Janabiya Royal Camel Farm Bahrain
They’re ornery and malodorous, gangly and awkward. Sometimes called “The Ship of the Desert” but more appropriately “A Horse Designed by a Committee,” the legendary dromedary (that’s a one-hump camel for us lay folk) can be found in droves at the Janabiya Royal Camel Farm in Bahrain.
Home to 600+ camels, this Bahrain attraction on the outskirts of Manama is more of working farm than a tourist trap. Okay, working is a bit strong — it’s a hobby farm started by the uncle of the King, Sheikh Mohammed. But I’m right about the “not a tourist trap bit” — the hour we were there we were outnumbered by the camel farmers. And of course, by the camels.
Being a hobby camel farm, the camels aren’t raised for racing, or for their meat. They just sort of exist. In a palace. Either in a corral or tied at the legs.
True to its hobby farm roots, there is no gift shop, no guided tour, and no signage explaining what the place is all about. Unless of course you count the “Stop! Private Property!” one at the main gate, and the one you see below to let you know it’s a good thing you didn’t obey that first sign.
The camels are separated into groups — males on one side, females and their calves on another, and the wounded or elderly whiling out their days in shaded corrals.
Although sometimes hilarious to look at (see Exhibit “A” below), I couldn’t help but feel bad for the camels tied at the feet, spending their days eating and pissing in a three-foot radius.
This guy didn’t seem to mind though.
- The Janabiya Royal Camel Farm Bahrain is open to the public every day, all day.
- It’s free of charge.
- A worker from the Royal Camel Farm Bahrain will approach you after you’ve wandered around for a bit — he just wants to let you know to not get too close to the camels, but will offer you the chance to sit on one in exchange for a tip.
- There are no signs, so from Manama, drive towards Saudi Arabia (you’ll see the signs). Take a right at the Janabiya Highway (sometimes spelled Janabiyah, at least by Google Maps anyway.) The Royal Camel Farm Bahrain will be on your left.
- If you think you’re driving onto someone’s private property, you’re probably in the right place.