My first introduction to desert, my first encounter with the vast stretches of sand dunes – that’s the Thar Dessert for me.
When I had planned my dates for the visit, I had an expectation of the temperature to be around 30-35 degrees at the dunes and obviously sunny. But the rains in the last 2 days there had tarnished all those expectations. On the day we set our journey towards the dessert, all was I praying to see a clear sky.
With more and more the afternoon passing by, the sky was becoming clearer, but the winds were doing fair to the ears and shivering me drier. Somehow I buckled myself with the jeep (@ 70/80 kmph), my ‘churni’ (stole) and a single layer of hoodie among all the winds. Even sitting at the back of the camel, the wind was not any less.
Let me share in details of how we reached there in the midst of the desert. It is not any kind of adventure, but a plan with lots of research made.
How to Book/ Reach the Safari:
There are plenty of Travel Agents around the Jaisalmer town who arrange Day trip/ 1-day 1-night trip with Tent stay or under the sky stay at the Dessert. Most of these trips consist of few minutes of Camel Safari (in the desert), Sunset view and Rajasthani Cultural show ending up with a Rajasthani dinner buffet.
The price ranges from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 5000 per head depending on the kind of tents you want to stay at.
There are a few very good camps with luxurious stays – Oasis Camp, Pal Rajah Resort, The Serai. But all of these are really over the budget for me (around Rs. 4k-6k per tent per night).
Also before booking a tent, keep in mind what you really prefer. In some tents, they play DJ music at night which I fill useless as I would prefer more silence and darkness while camping at the Great Indian Desert.
You may keep the following questions ready to ask your tour agent while booking a desert safari package:
- Will you be provided with a tent or sleeping under the sky?
- What will be the facilities at the tent – like attached washroom, hot water, etc?
- Which meals will be provided – dinner/ breakfast, etc?
- Check the exact location of the camp on Maps or ask for it, if you do not want light or music interference from the other camps
- Whether you will be provided Camel Safari as 2/1 persons per camel?
- Does the tour begin with jeep transport?
- Will you be taken to the abandoned village of Kuldhara (comes on the way)?
We booked our half day trip with Real Desert Man Safari. They provide great customizable trips within affordable prices. I especially liked the location where they took us for the camel safari and sunrise view. Else Sam dunes remain really touristy and noisy. Below are snaps from the Kuldhara Village:
Here are the few glimpses of the desert around the sunset time:
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