Mleiha Desert Safari Experience, Visit from Sharjah, UAE
Weather acted funny the day we were supposed to go for desert safari from Mleiha Archaeological centre. Winds kept roaring throughout the early part of the day but miraculously it all subsided by evening. Happily, we, the bloggers team from India, set out for the much awaited Mleiha desert safari experience. Interestingly desert Safari from Mleiha Archaeological center has something more to offer. The packages are more than the regular dune bashing and belly dancing that are part of desert safari packages from Dubai.
Mleiha Archaeological Centre is located on the Al Kalba road. The entire region around it is teeming with history. Excavations made in the 1980s yielded artifacts that date back to the early Stone Age. The center props up in the middle of the desert with no other landmarks around but for some mounds and small mountains. This archaeological center is new, opened in Feb 2016 and has a brilliant museum housing the finds of these excavations.
Desert Safari from Mleiha, UAE
We traveled in a Land Cruiser with our seat belts on to the desert after a good tour of the museum. This was checked very strictly. Our Pakistani driver told us there was a rare case of vehicle turning over. However none of the passengers was hurt. It is then I noticed cage like enclosure we were in. The entire vehicle has metal rods running all around the interiors which will nullify all effects of turning over in case of an accident. The ride was bumpy as expected. Swaying in our seats we managed to look through the windows and click few pictures.
At Mleiha they offer educational experiences combined with fun. There are activities suiting all ages making it a worthwhile family tour and ideal day trip from Sharjah. Activities include star gazing, planet watching, archaeological tour which has rare fossil exhibits, Fatboy bike guided tours and other desert adventures. Scroll down for the various costs. We did the Fossil and Camel Rock option.
Fossils and Camel Rock at Mleiha
Just a glimpse of the rocky little mountains around gives a feeling of being in some outer world. For the first time I got to see real fossils. Having seen so many of these in displays in museums I always wondered how fossils look in their original form. This desert was under sea many centuries back probably when earth was still developing a final form. The sea receded leaving behind several marine creatures, the remains of which are now study materials for archaeologists. I photographed several of them; some of the shapes distinctly resemble sea shells. Excavations are still on and we are rightly not allowed to pick up anything to bring back as souvenirs.
Don’t miss the sight of Camel Rock if you are there. It is a huge rock formation which resembles a camel’s face from some angle. Sadly, I missed capturing it from that angle.
The weather had calmed comparatively, yet it was windy and with sand particles flying all around. We hurriedly took pictures and scrambled back to the comfort of Land Cruiser. The sunset was hardly impressive to our bad luck. Clouds played a major role in spoiling the show, hiding the sun long before it actually went down the horizon.
Price of Activities at Mleiha
- 90-minute archeological tour – Dh150, takes visitors around the various historical sites of Mleiha; the night-time off-road tour explores natural landscapes and all tours include the museum tour
- Separate Museum Tour – Dh25.
- Stargazing and planet-watching with expert guidance – Dh45 onwards
- Fatboy bike guided tours – Dh70.
Travel Tips for Mleiha Desert Safari
- Be prepared with a wrap just in case weather changes.
- If you have motion sickness take your medication well in time, the ride in Mleiha desert safari is very rugged and bumpy.
- Check out the various experience options, some combinations are a good deal.