Unmissable Best Activity in India: Desert Safari in Jaisalmer

desert safari in jaisalmer

Introduction to our Desert Safari in Jaisalmer

Located in the heart of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer stands as a city steeped in history, culture, and a sense of adventure. Known as the Golden City, it’s a place where the past and the present meld seamlessly, creating an atmosphere that’s as enchanting as it is thrilling. The desert safaris in Jaisalmer, particularly the camel safaris, are a highlight, offering an immersive experience into the vast Thar Desert.

As a person who always wants to get the full experience of a country that goes beyond sightseeing, this safari was a leap into the heart of Rajasthan’s desert life. With our guide, Roja, and the organization by Tofu Safari Jaisalmer, I explored the dunes, not just to see but to feel and live the desert in its truest form. It’s a narrative of wide dunes, starlit skies, and an experience that’s as raw as it is refined.

In the following sections, I’ll take you through the journey of our safari, share insights on the best time and places for a safari in Jaisalmer, answer some frequently asked questions, and wrap up with my concluding thoughts.

Whether you’re planning your trip or just dreaming of desert adventures, I hope this post inspires you explore Jaisalmer’s desert too. We’ve also got you covered with a detailed and complete guide on our travels through India and plenty of useful travel tips, perfect for India first-timers!

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What You Can Expect From a Desert Safari

Day 1: Oasis, Ghost Village, Camel Ride & Bonfire Stories

The journey commenced at 2 PM with a pickup from our hotel, setting the stage for an afternoon steeped in discovery and connection. Our first stop was an oasis, a brief pause in the embrace of nature before we continued to our next destination, the hauntingly beautiful ghost village at 3:30 PM. The desolation of this abandoned place added a touch of mystery to our adventure.

desert safari
Visiting the ghost village
desert safari
Ghost village

At 4 PM, while the rest of our group embarked on a camel ride to the camp, I chose to not take part in the ride due to ethical reasons. Accompanying one of our tour guides in the jeep, I reached the campsite where we began setting up for the night. This drive not only took us across sand dunes and smaller villages of desert people, but it was an opportunity to delve deeper into the life of our guide, Roja.

He shared his story with me – a tale of a man who, driven by his love for animals, started leading safaris at the age of 12. „Camel college is good knowledge,“ he would say, emphasizing how his experiences in the desert and interactions with tourists taught him multiple languages, even imitating Japanese tourists humorously. He expressed a preference for working with foreign travelers, citing their respectfulness and gratitude compared to his experiences with some Indian tourists.

His story was very inspiring to me because he never went to school but still had found his path making him such a great tour guide he is today.

desert safari
others taking part in the camel ride
desert safari
beautiful dunes in the middle of the desert

As the evening unfolded, the desert came alive in a different hue. By 5 PM, we were taking pictures in the sand dunes, and soon after, Roja, our tour guide, prepared snacks for us – fried pasta that popped like popcorn and delectable veggie pakoras.

Dinner was served at 6 PM – a hearty meal of dal, rice, mixed vegetables, and chapati, all cooked by Roja over an open fire. The simplicity of the meal belied its rich flavors, a testament to the culinary magic that can happen even in the most remote of settings.

desert safari
dinner freshly cooked by our tour guide:
bread, vegetables, rice and lentil dhal
desert safari
puffed pasta and pakora

After dinner, we were happy and full, as we gathered around the bonfire. In the group we shared stories, laughed, and enjoyed the crisp desert night, occasionally interrupted by a 14-year-old boy who made rounds selling beer to the camps. This moment captured the essence of desert life – a blend of tranquility and unexpected encounters.

At midnight, we settled into our makeshift beds under the starlit sky. Thankfully we had enough blankets so we did not even get cold despite the thin blankets on the ground.

my favorite camel named Lucky
sunset in the desert

Day 2: Night in the Dunes, Breakfast & Camel Walk

The morning started for us at 8 AM with a breakfast prepared by our guide. The menu was simple yet satisfying: bananas, eggs, Indian porridge, and toast with jam.

After breakfast, at 9 AM, we walked with the camels back to civilization. Opting to walk rather than ride the camels was a personal choice that resonated with my values, and it was a decision that brought me immense joy.

jaisalmer desert
Morning camel walk with the group
jaisalmer desert
a beautiful photo of Lucky

After 30 minutes and many hungry camels, we had to say goodbye and leave our new friends back at the desert, where they belong at. We headed to our Jeep and were taken back to our hotel in Jaisalmer.

Reflections on the Experience

Sleeping in the desert was an experience like no other. Although the temperature dipped to around 10°C (50°F), the blankets kept us warm enough. The cold desert air was a sharp contrast to the cozy warmth under the blankets. This night in the Thar Desert was a blend of the serene and the surreal, a memory etched not just in my mind but in my heart.

So we booked our Desert Safari in Jaisalmer, to be more precise at Tofu Safari Jaisalmer, a beautiful guesthouse located 5 minutes away from the Jaisalmer Fort. We paid 3000 INR for this safari (33€) and if you compare to other tour operators, the prices are almost the same.

If you do not feel comfortable with booking in Jaisalmer itself, you can surely book in advance for example this tour.

Best Time for a Desert Safari in Jaisalmer

When planning a desert safari in Jaisalmer, timing is crucial. The Thar Desert’s climate plays a significant role in determining the comfort and enjoyment of your safari experience. Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Ideal Season: Winter Wonders

The best time to embark on a desert safari in Jaisalmer is during the winter months, from November to March. During this period, the desert’s climate is at its most benevolent. The days are pleasantly warm, making it ideal for daytime activities like camel rides and exploring the dunes. The temperatures typically range from 10°C (50°F) to 27°C (80°F), creating a comfortable environment for adventure and exploration.

2. Summer Safaris: A Challenging Affair

While it’s possible to go on a safari during the summer months, it’s important to note that the desert heat can be intense. Daytime temperatures from April to June can soar up to 42°C (108°F), making outdoor activities quite challenging. If you choose a summer safari, it’s advisable to engage in early morning or late evening activities to avoid the scorching heat.

3. Monsoon Magic: A Different Perspective

The monsoon season, from July to September, offers a unique perspective of the Thar Desert. Though traditionally not the most popular time for safaris, this season brings a refreshing change to the landscape. The rains, although sporadic, cool down the desert and can transform it with greenery, offering a different kind of beauty.

4. Night-Time in the Desert: A Starry Affair

Regardless of the season, night-time in the desert is a spectacle in itself. The clear skies offer an unparalleled view of the stars, making it a perfect time for stargazing enthusiasts. Remember, nights in the desert, especially in winter, can be chilly, so packing warm clothing is essential.

In conclusion, while winter is the prime season for a desert safari in Jaisalmer, each season offers its unique charm. It’s all about choosing the time that aligns with your preferences and comfort levels.

When it comes to finding the perfect stay, Booking.com and Agoda have got you covered! Explore a variety of accommodations, from cozy guesthouses to luxurious hotels, making your journey even more comfortable.

Click on the link or use the tool down below for a quick search.

Best Locations for a Desert Safari

Jaisalmer is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of desert safari experiences in India. However, the Thar Desert extends beyond Jaisalmer, offering other locations where one can start an unforgettable desert adventure. Here’s a look at some of the top destinations for a desert safari, both in and around Jaisalmer.

1. Jaisalmer: The Heart of the Desert Safari

Jaisalmer itself is a prime location for desert safaris. The city is surrounded by the vast expanse of the Thar Desert, providing easy access to several safari spots. Key areas include:

Sam Sand Dunes: About 45 km from Jaisalmer, Sam Sand Dunes are perfect for experiencing the classic desert landscape. It’s a popular spot for camel rides, jeep safaris, and witnessing mesmerizing sunsets.

Khuri Village: For a more tranquil and authentic experience, Khuri, located southwest of Jaisalmer, offers a peaceful alternative to the bustling Sam Sand Dunes. The village is known for its mud and straw huts, and the dunes here are less commercialized.

2. Bikaner: A Gateway to the Thar

Bikaner, another gem in Rajasthan, offers a more off-the-beaten-path desert experience. Known for its historical forts and temples, Bikaner’s proximity to the desert makes it a great starting point for safaris, especially for those looking to combine cultural exploration with their desert adventure.

3. Osian: The Oasis in the Desert

Located near Jodhpur, Osian is often referred to as the ‚Gateway to the Thar Desert.‘ It’s famous for its ancient temples and dunes that offer a serene safari experience. Camel rides at sunset here are particularly enchanting.

4. Desert National Park: For the Wildlife Enthusiasts

If your interest in a desert safari includes wildlife, then the Desert National Park near Jaisalmer is a must-visit. It’s one of the largest national parks in India and is home to unique desert wildlife, including the elusive Great Indian Bustard.

5. Pushkar: A Spiritual Twist to Desert Safari

Although not directly in the Thar Desert, Pushkar offers a different take on the desert experience. The town is known for its annual camel fair, which is a vibrant and colorful spectacle, combining spiritual and cultural aspects with the thrill of the desert.

Each of these locations offers a unique perspective on what a desert safari can entail, from the bustling dunes of Sam in Jaisalmer to the serene landscapes of Osian and the wildlife haven of the Desert National Park. Depending on what you seek – be it adventure, culture, tranquility, or wildlife – there’s a desert safari destination waiting for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Desert Safaris in Jaisalmer

With these questions and answers, I hope to provide valuable insights for anyone planning a desert safari in Jaisalmer.

Conclusion on Desert Safaris in Jaisalmer

The desert safari in Jaisalmer is a journey into the heart of the Thar Desert, an experience that intertwines the raw beauty of nature with the rich tapestry of Rajasthani culture. Whether you choose to traverse the dunes on camelback, explore in a jeep, or simply immerse yourself in the serene desert environment, each moment spent here is a step closer to understanding the essence of this mystical land.

My personal safari adventure, filled with authentic interactions, picturesque landscapes, and the simple joys of desert life, highlighted the importance of connecting with the places we visit. In the vast expanses of Jaisalmer’s dunes, the soul of the Thar desert speaks a language of timeless wonder.

As you plan your journey, remember that each safari is unique, and every traveler’s experience is their own tale to tell. So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and prepare to write your own chapter in the grand narrative of Jaisalmer’s desert safaris.

If you want to know, what the overall best time to travel to India, read the following article. If you are rather interested in Tiger Safaris, we’ve got you covered too!

I hope to see you again soon on this blog. Do not forget to share this guide on a desert safari in Jaisalmer with your friends and family too 🙂

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