Camels in Saudi Arabia are as popular as kangaroos in Australia, panda bears in China and Komodo dragons in Indonesia. The only difference is that you can ride on a camel. Camel riding in Jeddah is as popular as the animals themselves.
Jeddah is the commercial center of Saudi Arabia and is known as the most tourist-friendly city in the country. Other cities, including the capital city of Riyadh, are too harsh and restrictive that foreign visitors would easily feel alienated and unwelcomed. Drinking alcohol, eating pork and women not covering their hair are still prohibited in Jeddah, although there are relative freedoms in this cosmopolitan city. Women can go swimming in a bikini and reveal plenty of skin in Jeddah as the city offers the best beaches in the country and other fun tourism destinations.
You will see plenty of unique sites and things while in Jeddah. These include the mosques, traditional markets, old houses, Saudis in traditional garments, the over abundance of sand, and camels. Camels are so popular that foreigners can’t help but take photos while sitting on one. Here are few important facts about camels and camel riding.
One, riding a camel is not in any way comfortable. Brace yourself. The idea of riding a cool animal and the uniqueness of the experience make it a must-try ride, but sitting on a hump is not the best feeling of all.
Two, camels are so common in Saudi Arabia that seeing one becomes too common as seeing a dog in your neighborhood back home. Throughout the duration of your Jeddah vacation, hold on to that wonder of seeing a unique animal for the first time and keep reminding yourself that most other countries in the world don’t have them. The most common type of camel in Jeddah is the one-humped camel.
Three, the easiest way to get a ride and have your photo on a camel taken is to visit the seaside area called Corniche. Camels here are lavishly adorned with colorful trimmings to guarantee that you get an amazing souvenir shot. For a reasonable price you get to ride on a camel along the scenic seaside area. You have to hold on, though, since it could get bumpy right when the camel begins to stand up and walk around.
Four, to really get to know camels, take a quick trip to some of the many camel farms outside Jeddah. Meet Bedouins, learn their way of life and see how important camels truly are to these people. See up close how a camel is milked and have a taste. Camel milk is an important part of the Bedouin diet. Other camel-tour packages allow you to camp in the desert and take a camel ride over the sand dunes.
Finally, when you’re timing is right, you might catch the annual camel race competition and see these muscular animals at their best. You’d be surprised to see how fast they can go. Camel racing is a national sport and very exhilarating. While camel riding in Jeddah is a must, one of the highlights is to watch an actual race in the desert that is often participated in by thousands of camels.