Camel Riding in Morocco with KIDS
When you research a family trip to Morocco you will come across camel rides. Should you go camel riding with the kids? Is it too ‘touristy’? We decided to go for it. I’m not afraid of touristy things because we are tourists! Even though the kids had ridden a camel at the zoo we figured when in Rome – do as the Romans. Wow! What a great choice for us because this was such crazy fun.
First of all, when kids ride a camel at the zoo, they step off of a platform that is ‘camel level’, sit down and ride around a circle. It wasn’t until we rode camels in Morocco and got on them while they were seated on the ground, did I realize that riding them from a sitting position to a standing position was SO much a part of the fun!!
A camel stands up with both back legs first which throws you really forward. You feel like you are going to fall off so you have a death grip on the saddle. Then, the front legs straighten and you are level again. Read more about how to get on a camel here. We all laughed and giggled at this part so much though my youngest had a death grip on the handle! I swear I had more fun than the kids.
Some of our camels were new moms and their babies were tied up nearby. Baby camels, like baby humans, do NOT like mom leaving and even though they could see mom the entire time they made it clear vocally they weren’t happy and ‘talked’ back and forth with mom. It reminded me of when my kids were toddlers and I could not walk around the corner in the kitchen without hearing, “Mom? Mom? MOM!”
While camel riding, the handler walked leading the first camel by a rope and the rest of the camels followed in line. Our whole family sat on camels right on the coast and the view of the sea was amazing. I couldn’t help but think of all the generations of families who traveled to this very spot on a camel.
The ride was cheap – just the equivalent of a few $ for each rider but we were slightly pressured to buy other things like a toy camel and a bracelet. They were just a few $ each and we bought them considering it just part of the price. The funny thing is that camel became a constant companion for the rest of the trip and now proudly stands on the night stand table. You never know where you’ll find a favorite souvenir!
Camel riding was great fun and a top experience for our family during our colorful Moroccan adventure. We can’t wait to go back to Morocco and have more family travel adventures! Teach the kids about camels before you go because they are super cool animals. Kids will be even more interested in your family adventure! Keep reading to learn super cool facts about camels.
We absolutely LOVED Morocco and can’t wait to get back. If you are lucky enough to be planning a trip to Morocco you’ll love these related posts on how to travel with the whole family.
Camels can live for 40 – 50 years.
They are uniquely designed for survival in the desert. Check out these cool camel facts!
- They have very furry ears which keeps the sand out of their inner ear.
- They have three eyelids – one is clear so they can keep it shut when sand is blowing around and still see where they are going.
- They have two rows of eyelashes – more sand protection.
- Camels close their nostrils in between breaths to keep the sand out.
- The toes of a camel spread out when they step down which helps them walk on the soft sand.
Camel humps are NOT full of water. They are made of fat.
Camels are herbivores. They eat all the usual stuff like grass and twigs but they can also eat very thorny bushes. They have a long lips which helps them avoid getting hurt.
Camels can go a long time without food and water which makes them a great pack animal for desert travel. Most mammals die if they lose 15% of their water but camels can lose 25% and still be ok.
When they do get a chance to drink water they drink a LOT! They can drink 40 gallons at ONE time.
They conserve their water so camel poop is really dry and camel urine is thick like syrup.
Camels are fast! They can run 40 mph.
Camels are long distance creatures and can travel up to 25 miles a day!
Don’t make a camel mad. They spit! They can also kick with their strong, long legs.
Another cool camel fact – a camel pregnancy depends on how much food is available. If the camel has plenty of food and water the pregnancy will last only 9 months but if the camel doesn’t have the food and water needed to grow a baby camel, the pregnancy can last as long as 14 months. Isn’t that a crazy cool camel fact!
Camel Facts about Camel Types
There are two types of camels – Dromedary and Bractrion
Have one hump
Are also known as Arabian Camels
Found in the Middle East, Australia, West Asia and North Africa
Weigh between 650 – 1300 pounds
Have two humps
Found in Central Asia and East Asia
Weigh between 650 – 1300 pounds
Facts on Camels – What are they used for?
Camels can carry a lot of weight and are used to carry up to 600 pounds. They were the main way that goods were distributed on the Silk Road.
Camels have been used in wars as far back as the war between the Midianites and Amalekites in 1191 B.C.
More recently the United States Army had a Camel Corp in the 1850s. Fort Camp Verde, near Kerrville, Texas had camels between 1854 and 1869.
There are still camel corps in armies around the world:
Desert Camel Corps of the Jordanian Police
Royal Camel Corps in Oman
Camel Corps in the Royal Moroccan Army
Border Security Force in India
Ceremonial Cavalry Squadron in the Saudi National Guard
Camel Facts – Beauty Contests!
Camel Beauty Contests are held in Saudi Arabia. Stop laughing. Apparently camels are beautiful.
The winners of camel beauty contests can come away with some really big money prizes, too! Winners of beauty contests and camel races involve millions of $ – like $57 million!!
How can you tell if a camel is beautiful? Well, you consult the Standards of Camel Beauty booklet of course! (Duh, right?)
Beauty doesn’t just happen apparently. Owners of really beautiful camels spend time each day pulling on the bottom lip of their camel so the lip sags. Sagging lips are beautiful.
Some want to be winners sink to cheating! Hormones and botox disqualify camels from beauty contests. For real – read here.
See a camel beauty in person at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia. It has been held yearly since 2000.
Camels aren’t the only cool animals in Morocco. Read more below!
Happy family travels,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist