Every friday and sunday, the Birqash Camel Market 25 km northwest of Cairo draws traders from all over Egypt and as far as Sudan and Somalia.
Tourists are allowed to enter the market area after paying a small entrance and camera fee. The trading happens in the early morning hours and during this time, there is a lot of action to be experienced. Even though most of the camels are hobbled, they commonly break free and run around – you better watch out!
Visiting the camel market is not the same as going to a zoo. We were told most of the camels will end up in the slaughterhouse and they are indeed treated quite harshly. We saw a lot of camels being beaten, bleeding, or forced onto pick-up trucks for further transport. This is the real world and not a fun spectacle!
Overall, I think visiting the Birqash Camel Market is worthwhile, but it makes you think twice before going on another camel ride or having camel meat in a restaurant…