Deserts. They’re big, they’re dry, and there’s nothing much in them. After all that’s the definition of desert right? Well yes, all of that’s true, but a barren landscape does not mean a desolate travel experience. In fact, deserts make some of the most unique and varied destinations on the planet. Here’s why.
It may seem obvious that desert destinations contain a lot of sand. What is so incredible about deserts is just how much sand they contain. The Saharan desert, spanning over nine million kilometers squared, contains more than eight octillion grains of sand – yep, that’s one eight followed by twenty seven zeros. The incredible feeling you get when you’re in a boat in the ocean and can see nothing but water? Imagine that feeling, but sand. You can even ski down it.
Desert Any Way You Please
There is no one best way to do the desert. Instead, the intrepid traveler can pick the option that most excites. The Kalahari Desert is often seen on foot, but many tourists prefer to go “dune bashing,” hiring a four wheel drive and travelling at their own pace through the wildlife. For the more adventurous, the Atacama Desert offers the chance to recreate the days of the Chilean cowboys, riding by horse through heat, sleeping swag style by night. If your dream is to do the desert in style, take the Oriental Desert Express across the Moroccan Sahara stopping off at isolated villages for an iced drink. An eight day adventure, the trip costs over two grand – but that’s what it takes to stay cool in the heat.
Unsurprisingly low on light pollution, desert skies are the world’s best for seeing the night’s stars. One of the driest places on earth (it gets just one millimeter of rain per year), Chili’s Atacama desert has the ideal conditions for star gazing. High altitude, few clouds, and no radio interference means budding astronomers have a clear view of the highlights of the Southern Hemisphere’s sky. If you’re not stargazing savvy, you might want to procure the services of the expert. Astronomy tours travel through, around, and even over the desert. If you’re particularly well organized, you might want to time your trip with a celestial event such as the Perseids meteor shower.
Although thus far I have been discussing deserts in the collective, one of the great things about deserts is they cannot be discussed in the collective. From the Kebili Desert (a balmy 55 degrees), to Antarctica (-93 degrees), from the desolate Atacama to the bustling Kalahari, deserts are endlessly different. Adventure through the Sahara with this My Adventure Store Tour, walk around the base of Uluru, or experience the chill winds of the Gobi desert. Visiting the world’s deserts isn’t just one holiday, it’s a life goal.
Hopefully, all this is enough sublime persuasion to convince you to give the desert a try. But be warned – deserts are highly addictive. I bear no responsibility if your holiday turns into your vocation!