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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Egyptian Camel Ride

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Sometimes I do the tourists thing. They're seldom the most memorable events but if I get a chance to try something new, I'll usually take advantage when traveling.

In Egypt camels are plentiful. This is the bread and butter of many Egyptians. You will find them at the Pyramids of Egypt in full force. The minute you begin to approach this attraction you will be mobbed with offers "best camel ride", "very cheap", " come take look", and all the various phrases.

Never take the first ones. They're the most expensive. Keep walking. The more you walk the more the prices drop. You will be pressured here so it's good to be a bit calloused. Don't submit just because they request.

I waited about an hour after I entered the Pyramids until I was receptive. These camel operators are at the end of the line so they know if you haven't rode a camel yet, they need to bargain more heavily. I eventually settled on a $15 price tag for a one hour journey. But be prepared, the camel operator will want to take pictures of you with your camera and ask for a big tip at the end. When I do tip (I did here) I usually tip about 10% in these areas. That's plenty. Only America tips heavily. Other countries it is not a custom or if it is expected, 10% is usually top end. After I offered my tip to this guy, he frowned and said "not enough". I had read this is common here so I was prepared. I pulled the money back and put it in my pocket. Then suddenly it was enough.

Typical Egyptian camel

Now one comment worth mentioning. This is no horse. You are up there in the air! High enough it's scary (for me anyway). Much higher than on a horse. If you fall off this thing you would get hurt. It is a bit mitigated landing on sand, but I didn't want to test it out.

The camel operator (not sure what they're called) led me through the desert slowly. I'm glad it was so slow because the camel sways greatly with each step. It took some getting used to. It's not an up and down motion like a horse but a side to side sway.

Mounting was a bit of a challenge. The camel kneels in the sand to allow the rider to mount. It's kind of cool to see.

In the end we were great friends.

Overall a unique experience I'm happy I tried. I've actually done this twice. I don't know why. Really once is enough. It is scary at first until you get used to the sway.

The biggest negative though, is dealing with these overly aggressive carnival barkers ( that's how I view them). These camel operators are a bit over the top trying to get into your pockets.

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