In my recent trip to Morocco I went to some dunes by… dromedary (so, a camel with only one hump).
The guide said that usually the dromedaries cannot be driven (guided) like a horse. Actually the typical desert image is a person walking and then camels following the person (there is always one walker).
I was riding the first dromedary and then we met another group. The guide chained my dromedary to the last dromedary of the other group. After some minutes I saw that the rope would be untied and that my dromedary would be disconnected from the other one. I was wondering… what will happen? will my dromedary keep walking? Will it start walking to some other direction? Maybe start running?
No! when this happened my dromedary just stopped walking. Good safety system!
Later on, I was chatting with the guide and I found that I would not like to be a domesticated dromedary:
- In that place in Morocco, and to carry tourists, they only use male dromedaries. So, as a dromedary, you always walk behind your male colleague’s naked butt
- They cut the dromedary’s balls
- They don’t name the dromedaries. Actually in Morocco they don’t name donkeys (lot of people use donkeys for working)
- At the end of the day they tight one leg so you cannot walk freely at night
- Life expectancy is 30 years. When the dromedary is 28 years old the dromedary “gets retired”. They just leave the dromedary in the dessert. The dromedary will walk alone, eat some herbs… after some time, die alone. Without family, friends… just a walking alone dromedary walking and dying.
In that zone the nomads raise male and female dromedaries. Male ones are sold (for about 1200€). The nomads keeps the female dromedaries: they need them to procreate more dromedaries and the nomads also drink their milk. Fantastic Mustapha from TourMarruecos told me that he drinks dromedary’s milk. It seems that the first time it “cleans you” (diarrhea and vomiting) but then it’s fine.
(Mustapha cannot eat nuts, maybe this is a side effect?).
Some more information about dromedaries in the Wikipedia, like usually! They can stay days without drinking, they drink 10 L/minute and other facts there.