The safari starts with an exhilarating drive across the sand dunes in a 4WD vehicle with loud Arabic and Hindi music.
After the dune bashing, we alighted at the desert camp where quad bike rides were roaring away. Since we are not allowed to drive the 4WD, the quad bikes were a good way to enjoy driving on the sand. I took a few laps around a sandy track and with the thrill of speed, its difficult to let go of the accelerator :-)
We went with Lama Tours for the desert safari. We were picked up from home at 4:00 pm and they dropped us back after dinner by 9:00 pm. At the camp we had lovely henna designs done on our hands. It quickly dried after half an hour and flaked away, leaving the intricate pattern in an orange stain on the hands.
We removed our shoes and were pleasantly surprised by how cool the sand felt; we were expecting the sand to be warm. We settled down on the majlis style floor cushions laid out in the centre of the camp. There were people trying the hookha and enjoying drinks, which are charged extra. Some proceeded to try the camel rides.
Soon it was twilight, the lights started glowing and the entertainment began with the much awaited belly dance.
This was followed by the tanoura dance, performed by a male artist. He was continuously spinning for the entire duration of the dance with his tanoura or a multicoloured skirt fanning out like an umbrella. In between, the skirt was lit up and he was swirling in a circle of colours. Never seen anything like this and at the end of maybe 30 minutes of spinning, he walked away without any signs of dizziness, incredible !!!
This was followed by the spectacular fire dance.
Meanwhile we were served dinner – three course and piping hot. The desert is cold in the night and a light jacket is recommended. There was also a stall selling sand art in glass bottles and a duo of photographers clicking away the desert safari moments of the groups. Towards the end, you can buy the pictures you like from them. Desert safari – been there, done that !!!!