One of the top unforgettable experiences for many travelers is spending a night in the desert and a crucial element making it unique, is the culture that lies underneath. Nomads of the desert are originally known as Bedouins, the origin of the word Bedu- referring to someone living out in the open. With millions of nomads living in the deserts in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and more around North Africa, they have developed their unparalleled lifestyle. So, you may enjoy similar experiences in Egypt or Jordan tours as well.
Joining the Adventure Morocco tour by Travel Talk, I had the chance to spend two whole nights in a traditional Bedouin Camp in the Sahara Desert. I exhausted myself riding a camel through the desert and joined a jeep safari. Both attractions blowing my mind, I found myself at the camp lying under the stars with a grin on my face! Here are several aspects of their lifestyle that I discovered on Egypt and Morocco trips I did.
Bedouin camps usually comprise of several large tents and a lovely camp fire in the middle, with large carpets covering the sand at some parts. The traditional bedouin tent is made of woven from goats’ hair. When it rains the weave contracts and doesn’t let the water in. Also under the burning summer heat, the outside of the fabric is very hot, but the inside is relaxingly cool. These days, some tents are more adapted to the daily rush with modern materials, but some maintain the tradition.
The desert does not allow fresh fruits and vegetables to be grown, or kept for long. Adapting to the circumstances, rice and flour dishes with salt and spices took the king’s share. Tasty sauces, and original dishes will be expecting you, simple and healthy food. Natural honey and sugar are the core elements of the deserts!
It is a common saying among Bedouins, a home without a guest is poor. They are very welcoming and friendly people, and keep you company with their best manners. As a guest you are not expected to give anything in return, and are held dear. Sharing tea around the campfire and exchanging stories, you feel the warmth of being welcomed.
Not to expect an orchestra, the nomads enjoy playing drums and samsomeja (like a guitar) as they chant and clap to it. It is said that the songs helps them feel stronger in the desert and keeps them company. Interestingly, there are also songs for camels to keep them content, and it is said that if you are on a camel during one of those songs, you would feel it relaxing.
The common wear is the galabeya, a long dress, with shaals protecting their head and face from the sun or the wind. Since there are many methods to wear a shaal, how a man wears his shaal is actually worth the attention, it might reveal their origins and land.