The Beginner’s Guide to Surviving a Desert Safari Trip


You finally decided to take the plunge and book that desert safari you’ve been dreaming about for years. As the date gets closer, the excitement builds but so do the questions about what to expect and how to prepare. Will your stomach be up for those rollercoaster dune rides? What kind of clothes work best to protect you from the blazing sun and blowing sand? Could your dainty feet ever handle miles of desert trekking? Take a deep breath, adventurer. This beginner’s guide will give you the inside scoop on surviving and thriving on your first ever desert safari trip. From pro packing tips to managing motion sickness, you’ll learn everything you need to know to transform this vacation from challenging to life changing. Stick with us and you’ll return home with awe-inspiring photos and stories to share around the campfire for years to come. The adventure awaits!

An Overview of Desert Safari Trips

Desert safari trips offer a thrilling way to experience the harsh yet beautiful desert landscapes of the Middle East. If you’re planning your first desert safari adventure, here’s what you can expect.

A desert safari typically involves riding over sand dunes in a 4-wheel drive vehicle with an experienced driver. As the vehicle navigates up and down the dunes, you’ll feel an adrenaline rush from the rollercoaster-like sensation. Make sure to buckle up for safety! The desert terrain will provide stunning views of the rippling sand. You may spot native wildlife like camels, foxes or gazelles along the way.

Your desert safari will usually include stops for photographs at scenic points. This gives you a chance to pause, soak in the serene surroundings and capture memories of the gorgeous scenery enveloping you. Don’t forget to bring a camera with a zoom lens to photograph wildlife and panoramic desert vistas in the distance.

As night falls, your desert safari tour will set up camp. Relax as a delicious barbecue dinner is prepared over an open fire. Dine under a canopy of stars while enjoying traditional Arabic food, music and dance performances. After dinner, you can gaze at the Milky Way and constellations illuminating the inky black sky.

A desert safari also often includes recreational activities like sandboarding, quad biking or camel riding for an extra thrill. Some tours visit a Bedouin camp where you can learn about the nomadic desert lifestyle. An overnight safari will allow you to sleep in a tent under the stars for a truly immersive experience.

With the right tour company, a desert safari can be a safe, enjoyable and memorable adventure. Do some research to find a reputable tour operator, pack essential supplies like sunglasses and comfortable clothes, and get ready to embark on an exotic desert getaway you’ll never forget!

Packing Essentials for Your Desert Safari Adventure

Heading out on a desert safari trip? You’ll want to be prepared for the harsh, hot climate and be ready to experience the natural beauty of the desert. Here are some must-have items to pack in your luggage:

Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes

The desert heat will have you sweating buckets, so pack lightweight, breathable clothing like t-shirts, shorts, and pants made of cotton or linen. Avoid synthetic fabrics that don’t breathe well. Bring layers you can add at night when temperatures drop. And don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen—the sun is brutal!

Hiking boots or comfortable shoes

You’ll be doing a fair bit of walking over rough, sandy terrain, so a sturdy pair of hiking boots, walking shoes, or sandals with ankle support are essential. Flip flops won’t cut it and could lead to injuries.

Flashlight or headlamp

Desert nights are very dark with little ambient light. Bring a flashlight or headlamp so you can see where you’re walking at night and spot any wildlife. Extra batteries are a good idea in case yours die.


Pack toilet paper, wipes, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, and any important medications. Desert campsites typically don’t have plumbing, so be prepared to go without showers for a few days. Baby wipes can be useful for cleaning up without a shower.

Sleeping bag, pillow, camping mat

You’ll be sleeping under a blanket of stars, so a sleeping bag rated for summer weather, a pillow, and a camping mat for padding and insulation from the cold ground are must-haves for comfort.


The desert scenery is stunning, especially at sunrise and sunset. Bring your camera or video camera to capture the orange sand dunes, camels, desert plants and other sights you’ll encounter. Extra memory cards and batteries recommended.


While meals are usually provided on desert safaris, pack some high-energy, non-perishable snacks like protein bars, nuts, and dried fruit in case you get hungry in between. Bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration too.

With these essentials packed, you’ll be ready to head out on your desert adventure in comfort and style. Enjoy this once in a lifetime experience exploring the scenic desert landscape. The stunning vistas and memories will stay with you for years to come!

Safety Tips for Surviving the Desert Heat

The desert can be an unforgiving environment, especially in the summer. When the sun is beating down and temperatures soar, you’ll want to be prepared to avoid heat-related illnesses. Here are some tips to help you stay safe during your desert safari adventure:

Hydrate constantly

Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and heat stroke. Aim for 1-2 liters per hour. Pack electrolyte tablets or powders to replenish salts you’ll lose from sweating.

Protect yourself from the sun

Wear loose, lightweight clothing, sunglasses, and apply sunscreen liberally. A wide-brimmed hat can help shield your face, neck and shoulders. Seek shade whenever possible during the hottest parts of the day.

Be cautious of wildlife

Desert animals are most active at night to avoid the heat. Look out for snakes and scorpions when walking, and check your shoes before putting them on. Give camels, ostriches and other wildlife plenty of space.

Know the signs of heat-related illness

Watch for excessive sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness or nausea. Get medical help immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke like confusion, seizures or unconsciousness. Heat exhaustion can also be dangerous if left untreated.

Stay on marked trails

It’s easy to become lost in the desert, even with navigation equipment. Remain on established roads and paths to avoid getting stranded. Let someone know your route and schedule before heading out.

Travel in a group

There is safety in numbers. Traveling with an experienced guide or tour group decreases your chances of running into trouble in a harsh climate you’re not accustomed to. They will know how to handle any emergencies that may arise.

Following these tips will help ensure you have an enjoyable safari adventure in the desert without risking your health and safety. By staying hydrated, protecting yourself from the elements, and being cautious of your surroundings, you can experience all the beauty of the desert with peace of mind. Have a great trip!

Top Activities to Enjoy on a Desert Safari

A desert safari adventure offers some thrilling experiences. Here are some must-do activities to make the most of your trip:

Dune Bashing

Cruising over the sand dunes in a 4WD vehicle is a total thrill ride. As the vehicle climbs and descends the dunes, you’ll feel an adrenaline rush from the rollercoaster-like experience. Make sure to buckle up – it can get bumpy! The views of the sunset over the rippling dunes are stunning.

Camel Riding

What’s a desert trip without riding a camel? Camel riding is a fun way to explore the desert scenery. Camels can carry one or two riders at a time for a scenic loop. Hold on tight as camels get up and sit down – it’s a wobbly ride! For an extra special experience, book an overnight camel camping safari to stargaze and sleep under the stars.


If you enjoy snowboarding or sledding, sandboarding down the dunes will be a blast. You can rent sandboards and protective gear to slide, spin and shred down the slopes. Start on smaller dunes until you get the hang of it. Sandboarding works best around sunset when the sand is firmer and faster.

Desert Camping

Sleeping in a traditional Bedouin-style tent in the desert is a memorable experience. Enjoy a barbecue dinner, stargazing at night, and sunrise over the dunes. Desert camps offer basic facilities but it’s a chance to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature.

•Quad Biking – Zoom over the dunes on an exciting quad bike (ATV) ride. •Sand Skiing – For the adventure seekers, sand skiing and sand kiting are extreme sports options. •Cultural Shows – Some desert safari tours include traditional Arabic cultural performances, henna painting and cuisine.

A desert safari adventure in the dunes offers thrills and lifelong memories. With so many activities to experience, you’ll never be bored exploring the desert!

Common Questions About Desert Safaris

Planning your first desert safari adventure? You probably have a few questions about what to expect. Here are some of the common queries and concerns:

What should I wear?

Dress for hot weather in lightweight, loose, breathable clothing. Cotton is ideal.

Pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

Closed-toe shoes with a sturdy sole are a must for walking on sand.

A scarf or face mask will shield you from wind-blown sand.

At night, temperatures drop rapidly, so bring a jacket.

How will I handle the heat?

Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Most tours will provide bottled water, but bring extra.

Limit caffeine and alcohol intake which can dehydrate you.

Take breaks in the shade if you feel overheated. Your guide will know the best spots.

Cooling products like portable fans or towels can provide relief.

What will the bathroom situation be like?

Desert safari tours typically make stops at permanent restroom facilities along the route. There are no facilities once you are in the open desert, so take the opportunity to use the restroom when stops are made. For emergencies, your vehicle will have basic supplies. Be prepared for basic conditions.

Will the driving be rough?

Desert driving can be bumpy and jarring at times. The terrain is challenging, so a 4-wheel drive vehicle is standard. While tours are designed to be exciting, safety is a top priority. Experienced drivers know how to handle the dunes and will avoid anything too extreme for tourists. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to speak up. Your comfort and enjoyment are important.

With the right mindset and preparation, you’ll be ready to enjoy your thrilling desert safari adventure. Ask any other questions you may have—your tour operator wants you to have a safe, memorable experience exploring the desert.

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