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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
Are there camels in Jamaica? Well, this is a question I couldn’t have ever imagined answering. And while I was almost sure the answer would be no? In true Jamaican fashion, there are camels here.
In the 1600s, the Europeans who ruled over Jamaica thought it sensible to bring camels to the island to help with daily activities on the plantation. It was believed that the camels, known for their strength would simplify carrying the heavy sugar and rum from the inland estates to the coastline markets.
What they had failed to consider was the stark differences in the terrain of Jamaica vs the countries camels thrive in. Jamaica has no expansive, sandy desserts for them to command. Instead, we have rugged terrain, uneven roads and lush vegetation. The camel’s hooves would get injured by the roads and the hills were too steep for them to climb.
The camels turned out to be more of a liability than anything else, as they were the cause of many overturned carriages either because they started the horses or they were in the way. As you may have already surmised the use of camels in plantation work did not take off like the powers that be had hoped.
Fast forward to today and you want to ride camels in Jamaica. I for one thought I would have to save my camel riding dreams until I finally make it further east but the Yaaman Adventure Park has a camel ride on one of their excursions.
And you might be closer to it than you think! It is located right in Ocho Rios St. Ann.
The Yaaman Adventure Tour is also known as the Prospect Plantation. The adventure park offers exciting adventures including:
You can purchase access to each activity separately but some deals and packages combine 2 or more of these excursions for one price. So you just might be able to get your camel ride in, plus a few other exciting activities as well.
Camels are actually very strong. They can bring up to 900 pounds for 25 consecutive hours a day. Isn’t that shocking?
Well, with my limited experience with the creatures, they seem quite friendly although they can be stubborn at times, as with most animals.
Camels with one hump are dromedary or Arabian camels. The camels are primarily found in North Africa and the middle east.
These camels are called Bactrians and are found in Central Asia.
A camel’s natural habitat is desert lands, prairies and steppes. You won't find camels in areas with high vegetation or hilly, rocky terrains.
Because their natural habitat isn’t one filled with many food options, the camel's humps are just fat stored up in case it needs to be converted to energy to sustain the camel until it can feed again.
Again, this is a result of where they live. The camels have to walk through sandy areas, so it is inevitable that it will look into their eyes. Their eyelashes are long and are actually a double row. They prevent as much sand from entering the eyes as possible. Fun fact, their noses can also close to give them protection from blowing sand.
So now that I have answered your question “are there camels in Jamaica?”, (which is a yes just in case you forgot), I have one for you. Will you be visiting the camels in Jamaica?
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Are There Camels In Jamaica | Written: September 01, 2022