They bring the camels to the starting point of the trek (normally from miles away), they walk all the trek for days, they load and unload the cargo, they cook lunch and dinner on a small fire, they clean the metallic plates and casseroles with sand, they sing desert local songs at night with an empty large carafe as the only musical instrument, they prepare your bed (a hole in the sand and a blanket), the list of task is endless….
Be careful when selecting the duration of the trek. I met a couple of travellers who agreed and paid in advanced for three or four days trek and then they returned earlier due to sickness, boredom or for having a hard time on the camels.
So be realistic and think how well your body will adapt to the life in the desert, saying that I strongly recommend going for at least two days to have enough time to enjoy this unique experience.
As camel safaris are big business in Jaisalmer, different parties take you to different routes. My advice is to choose a different destination to San dunes which is an extremely popular spot for travellers if you are after peace and solitude.
A camel trek around Jaisalmer from one to five days is a must and the best way to get a real taste of life in the desert. I strongly recommend doing one even if it is a one-day camel trek. Very few tourists come to Jaisalmer and do not do one, they are extremely popular and camel safaris are big business in town. The competition between the commission men is fierce and ruthless. Most guesthouses organize the trek.
The desert experience without a doubt would be one of the highlights of your trip to India and something that will stay in your memory forever. Saying that, it is very hard work for tourists from non-developing countries and some people (not me) will miss the comforts of the civilized world and will find the camel seats too uncomfortable or the basic food too primitive to digest.
I recommend getting a jeep ride at the beginning of the trek, so you save forty or fifty km of pain in your behind. We did a different trek to some dunes and some empty villages in ruins and we did not see any fellow travellers for the whole two days.
On our camel trek we passed through a couple different abandoned villages. They seemed quite interesting and I don't remember why they were abandoned as they had some very nice Temples and buildings. Maybe it was the lack of a water well. Or everyone decided to move into Jaisalmer.
We stayed near these guys one night. I'm not sure if it was planned by our guides or not. We weren't asked for any money and they played some great music for us. Myabe out guides paid them?? The guy in the middle was amazing! He could play 2 flutes at the same time! One with his nose and the other with his mouth. The kid spent most of his time playing with the hot coals in the fire. He was picking them up with his bare hands and holding them. He didn't seem to get burned though.
I snapped this shot as we were trotting by on our camels. Thats why the angle isn't perfect! We didn't get to visit any of the villages that had people living in them. We only visited abandonded villages. The huts were made of mud with a straw roof. They must be based on traditional designs for desert people. I never saw this style of house in the bigger towns only out in the desert.
The guy in the middle of the picture was just running across the dune and I happened to take a picture at the same time that he jumped. When I finally got to see my slides several months later I was totally surprised that I caught him in mid-air! He was a member of our trekking group.
You can see in this photo that the desert consists of different landscapes. It's not all sand dunes and in some places there is actually a type of grass that was growing.
5km outside of Jaisalmer you can find Bada Bagh. Here you can find cenotaphs of former maharajahs. Those are beautifully carved sandstone monuments, some of them sadly damaged by an earthquake. Explore the cenotaphs carefully. For example you can see how many wifes each maharajah had.
Entrance is 50 Rp and Camera Fee is 20 Rp. Take a taxi, hire a rickshaw or rent a jeep to get there.
Kuldhara is a ghost town outside of Jaisalmer. The people of Kuldhara left this town overnight and it is said that they left a curse. Even today some locals would not enter this town. Don't expect to much from this town, as most of the buildings have been destroyed.
Entrance is 50 Rp per Vehicle and 10 Rp per person.
Watch out when you enter the house with all descriptions. There are hundreds of bats in one of the rooms.
This fascinating desert village, located near sand dunes, lies 50 km south-west of Jaisalmer. Its huts, typical of the desert regions of Rajasthan, are brilliant examples of folk design, at once highly functional (they are designed to withstand 48 degree temperatures and 80 Kms per hour desert winds) as well as being highly esthetic. Made of clay mixed with cow dung, each hut is actually a complex of different functional spaces around a central courtyard, the whole of which-walls, floor and rooms-seems to be molded out of one single piece of clay. Their strikingly decorative folk art, ornate papiermache storage systems and mandana floor patterns are not to be missed.
There are some Guest house for over night Camal safari real test of Desert.Now a days Khuri is the best place for Camal Safari around Jaisalmer or in Rajasthan.They offer you Camel safari, Dinner with Folk Dance and sleeping under the stars get more fun.
The Bada Baga (meaning Big Garden) is located about 6km north of the fort on the horizon with the wind farm located behind it. This was the first place I visited on my camel trek. It was built by Maharawal Jait Singh II between 1513 and 1528 and completed by his son Lunkaran, after his death. The Bada Bagh complex consists of a tank, a dam, a garden and the Chhatries (cenotaphs) of the Bhatti dynasty. These memorials represent a combination of Paliwal, Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture. The site of the Chhatries is also called the Sunset Point.
I must say that the porters (and not the middle man from the guesthouse or the camel owners) make the experience unique. They are normally young lads from the local villages who work very hard for their money.