Moroccan camels have only one hump so they are called Dromodaries. Camels have two humps. The Berber guides let us call them camels, so during this essay I will call them camels. Camels can survive 5 days without water when they are walking (or working) and up to 10 days when resting. Camels eat grass and sharp cactuses. They have two stomachs and therefore they regurgitate their food. They are ruminants. They have to process their food over and over to get the nutrition out of the food.
Gestation period for the camel is 9 months and camels have one baby at a time. Baby camels drink mom’s milk for the first year. The babies stay with their mother for first two years and then they are more independent. Camels start to work at the age of 3 or 4 and work until they are around the age of 15. Camels live to the age of 30. Camel years are the same as human years.
My family and I went on a guided 3 day, 2 night camel ride into the Sahara desert. We were in southern Morocco at Erb Chebi. Our guides were Berber young men. The first day and night, our guide was Hussein. Hussein was good with us kids, he was funny and he answered all of our questions. The other days of our trip our guides were Ail and Borok. They two were funny good with kids and answered all of our questions. Borok was Hussein’s younger brother.
I was nervous to ride the camels into the desert but then I was happy because I met our camels and my camel, who I named Alex.
The very first time I had to get on my camel I thought wow, this is a big camel. Then it was like a bucking bronco. First, the camel gets up on its two back legs and then its two front legs. On the way down it is opposite. Once I was up on Alex I was about 7 feet off the ground.
The camels walked in a line and the front one, my dad’s camel Eisenhower, had a nose ring with the rope attached to help guide us. The Berber guides walked and held the first rope. The camels were tied together. Often the order was Eisenhower, Sheebani (Mom’s camel), Alex and then Freedom (Wilson’s camel).
Our camels were all boys. Alex, my camel, would sit or stand whenever he sees another camel around him sit or stand. Sheebani, my mom’s camel, would not sit or stand on his own, they had to slap him on the neck and tug on the rope in his mouth.
The scariest part of riding my camel was when the camel walked down hill or side ways on the top of a dune. His big foot slipped in the soft sand and it made me feel like I was going to fall.
During our trip I took good care of Alex by feeding him, patting him, on bumps I tried not to kick him and I sang to him. I was confident in him when we were going downhill.
In summary of my time in the desert I would say it was HOT but great.