Archive for the ‘camels’ Category

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Drive to Al Ain Zoo

January 12, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Our road trip to the Al Ain Zoo started with a camel in the road in the Maleha area.

two SUVs stopped for a blonde camel in the road

He was honked off the road and sauntered off to find a tasty bush.

blonde camel on side of the road

Then on to the Al Ain Zoo. We arrived just as everyone else was leaving. The zoo is open until 8 pm, but the sun goes down around 6:45 pm these days. We had about an hour of light left. Hyenas are scary in the daylight and even worse in the dark.

flamingoes

The zoo is quite nice and has good exhibit facilities.

oryx and gazelles

Above are oryx and gazelles. These are native animals. The oryx was hunted to the edge of extinction, but breeding programs are bringing them back.

white tiger

Unless you like massive crowds of people, it would be best to go late in the day, like we did, or on a week day not during school breaks, although you might still have to deal with school field trip students. In other words, prepare for a crowd experience.

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Meandering through UAE Archaeology

December 8, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

entrance of the park

We headed out to Maleha with the intention of visiting the wildlife center there. Unfortunately, this is a private park and not open to the public. So, the closest one can get is these pictures and this video.

From there we went just down the road to the Umm an-Nar Tomb of Maleha.

round stone structure

This was interesting, although it was clear that no one visits this site or uses the park around it.

stone structure

This tomb dates back to around 3000 BC. There are eight chambers.

brown road sign

Next we went across the road to the fort archeological site.

partially restored stone structure

The structure has been partially restored. The lower, rougher wall in the foreground is most likely the original wall remains.

camel laying by the side of the road

We headed north a bit to look for the camel race track and saw this fellow just taking a rest by the side of the road.

stone ruins of a tobacco drying shed

On the way back to Fujairah we stopped off at Al Fara to drive past the remains of Sheikh Suhail bin Hamdan’s home and tobacco farm. These walls were a tobacco drying shed. Most of the site is not easily accessible due to a current residence near the site. We didn’t want to trespass.

covered archeological site, stone riuns

After a quick, late lunch in Fujairah, we headed up the coast to Bidya to search for the ancient fort site. This site dates to back approximately more than 4,000 years. This is one of the oldest archaeological finds on the East Coast of the UAE. It was a small, round fort built around a well.

These places are not necessarily easy to find (although some are right on the side of the road). They are also not necessarily set up for visitors as there is little to no information displayed at the sites. (A bit of a missed opportunity for education and tourist attractions.) However, information on some of the sites is available at area museums. Information and artifacts related to the archaeological sites in Maleha are on display at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum in downtown Sharjah city. Fujairah Museum– located near Fujairah Fort- is small, but very nice, and includes information and artifacts from the fort at Bidya in its archaeological section.

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Arabia’s Wildlife Centre

March 30, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

Yesterday, we ventured to the Sharjah’s Arabia’s Wildlife Centre. It is located between Sharjah and Dhaid. The centre is part of the Sharjah Desert Park which also includes a children’s farm (we’re assuming this is a petting zoo) and a natural history & botanical museum. Entrance to the park is 15 AED for adults ($4.00 US).

Photography is strictly forbidden in the wildlife center, so all you will get in this post is this picture of camels crossing the road which we encountered on the way there.

two camels crossing a road

We highly recommend the wildlife center. It is very well designed and most of the animals were visible and active. Included are animals of all kinds native to different areas of Arabia, not just the U.A.E. – snakes, geckos, lizards, frogs, mice, rats, gerbils, grasshoppers, locusts, beetles, scorpions, foxes, wolves, wildcats, sand cats, jackals, porcupines, hedgehogs, honey badgers, gazelles, ibexes, oryxes, ostriches, flamingos, pelicans, owls, bats, and so much more. If only I could have used my camera, I would have so many desert hare pictures – bunnies everywhere!

On our way out, we passed the big animal enclosures. Starting with the baboons. It was feeding time, so they were quite busy. The next enclosure had desert wolves, who can look over the pit separating the enclosures and see the baboons. They were pacing up and down undoubtedly thinking “those baboons look tasty.” Next door to the wolves were striped hyenas also pacing up and down looking at the wolves thinking “those wolves look tasty.” Next to them were the cheetahs. If the cheetahs don’t fancy a hyena meal, they can also see an enclosure of gazelles. I’ve never been so close to a cheetah, separated only by glass. And, last, but not least, came the leopard. He, being the king of all, was just chillin’ out.

This is definitely a value deal. Give yourself plenty of time. The exhibits are extensive and you’ll want to stop and watch the active animals. One little Egyptian Spiny Mouse had a grub and was being chased mercilessly by her roommates. I hope she got to eat it in peace, eventually.

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Emirates Natural History Group Field Trip

February 17, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

group of people in front of a fort

We spent the morning enjoying the first field trip of the new Emirates Natural History Group (Fujairah branch) at Bithnah Fort.

children squatting and playing in the dirt

The kids found other entertainment.

man at top of fort towerAt the tower top.

inside of the fort from the tower

The view from the top of the tower.

close up of a cow

We also visited the neighboring stable and farm.

man posing with a camel

This lovely camel was very cooperative and placid in posing for pictures.

To see all the pictures – click here.

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Fujairah Celebrations Continue

December 12, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

three camels and people observing

The Al Saif sword competition and accompanying celebrations continue through December 17th. So, last Friday we headed down to the Fort to see what was happening. We were too late to see the bull butting contest or the camel race, but some of the camels were still out basking in the attention of their admirers.

man and small boy riding a camel

This little fellow was lucky enough to get a ride.

meat on skewers

We had a tasty snack of lamb and chicken skewers.

pottery, platters, coffee pots and other traditional items

A wide range of traditional items were on display – pottery, tools, platters, coffee pots, etc.

two camels laying down

More camels – these are taking a rest. In the background, a horse and a miniature pony who have been giving rides to children.

men resting in a tent

Two majlis tents were available for those wishing to sit, rest and enjoy each other’s company. (Majlis has a variety of meanings, but generally refers to any area where people sit comfortably and discuss.)

The activities at the Fort have been very enjoyable, much like a county fair. These are genuine foods, activities, sports, and arts of the local area.

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Camel Races

November 27, 2010

Posted by Kanga.
ten camels kneeling
We were invited to go out to the camel races.

The camels are fitted with remote controlled robotic jockeys, so the owners follow the camels in their SUVs on both sides of the race track. There are two tracks, 5 kilometers and 10 kilometers.