Marrakesh Camel Ride with “Michael Jackson”.

By Posted in - Africa & Featured Post & Travel Blog on November 16th, 2011 Camels in Marrakesh, Morocco

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“I am Michael,” our guide says with a straight face.

‘Hi Michael, I’m’…and just then he delivers his punch line.

“Michael Jackson,” he says, smiling with a big grin.

He laughs, we laugh and our camels keep smiling as we meander through a palm oasis, known as the Palmeraie, located about 15 minutes from Marakesh’s storied Medina. Our guide, Abdou, who works for Authentic Journeys Morocco, leads us through an area of Marrakesh known for its thriving palm forest, high-end villas and reprieve from the madness of the Medina.

The Palmeraie is kind of like Marrakesh’s version of Palm Springs, before track housing and strip malls. It’s the choice of the wealthy and famous, and for good reason: it is a natural paradise.

Marrakech Camel Ride 6

Along the way, we pick up a baby camel, making our hairy caravan a threesome. The ride itself is calming, even more so than either Beth or I expected, because Abdou is guiding our camel, and Beth’s is tied to mine and the baby to her camel.

Marrakech Camel Ride 1

With Abdou leading the way, it gives us a chance to see a desert sunset in a way we’ve never seen before: mosing 10 feet off the ground. Our camels are gentle and responsive to Abdou’s command. I even take the reigns for a bit; though, I am more than happy to hand them back over as twilight sets in.
Marrakech Camel Ride 3
Being in the Palmeraie during twilight reveals another side to the palm oasis–silhouettes galore, a lone stork perched on a broken palm, lights twinkling from the villas that dot the sparsely lush area, and quite possibly my favorite memory from the journey: our caravans tall shadows floating over the baked desert, one sway at a time.

Marrakech Camel Ride 2Know Before You Go

We had the chance to speak to Driss Alla, manager of Authentic Journeys Morocco, on our way to and from our hotel, and he shared some of information about his business as well as tips for visitors interested in taking a camel tour during there Marrakech Holidays.

*Don’t jeopardize your safety for an unlicensed tour. According to Driss, there are a number of companies operating illegally in Marakesh that offer a cheaper rate, but don’t have the proper credentials from the Ministry of Tourism to give tours. One of the biggest issues with these illegal companies is that they don’t have any insurance to cover their guests.

* In addition to the two-hour sunset tour we took with Authentic Journeys Morocco, the company also offers longer excursions, including a 52 day camel trek from Marrakesh to Timbuktu and provides free pick up/drop off from your hotel, train station or airport. From the moment we were picked up from our hotel–Albatros Garden Hotel Marrakech–to our final handshake with Driss, the service we received was top-notch and we highly recommend them for your tours in Morocco.

* Unlike the tight jeans cowboys wear when riding horses, its recommended to wear baggy clothing for the camel ride. If you are going in November, especially at sunset, I recommend bringing a fleece and lots of film or digital photo cards.

Beth and I would like to give a big thanks to Low Cost Holidays who hosted us on this tour and introduced us to Driss, Abdou and our new furry friends.

Disclaimer: The camel tour was paid for by Low Cost Holidays, but our review and opinion is entirely our own.

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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(18) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica -

    November 16, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Beautiful photos!

    And great tips on the camel ride. I would definitely feel more comfortable with an experienced guide.

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 11:36 am

      @Stephanie – The Travel Chica, Thanks Stephanie! Yeah, it was like being in cruise control, so we really got a chance to focus on the area and take pictures.

  • Jack -

    November 17, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I stayed in Marrakech at the end of September but spent all my time in an around the Medina (apart from one afternoon having a look around Gueliz). It’s interesting to read about what life is like in the new town.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your experiences.

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 11:42 am

      @Jack, The Palmeraie is really great; though, I think to stay there its probably a bit more expensive. I wish we could have spent more time exploring the area, but, like you, most of our time was spent in the Medina.

  • Jackie -

    November 17, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Gorgeous photos! Seems like it was a thrill…er!

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

      @Jackie, Ha, perfect! Couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂

  • Penny -

    November 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    A sunset in the palm oasis. That’s something to behold. Great shots!

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 11:46 am

      @Penny, Thanks Penny! It was a great time. It was the perfect combination of thrilling and relaxing.

  • Scott – Quirky Travel Guy -

    November 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Stunning pics as always! I don’t think I own any baggy pants, so I’d have to prepare in advance for a camel ride.

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

      @Scott – Quirky Travel Guy, Actually, I think you would be fine with tighter jeans or pants. Though, if you find yourself in Marrakech in need of some baggy pants, you could always hit up the Medina for a pair of the traditional Moroccan ladies pants–imagine MC Hammer pants without the bling. 🙂

  • Erica -

    November 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    The pictures are stunning – must have been a beautiful ride. <3

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

      @Erica, It was gorgeous! Unfortunately, we were running a little late so we didn’t get a chance to ham it up with the camels pre-trip.

  • Laura -

    November 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Oh man, this brings back memories of my hairy camel rides in Egypt. Somehow, in a group of 9, I got the camel that always decided to just drop to his knees and nearly throw me off- twice. Haha, but it’s an adventurous I guess. I think baby camels are the funniest looking things. Great shots!

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

      @Laura, Luckily, neither one of our camels pulled that move. However, I’ve been on a horse before that decided to drop to the ground and just start rolling. It freaked me out.

      We were excited to pickup the baby camel. We felt he rounded out our group nicely and kept the adult camels a bit more mellow.

  • Sarah Wu -

    November 22, 2011 at 1:15 am

    That’s a really cool experience. I was just telling my bets friend today that one of my must to one day is to ride a camel. After that I cam across your blog. Lucky you!

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      @Sarah Wu, It was great Sarah. I definitely recommend it. I’m kind of still in awe that we had a chance to do it.

  • Jennifer -

    December 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Gorgeous photos! We did a camel trek in Wadi Rum, Jordan and neither of us has a desire to ever do it again. We both wore loose clothing, but the seams in our pants posed a problem…a painful problem. Thankfully we had a few days to recuperate before we had to sit for an extended period of time.

  • Ross -

    January 7, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Great photos. I did a camel trip around the dunes in Merzouga which was cool but the camels are not comfortable. In the end I ended up walking leading the camel with the guide on top!