Thursday, June 12, 2014

Night Desert Safari Dubai, 2014

During my one week stay in Dubai this year,
I took a night safari in the desert.
( - website from which the tour was booked)
We were a group of 4 with a guide (from Egypt).

Pick-up time was 19.30 from the hotel.
It had to be this late for the temperatures to cool down a bit AND for ti to be dark.
The drive to the desert took about 45 minutes through the southern parts of Dubai;
were the world Expo 2020 is being constructed (and the builders live in large fast constructed villages).
We also passed the "Arabic" Dubai - a settlement for newly web Arabic "native" Dubai residence where each couple gets 500 m² for free (or a small house). So they don't die out. Dubai has now only about 14% natives. The rest are all foreigner workers.

Then we reached the Dubai Desert Conversation Reserve - yes, the tour is inside a reservation, to make sure the animals stay inside and no "hunters" (2- and 4-legged) come inside. There is also an extra part fenced off inside the reservation for intensive study on the animals and their food.

Entry gate to the reservation: more information in below links
It is better to have all the tourists concentrated in this one area - than have them wander off, alone or with guide, through the real desert, destroying the sensitive ecosystem there. But to have an exclusive and expensive resort there with a pool for each room/bungalow? That is a bit too much for the tourists. The managers there sure know how to make money ..................

We changed to the range rover - open and from the 1950's. It is a loan from the museum in private property of a sheikh to use until it breaks down. (There are about ten of those for those desert tours.) And the guide handed each of us 2 half liter bottles of cooled water - which we had no time to drink until the snack camp, where we got two more half liter drinks.
the car
We drove for a bit along desert roads, the guide pointing out bushes and trees that the nomads used for remedies and food. (Sorry, no photos from them.)
Then we went for a walk, about an hour and half. The guide had a torch and a UV light. The latter was very important as only with that you could spot the sand scorpions.
Sand Scorpion
in UV light and torchlight
in UV light

in torchlight with flash
The we also saw beetles:

This one kept putting the butt up and head down -
to protect its most sensitive body part

And we saw some bigger animals, like gazelles and antelopes (I don't remember their specific names):

Best of all I like the Gecko:

Then we had a small snack in the desert with a look at the major stars, like big and small dipper and the North star. And see the setting half moon through a telescope. 
Nope, I didn't use the sischa.
They even had built a toilet house out of stones in to the desert at this snack place for the tourists - with running water in the wash basin and water-flushed toilet like in a hotel room!!

By 23.00 it was time to go back - not without "bashing" some dunes with the car, the guide telling us to "hold on tight" for each deeper dip it took. It was fun, getting some hot dust into your face. Yes, it never cooled down really, temperatures stayed around 28°C. 

Just leaving the reservation gate I saw some more animals, ANTS.
Large ones - about 2cm long each, devouring some dropped fruits.

Tired, but happy tourist me at the reservation gate.,
camera ready for the paparazzi . 
This then ends my report from the night safari. If you ever get to be in Dubai - try and do one too. You won't regret it. =))