Desert safari attracts people of all ages, as they offer a plethora of adventurous activities in the stunning Arabian desert. However, pregnant women must exercise increased caution whenever they want to go on these safaris.
Desert safaris are safe for pregnant women as long as they are not taking part in extreme activities like dune bashing, sandboarding or even camel riding. Safari activities that do not require too much movement are safe for pregnant ladies. For increased caution, pregnant women should avoid going on desert safaris.
Let’s see what activities make desert safari different and whether or not they are safe for pregnant women.
Is Desert Safari Safe for Pregnancy? Exploring Dubai Desert Safari Activities
Desert safaris in Dubai encompass a range of thrilling activities that entice adventurers from around the world.
Dune bashing involves a thrilling ride over the undulating sand dunes in a 4×4 vehicle. Due to the sudden and vigorous movements, this activity is a straight no for pregnant women, irrespective of their trimester. This is even considered risky for normal individuals.
The jolts and bumps experienced during dune bashing can potentially put undue stress on the expectant mother and the developing baby and even cause miscarriage.
Camel riding is a quintessential part of the desert safari experience. While it may seem gentle and enjoyable, the swaying motion of the camel can cause discomfort and strain on the pregnant woman’s body.
It is best for expectant mothers to avoid camel riding due to the risk of falls or sudden movements.
Falconry displays showcase the traditional hunting technique using trained falcons. These displays usually take place in open desert spaces and involve loud noises and sudden bird movements. Pregnant women should exercise caution during falconry displays to avoid any startle or stress responses.
Sandboarding involves gliding down sand dunes on a board, similar to snowboarding. The activity requires balance and coordination, which can be challenging for pregnant women.
Furthermore, the potential risk of falls or collisions makes sandboarding unsuitable during pregnancy.
So this activity is also a straight no for pregnant women.
Bedouin Camp Activities
A typical desert safari includes a visit to a Bedouin camp, where several cultural activities take place. These may include henna painting, Shisha smoking, traditional music, and belly dancing. Pregnant women can participate in these activities that involve minimal physical exertion and pose no significant risks.
Capturing the mesmerizing desert sunset is a popular activity during a desert safari. Expectant mothers can certainly enjoy this serene and picturesque experience without any adverse effects on their health.
The desert safari experience is often accompanied by a delectable barbecue dinner. Pregnant women can indulge in culinary delights and savor the flavors of traditional Arabic cuisine without any concerns, as long as the food is prepared and handled hygienically.
Why are Dubai Desert Safaris Not Considered Safe for Pregnant Women?
Here are some reasons why pregnant women should avoid desert safari.
Most activities of desert safari strain the body and potentially lead to complications during pregnancy. The jolts, bumps, and sudden movements experienced during these activities are dangerous for both the mother and the baby.
Risk of Falls and Injuries
The uneven desert terrain, coupled with the adventurous nature of activities like camel riding and dune bashing, increases the risk of falls and injuries.
Pregnant women may experience changes in their balance and coordination, making them more susceptible to accidents or falls. Even a minor fall can have serious consequences for both the mother and the baby.
Vibrations and Jolts
Activities like dune bashing involve rapid movements, jolts, and vibrations that can put stress on the expectant mother’s body.
These sudden movements may not be suitable for the delicate nature of pregnancy, as they can potentially lead to complications such as placental abruption or preterm labor.
Lack of Immediate Medical Assistance
The remote desert locations of the safari activities make it challenging to access immediate medical assistance in case of emergencies or complications arising during pregnancy.
The nearest medical facilities may be far away, and the response time for emergency services may be delayed. This lack of immediate medical assistance can pose a significant risk to both the mother and the baby in case of unforeseen complications.
Extreme Weather Conditions
Desert safaris often expose participants to extreme weather conditions, including high temperatures and dry climates.
Pregnant women are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration and heat exhaustion, which can have adverse effects on both the mother and the baby. It is crucial to prioritize the well-being and comfort of the expectant mother in such environments.
Potential Exposure to Dust and Allergens
Desert safaris involve traversing through sandy terrains, which can result in exposure to dust, allergens, and pollutants.
Pregnant women are generally advised to minimize exposure to environmental irritants and allergens, as they can potentially trigger respiratory issues or allergic reactions.
How to Plan Dubai Desert Safari While Being Pregnant
But if you are still aiming to plan a desert safari despite being pregnant, here is your planner.
Consult Your Healthcare Provider
Before planning a desert safari, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider. They can assess your overall health, provide specific recommendations based on your pregnancy, and offer guidance regarding travel and physical activities.
Your healthcare provider’s advice is invaluable in determining if a desert safari is suitable for you during pregnancy.
Choose a Reputable Safari Operator
Selecting a reputable safari operator is of utmost importance to ensure your safety and well-being during the desert safari.
Research and choose an operator with a track record of prioritizing safety, maintaining well-maintained vehicles, and employing experienced guides.
Look for operators who are knowledgeable about pregnancy-related considerations and can provide appropriate guidance throughout the safari.
Avoid High-Risk Activities
While participating in some activities during a desert safari may not be recommended for pregnant women, there are still alternative experiences you can enjoy.
Opt for activities that are gentle, pose minimal risk, and do not involve strenuous physical exertion. Examples of desert safari activities may include enjoying the cultural aspects of the Bedouin camp, such as henna painting, Shisha smoking (if you are comfortable with it), traditional music, and belly dancing.
These activities allow you to immerse yourself in the desert ambience without compromising your safety or that of your baby.
Stay Hydrated and Wear Suitable Clothing
The desert climate can be hot and arid, which can potentially lead to dehydration and overheating. It is crucial to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the safari.
Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing made of lightweight fabrics to promote air circulation and keep you cool. Additionally, don’t forget to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Plan for Rest and Breaks
Pregnancy requires extra care and attention to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby. When planning a desert safari, factor in regular breaks and opportunities to rest.
The desert environment can be physically demanding, so listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Consider scheduling shorter durations for the safari or opting for a less physically demanding tour to ensure your comfort and reduce the risk of exhaustion.
Pack Essential Items
When preparing for a desert safari during pregnancy, pack essential items to ensure your comfort and well-being.
These may include comfortable walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to shield yourself from the sun, sunglasses, a lightweight shawl or scarf for sun protection, and any necessary medications prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Carrying a small cooler with chilled water bottles and healthy snacks can also be beneficial during the safari.
Be Mindful of Food Safety
While enjoying the barbecue dinner at the desert camp, exercise caution regarding food safety. Ensure that the food is prepared hygienically, cooked thoroughly, and stored at appropriate temperatures.
Avoid consuming undercooked meats, raw seafood, or unpasteurized dairy products, as they may pose a risk of foodborne illnesses.
Stay Mindful of the Heat
The desert can get extremely hot, particularly during certain times of the year. Take precautions to protect yourself from excessive heat exposure.
Stay in shaded areas whenever possible, use a sun umbrella or hat, and apply sunscreen regularly to shield yourself from the sun’s rays. Additionally, keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the safari.
Consider the Trimester
The trimester of your pregnancy can impact your comfort level and the safety considerations during a desert safari.
As pregnancy progresses, certain activities may become more challenging or pose increased risks. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable time to undertake a desert safari based on your specific pregnancy journey.
The bottom line is that it is always advisable to wait a bit before going on your desert safari. In fact, you may not be able to go on this trip immediately after giving birth, as desert trips are not considered safe for infants as well.
Bariki was born and raised in Tanzania, the land of the magnificent Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Manyara wildlife parks. He grew up surrounded by Africa’s natural beauty. Visiting his grandpa in Moshi Kilimanjaro, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, provided him with early exposure to wildlife and the natural world.
As a technology and human rights blogger, he has always been passionate about writing. With many relatives working in the tourism industry, he has stayed abreast of the industry’s successes and challenges, which led him to write about African safaris.
Now residing in the USA, Bariki is using his firsthand knowledge to help foreigners plan their dream safari in Africa. At Posire, he shares his expertise on everything you need to know about planning a safari, from choosing the right destination to the best time to go and what to expect during your adventure.