Camels Working in the Tourism Sector

Well it had to come, didn’t it? A post about actual camels and how they fit into the travel industry…

If you’ve ever been to any one of those sandy desert destinations or indeed if you’ve just seen any promotional material encouraging you to visit such destinations, then you will have probably also spotted a camel as a mascot to demonstrate the uniqueness of that destination in that way. If you’re lucky enough to have actually been to any of those destinations, then a camel ride must have been in order.

Camels do more than just offer a means of leisurely transport in the tourism sector though, working ever so hard as the beasts of burden they’ve been for so many decades already.

When you’re heading to the likes of the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, etc, to enjoy a getaway in a nice, sandy location, chances are you don’t want to burden your mind with thoughts of how the animals used to provide you with comfort and entertainment are treated, especially if there’s a suspicion that they’re not being treated too well. Unfortunately though for some of us who are animal lovers, we cannot help but have to entertain these thoughts.

When you’re actually going on one of those tours such as the Pyramids of Giza tour in Cairo, Egypt, and you actually take the time to take a closer look at the camel you’re riding, there are some visible signs that the animals aren’t being treated all that well. Maybe it’s just part of how they’re trained, “broken” or kept in line, but I really feel that they could be treated better.

For one, the camels don’t appear to be as clean as they look in the brochures, but again – I’m not too clued up on these types of issues. I mean I know that I should give my pets a bath, like my dogs, but I can’t even begin to imagine that a camel needs a bath. A little bit more love would do though, I suppose.

Something else I noticed is that the camels appear to be a little smaller than what they look like in the travel brochures and on the travel guide sites, perhaps a sign of a little bit of malnutrition. They appear to be a skinner as well and wouldn’t be comparable with the shiny coats domestic pets have when they’re happy and healthy.

It’s a little bit of a bittersweet moment when you first get acquainted with the camel you’re going to be riding on and it gives out a moan when prompted to get into position so that you can mount it. I think the keepers could definitely do a better job to treat them better though – I mean I think at some point it no longer becomes necessary to whip the beasts every time you want them to comply with a certain element of the training they’ve likely already gone through quite extensively.

The tandem horses used by the tour-guides seem to be treated better though…

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