To be entirely honest with you guys, I wasn’t aware that you could pay to go on a desert safari. Whenever I thought of the word safari, giraffes and wild lions appeared in my mind, with me staring at them through my binoculars while standing on a jeep wearing cargo pants somewhere in Africa. Don’t get me wrong, I knew you could drive your 4×4 on sand dunes at crazy speed for fun, but since I never really gave it much attention, I always thought it was mainly a random hobby of adrenaline junkies. When I found that it was one of the must-do activities for visitors in Dubai, I was the first one to get on board with the idea. How to say no to such an awesome experience!
The day started by being picked up in the afternoon at the hotel by an Emirati guy (who, let me tell you, was a little intimidating at first, but turned out to be one great guy; super nice and funny). All the drivers were (and always are) experts and local, so you are in very trusty hands. They take you to the desert straight away, though they first stop near a gas station to meet with the rest of the group. It takes only a few minutes to then get to the starting point of the safari on the dunes. They once again stop for people to take pictures and admire the view while they deflate the car tires. Once everybody’s ready, it’s show time!
Easy to say, the ride was awesome! Scary at times, because it feels like the car is gonna overturn every time it slides off the side of a dune, but that’s what made it much more exciting! While I had a huge freaky smile stamped on my face, just like the rest of the people in the car (there were 6 of us in total), the driver was so relaxed he didn’t even flinch. Such a professional. Luckily though I took a pill for motion sickness before leaving, so all that crazy moving around inside the car didn’t affect me. You should do the same if your visual perception and your sense of movement don’t get along very well. But don’t let that scare you away! Trust me when I tell you, you are in for a treat!
The first part of the safari lasted a good 10 minutes, or maybe a little more, can’t remember exactly with all that adrenaline in my veins I had going on once I stepped off the car. They give you about 15 minutes to take more pictures and to recover from the crazy ride. In the meantime, you might see other people on their jeeps doing their own thing around the desert, while the safari drivers let the car engines breath. The sun was going down at that moment, so the lighting was incredible and it was giving the sand gorgeous colours and shades. Once the break was over, it was time for round two of the safari. Yay! Another 10 minutes of excitement somewhere in the Arabian desert.
“And that’s it…they take you back to your hotel” is what you are probably thinking right now. Wrong. The desert safari is far from over. In fact, right when the sun is about to set, they take you to a desert camp… But I will tell you more about that on Part 2 of this blog post, so stay tuned for that!