Inside the camel market

It ain’t for the squeamish. Birqash camel market, just outside of Cairo, stinks. The stench of animals swelters stagnantly in the heat until it rubs off on you. This isn’t a tourist attraction although a few intrepid travellers always make it out here – and the market organisers enterprisingly make foreigners buy a ticket to enter. But it is a side of Cairo far removed from pyramids and King Tut’s treasure.

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13 thoughts on “Inside the camel market

  1. I love markets like this. They are hardly pleasant in the typical tourism/vacation sense, but they are a full-on cultural experience.

  2. Maybe a dumb question (I am not a camel expert) but do you know why their legs are tied? Is it so they don’t run away? I wouldn’t want to go to this, but your photos are great.

    • Yep exactly; it’s to hobble the camels so they can’t walk too fast. They can still walk with their leg tied like that but they can’t really leg it to freedom. When you’re out in the desert on a camel trek, hobbling is done as well so that the camels can still wander away from camp to graze but they can’t get too far.

  3. Great pictures. These markets are all over the world, when i was in Kashgar couple years back a fellow traveller from England was joking saying that when he was a kid he had to go for similar fairs and he hated it and now as a grownup he was dying to see Kashgar animal market. Beyond the joke of the moment, truly sometimes other places are a key to look into ourselves. Anyway very refreshing post.

  4. I love getting deep into the heart of culture when traveling and you certainly did it when you went to this market. There’s a goat market in Islamabad that you can see way before you get to it — because of the grayish-brown clouds that arise from it. And it stinks, too.

  5. There is such a big discrepancy between various regions of Egypt! What I want to say is that the area surrounding the Pyramids is well-organized, as well as other monuments, in comparison to the rest of the country. It would be better if they had thought about the tourists who are visiting Egypt, but who knows what their reasons are…

    • You do know that countries and their cities didn’t evolve to revolve simply around the priggish namby-pamby comfort levels of tourists don’t you?

  6. This is really cool! Egypt is one of my top list of the places I want to visit. Hopefully I will get a chance to do it soon. Thank you for sharing!

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