Some important facts you must know before you decide a camel ride in Lompoul
Have you ever wanted to see sand dunes and have a desert experience with camel ride? Well, while traveling in Senegal, Lompoul village is a great chance to experience it. While I was looking back to my photos in Lompoul Desert, certain facts about our camel ride in Lompoul came fresh to my mind which I absolutely want to share with my readers. Lompoul Desert, in French désert de Lompoul,is an 18 km2 desert located about 200 km north from the capital Dakar. Since it is quite common travelling from Dakar to Saint Louis a middle stop in Lompoul is done almost by every tourist.
So many desert camps have then been arranged closer to the dunes area and countless the people who organize camel rides for tourists. Prices go from 2500 to 3000 CFA for the shorter ride (30 minutes) and 6000 CFA for the longer one: yes it depends on how far you want to go deep in the desert. Knowing already that the tourist to explore the desertneeds an expert who well knows the area, they don’t easily negotiate. Before you confirm the tour with any of the operators in Lompoul, you must know some important facts.
Don’t confirm before having seen the camel. Now, Senegal is a very poor country where people are thriving daily not only for their food but also for their health, let alone, the animals’ rights. Our camel wasn’t of sound; certainly, it was suffering from something. We have noticed it immediately, we were about to refuse but we have paid already. Whether you are an animal right activist or not, if you see the poor animal in such a bad condition, avoid taking a ride with it. It rummelled (the camel’s cry) all along the way and we were like wanting to cry with it!
Clear out the price before the departure, ask them to write it for you on a piece of paper and keep it safe until you return.
Make a note of the starting time. We paid for the 30 minutes ride (the shorter one) but it was less than 20. Ask them to write this also next to the price.
Do it during the sunset. If you start your trip just 10 minutes before the dawn you can see the colourful sunrays setting down the dunes gently. Amazing!!!
Before planning with your hotel, check at the Lompoul main junction (where you will be dropped off upon arrival to Lompoul) for the camel rides. Probably here they’ll ask you less money.
Pay attention to the insects. Desert has it all!!
Remember that the camel men most of the times don’t speak French or English but only Wolof; so making yourself understand is not that much easy as you believe.
If you have already done a camel ride in Namibia or Sahara, this is not probably going to excite you, but even though it will remain among your Senegalese experiences. You then know what is the Lompoul Desert.
We would have loved to go further more deep inside the desert but as you have read, there were no proper conditions. Hope this all could change one day!
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