Camel time west africa- a few camel facts
Camel time –
We were rolling down the road just north of Tamale, Ghana when off in the distance we saw on the side of the road an entourage of camels and camel drivers. These men I was told had come from the Niger. Because of the lack of water during the dry season men on camels would come down to Tamale to look for work and to beg alms for their families back home. Though we slowed down just long enough to take photos we did not get out on this occasion. Several days beforehand in the far Upper East region of Ghana two of our party did however get a chance to have a short adventure on similar camels as seen in the last photo. They both did enjoy the ride as seen by two large grins across their faces.
Camels live to 40-50 years old and can weigh up to 1500 pounds and carry a maximum load of 1000 pounds, though 350 pounds is more often sustainable. They can travel 15 miles per day while loaded. They can drink every 4-7 days during the hottest periods and other times drink every 10-15 days during longer periods. Camels have a double row of eyelashes to prevent sand from getting in their eyes. The hump of the African dromedary is mostly composed of fat and not water. Camels mostly eat desert vegetation including thorny plants. Camels snap at each other without biting and stomp their feet to show displeasure to another camel. The Arabian word for camel is Gamal. Camels have been domesticated for nearly 4000 years. It is estimated that 12 million domesticated camels exist.
Photographs copyrighted by Jean-Bernard Cabana (c) 2013.