Are you planning on taking a Desert Safari and have no idea what you should wear, what to take along with you etc.? Don’t worry I got some tips for you if it’s your very first time, as I once was a first-timer doing my own Desert Safari and wish I knew the things I’m sharing with you now.
Last year I decided that for my birthday, I wanted to visit the UAE, Dubai in particular, and while there, take a Desert Safari. I currently have a bucket list of items I’d love to get done before I turn 50 and a Desert Safari, while not high up on my list was on the list, and since I was going to be in a desert country, why not get it done right?
While you can google and find a tour on your own, many hotels offer Desert Safari tours, and we were able to book our tour directly with our hotel, the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai. It included pick-up and drop-off to and from the hotel, and also included Dune Bashing. Dune Bashing is something that you have to experience. While it can be a bit scary at times, you’re with professionals, so know that you’re safe.
So what are my tips for a Desert Safari as a first-timer? Here goes!
TAKE ALONG SOME CASH
Your guide will be taking you away from the city and into the desert. While there are a few shops on the outskirts, many do not have a credit card option, and while some do, most prefer cash. The US dollar is widely accepted, but it helps to have some dirham (their local currency) on hand for smaller purchases. Grab some from your hotel’s ATM before departing on your safari.
I wish someone had told me this before we decided on our safari, because I would have been able to avoid coming back with a sneaker filled with sand. It was also challenging to navigate the sand when we got out to take photos while Dune Bashing wearing sneakers. With sandals or any open-toe shoes, it’s easier for the sand to go through your toes and fall out, and it also would make it easier to walk. As you can see in the following photo, my feet were almost completely submerged below the sand, and it was extremely challenging to walk.
WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING
While skirts and dresses are comfortable, they are not meant for a desert safari where you’ll more than likely be riding on a camel. Unless you’re only going Dune Bashing, then leave the cute dresses and skirts at home. Instead, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear pants and t-shirts, tanks and even shorts. Some desert safari also offers the option of quad biking or sand skiing, so dressing comfortably will help.
CARRY ALONG BOTTLED WATER AND SNACKS
While your guide may have bottled water for you, it doesn’t hurt to have extra and the snacks that you like. You’re in the middle of the desert surrounded by sand and more sand, AND the sun. Depending on the time of the year that you visit, it may be cooler than others. We were there in the middle of May and temperatures got as high as the 90s, and they explained to us that was actually rather cool for that time of the year. Here’s where having that cash comes in handy as well, because you may need to buy extra bottles of water to keep you hydrated.
WEAR SUNGLASSES AND SUNSCREEN
Once again, I cannot stress enough that you’re in the middle of the desert with temperatures in the 90s and 100s. Protect both your skin and your eyes. The sun shining on the sand can take some getting used to seeing with your naked eyes, so your sunglasses will help with that, also be sure to take along sunscreen, and be sure to lather up. I forgot sunscreen once and left Dubai with a sunburn. Yes, African-Americans do burn too.
Hopefully, these tips will allow you to have a fantastic time on your own Desert Safari. Enjoy the experience and always remember to listen to your guides, because only then will your experience be memorable.