It was only in December 2013 that I went camel riding for the first time on my travels. I was backpacking in Iran and we somehow ended up in a couple of remote settlements in the central desert – firstly in the town of Khoor and then we headed out for a night in Mesr. These remote towns are north east of Yazd and in a desert area called the Dasht-e Kavir.
Mesr is very remote – it’s as good as a “desert town” gets. It’s basically just a few streets and a few camels. There’s a shop, a Mosque and a Primary School. That’s it. So this is an ideal spot to do your camel riding. No adverts, nothing commercial – just a few local guys who own camels in a town in the middle of the Dasht-e Kavir desert.
How to get to Mesr
There is no bus station, no train station, no garaj and no airport. It’s a bit far for a camel to walk as the nearest other town is Khoor, where we also stayed. At least Khoor has a bus station, so base yourself in Khoor. Hit up my mate Amir who is based in the only guesthouse or homestay in Khoor. Amir can drive you to Mesr and get you a place to stay. You might need to push the car along the way though! 😉
When we were there Amir was just developing his travel business and hopes to have more rooms for backpackers in Mesr and Khoor.
Amir and Rohab run this website: http://www.irandeserts.com/
Iran, despite being such a beautiful and welcoming country still doesn’t get many backpackers.
Amir drove us to Mesr and we stayed in a place on the main street. It gets cold at night in these desert towns so we lit a fire. Next morning we were up rise and shine for the camel riding.
How much does the camel riding in Mesr cost?
We paid 50,000 Rials each so about $1.50 US Dollars – that has to be cheap right?! I haven’t actually ever priced camel riding anywhere else but can’t imagine you’d get it much cheaper.
How long does the camel riding in Mesr last?
It’s up to you. For me I just wanted to do it. I’ve had my fair share of deserts in my time and I am also aware of animal rights and respecting them so I didn’t exactly want to hurt the camel. 15-20 minutes was enough for us. That way I didn’t get to feel guilty or unhappy for the camel. They are looked after by their owners in the desert.
OK, so I’m a hypocrite, I also ate camel in Yazd, Iran. But we paid our money, got on the camels and headed for a ride on a hot day as the sun pierced down on the Dasht-e Kavir desert. Spectacular views, calm camels and vegetation and this was mid December 2013 in Iran.
It was all over in a flash and we loved it. Camels are calm and harmless when you see them like this and sit on their backs. A few more photos.
When I enjoy these magical moments in life I do often pinch myself and wonder how the hell life has taken me to these places. I never question it anymore. You work hard for what you get in life and nobody can take these immense memories away from you.
My videos of Camel Riding in Mesr: