A message from Outback Camel Company owner Andrew Harper
Since 1976 (long before I became involved with camels) the Outback Camel Company has been offering people the opportunity to join 'commercial treks & expeditions' and explore our great deserts.
In 2007 I founded Australian Desert Expeditions (ADE), that conducts scientific and ecological surveys across the remote sections of our great deserts. Apart from the tremendous scientific value of documenting these remote areas,
I could also see that trekkers were looking for a more enriched educational experience as they walked alongside our camels.
As we made the transition from the purely commercial OCC treks to the scientific based ADE surveys, I continued to offer the occasional OCC trek in the yearly itinerary until 2014 when we concluded our trekking season with the
Munga-Thirri Expedition in the south-eastern Simpson Desert.
Since 2015, we (my camels, cameleers, and myself) have been working exclusively for ADE on their scientific & ecological surveys however every now and again OCC runs a dedicated trek or two during the winter, including sometimes offering a couple of places on our Warmup Walkabout Trek at the start of the trekking season. You can join the ADE surveys as trekkers, assisting the scientists with their field work and still experience the same timeless camel trekking experience that we have been offering since 1976.
In 2018 we introduced Bare Sole - Walking with Mindfulness, but we won't be offering this in 2021 - simply because there isn't enough time in the winter schedule to fit it in!
Bare Sole was designed to facilitate mindful walking, intending to inspire a deepening contemplation of who you are and your place in the world around you. To open your senses, awareness of yourself, your environment and your fellow travelling companions - both two & four legged!
In many ways, those attributes can be found in any of the ADE treks, as I firmly believe that it's simply a matter of people getting outside and getting active. Pretty simple really.
So apart from our Western Warmup Walkabout for the remainder of 2021 our camels will be walking & working for ADE and there are 14 ADE surveys that you can join.
Details about the 2021 Western Warmup Walkabout can be found here
Please remember that ADE does not operate camel riding safaris - all the surveys are walking experiences in remote areas assisted by our team of OCC packcamels. You could describe these surveys as the ultimate desert walking experience, as we are able to access areas that no one else visits.
On a survey your active participation is essential and you will be asked to contribute to the operation of your trek or expedition, assisting our cameleers with the daily tasks. The comprehensive pre-departure information will help to ensure that you are well prepared for the enriching experience of working with the camels. Duties would include shepherding them in the mornings & evenings whilst they feed and, under the supervision of the cameleers, helping to saddle the camels and load the equipment. Your cameleers cook all the meals on the campfire but help from aspiring chefs is always welcome!
The spirit of the day is determined by the pace of travel of the camels, geographical features & obstacles. So it is important to be prepared to meet the desert on its own terms and adjust to 'desert time'.
Don't be concerned if you have never trekked with camels before. We have many first timers on our trips who know next to nothing about camels when their trek or expedition departs, but by the end of the trip are totally enamoured by the experience of working with, and walking alongside, these incredible animals.
Details about the 2021 ADE Scientific & Ecological Surveys can be found here