Marrakesh Camel Ride with “Michael Jackson”.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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!