What is a Camel Train?
A Camel Train is a long line of camels that are linked together with rope and led by grooms (people who look after and lead camels). There can be as many as twenty-eight camels and four grooms in one train! Camel Trains are also known as “Boats of the desert”.
What are Camel Trains Used For?
Camel Trains are used for transporting people and carrying small deliveries. The first camel in the link carries tents, food, tools and water. The last camel in the link carries a bell on a stick that is attached to its saddle. The bell scares off any foxes, hares etc. That may startle the camels. There are people who will steal camels or the goods they carry, so when a Camel Train approaches a dangerous area the groom will take off the bell so no thieves will hear them.
Where are Camel Trains Used?
Railways have been built in deserts so Camel Trains haven’t been used often for long journeys. Australia’s camels originally came from Afghanistan. They were used in the 1860’s to carry supplies through the desert in Alice Springs, Australia because there were no roads or railways then. Railways and roads are used more often in the desert now so camel trains are not as popular as they used to be.
When are Camel Trains Used?
In summer it is too hot in the desert for camels even though they can naturally stand the heat, so grooms milk them and collect their hair to sell. In autumn the grooms charge money to carry small goods or passengers across the desert. In Australia, Camel Trains are mainly used for tourist attractions.
Hoanxing, Qiu & Lu Zhongmin. Camel Trains in the Desert. 27 January 2005. <http://www.chinavista.com/experience/camel/camel.html>.
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