It was just two decades ago that the Qatar skyline was a miserably blank picture, and the only thing hugging the coastline was the only luxury hotel, The Sheraton Grand.
Howbeit, today the lonely hotel is dwarfed by every other skyscraper that towers around it. We immensely admire how erelong the precedent barren land converted into a bustling new-age metropolis on the cusp of international greatness.
Amidst this entire citified expanse, lies an ocean of sand that ends in the horizon, which today is an ever-growing, enticing tourist hotspot.
Read Also: 15 Desert Driving Tips You Need To Consider
Desert is the place where the heart of Qataris lie, and doubtlessly, a trip to Qatar would always be incomplete without visiting it at least once.
This time, the desert is not just about cacti, lizards, oasis, and mirages. It’s more than just a sand bowl to roam around. This time, it is adventure, thrill and stomach dropping. It’s the Desert Safari.
Here’s how a Desert safari look like
In essence, a desert safari is a jeep drive through the enormous mounds of sands of the desert (called “dune-bashing”).
You hear the loud blares of the sand thumping (and sometimes, that of your heart). You may also be lucky enough to get a glimpse of the rare desert animals.
The most common vehicles used for the safaris are $X$s like Hummer, Toyota Land Cruiser, and Prado by drivers professionally trained to give you the most thrilling episodes of fearless driving, without compromising with the safety.
Each of these safari cars come along with all the necessary equipment to ensure a safe and exciting journey over the dunes, such as a first aid kit, flag, deflator, rope, air compressor, GPS device, snatch strap and floodlight.
Bottled water and other beverages may or may not be available inside the vehicle, depending upon the tour service you choose.
It is definitely not recommended to take personal vehicles to the safari and give yourself a driving treat unless you have a prior training experience of riding in deserts and deflating the tyres for the same. There’s a high risk of accidents in that case.
You will be picked up by your safari guide at a mutually decided time from anywhere in the city (it could be your hotel, the airport, or some other tourist spot).
Amidst the entire dune bashing, you will be provided a halt or two, where you can have light refreshments and get yourself clicked by professional tour photographers.
You can also get henna tattoos done by experts over there. Some tour companies offer packages in which camel rides (during halt) are included. Although, if you want to try it but don’t have one of these packages, you always have the option to pay for the ride later.
After all the sunny and sandy affairs, the 4X4s take you to the wonder of Khor Al-Adaid (popularly known as the Inland sea) to cool off.
The beach is equipped with volleyball courts on the sand and is a real fun place for family and friends. It opens up into clear waters where you can take a soothing swim. You can also prepare your own lunch; have a pleasant BBQ session herein.
If you turn on the lights, you will see dozens of crabs reaching out for it, leaving the waters, creating another exciting scene in the sand. But watch out for the kids, make sure that they don’t get scared.
Fun fact, Khor Al-Adaid is one of the only three places in the world, where the desert meets the sea and is also the natural border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
For the final closure of this adventure, the safari driver takes you back through the deserts and drops you off to your hotel.
There are multiple packages offered by various tour companies, which range from 4 hour/5 hour/half day trips to the full day and overnight camping options.
Here are few of the best tour service providers and their package options to choose from to get the most out of your desert safari in Doha-
- Desert safari with overnight camping
- 5-hour safari with camel ride and sand-boarding
- 4-hour safari with camel ride (doesn’t include inland sea tour)
- Half day desert safari
- Doha Desert Safari Half Day tour (available for a group of two, three and four)
- Doha Desert Safari Day tour (available for a group of two and four)
3. Lonely planet
- Half day desert safari
- Full day desert safari
- Overnight desert safari
5. Arabian adventures Qatar
Things to take care of before going on a desert safari-
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes.
- Choose sandals and flip-flops over shoes.
- Slather your whole body into sunscreen.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses in the daytime.
- Take along a light cardigan or a hoodie with you as the temperature starts to drop at the time of dusk.
- Make sure to listen to and follow your guide during the journey carefully.
- Be careful while boarding the camel, and follow every instruction carefully. Don’t confuse it with horse riding, it’s not as easy as that.
- If you have hip, knee or joint issues, prefer not riding the camel. Also, pop your go-to painkiller before the safari.
- Don’t forget to take your camera and some extra cash along.
- Refresh your basic astronomy skills if you’re doing an overnight safari as you will get to stargaze therein.
- Visit with an adventure-ready mind and body and make the most out of your trip to the deserts.
**Please note that desert safari is not for pregnant women, infants and people with heart and back problems.