over trying to channel Samantha Jones. I settled for a black dress with leggings, gladiator sandals and a very tropical headband that is basically my most favourite hair accessory ever. We left our hotel some time mid afternoon and set off for camp somewhere in the desert.
Our first stop was visiting a camel farm. Tip from the camels, don’t use mascara if you’re going in to the desert. Natural eyelashes work wonders to keep the sand out of your eyes. They’re less effective when they’re positioned curled upwards!
After seeing the camels we went dune bashing. I’m prone to getting car sick if I’m not sat in the front of a car so I took some anti-sickness meds before we left and they definitely came in handy. Dune bashing was a rollercoaster. A not-very high, long-winded, queasy rollercoaster that lost all appeal approximately twenty seconds in. I was so glad when our convoy stopped! We stopped in a gorgeous spot at sunset where we managed to get some pretty awesome shots like these:-
After the sunset photo shoot we set off again with unfortunately more dune bashing! But soon enough we made it to the desert safari camp. We were all shown to our tables for dinner and then were taken outside for our activities.
First up was camel riding! This was it, the moment I was waiting for. I imagined being graceful and cool on my camel with my headgear… but let me say this: it’s impossible to be graceful on a camel!!! Seconds after my friend and I literally climbed on top of this poor camel we screamed like clowns. Why did we scream I hear you ask. Well, have you ever seen a camel stand up?
The camel raises its butt first which meant we were plunging face forward toward the ground, clinging on to a make shift handle for dear life! Mounting and dismounting the camel was by far the scariest thing that happened. The actual ride was brilliant!
Notice the happiness?
I had never been quad biking before and was a little scared in all honesty. I had visions of it toppling over and me rolling down a sand dune. But it was so much fun! Take my word for it. I appreciate I look like a deer in headlights, but hey it was really dark and the flash was bright ok?!
The entertainment back inside camp consisted of a Russian belly dancer called Julia and a male dancer doing some traditional dance with LED lights and a lot of spinning around. It was a nice cultural experience and we enjoyed it in between our dinner courses.
Dinner was a barbecue buffet with lots to choose from. I couldn’t take any pictures of it because my hands were busy filling my plate (priorities) but we had lots of salad and appetizers. The mains were a selection of meat including lamb, chicken skewers, more chicken and some fish parcels. Dessert was some Arab style doughnuts covered in date syrup which was delicious and some coconut sponge cake.
There was a chance to get some henna tattoos done and we could buy some pictures that the photographer had taken while we were on the camel and quad biking. Unfortunately this photographer didn’t quite know my angles or carefully hide my double chin so I didn’t buy any!
After we were done I was so glad to find out there was no dune bashing on our exit from the desert, it was a relatively smooth drive back to our hotel.
If you’re planning to go on a desert safari I would definitely wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Pack a light bag with sunblock, shades and any other necessities you might need. I took a backpack with me which was ideal. Sand will get everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE. To help your hair wash it the night before and use plenty of conditioner. The silkier it is the less sand will clump into it. The desert is super windy so take something to tie your hair up with or use a headband like I did! I hope you found this post useful!