Driving in the desert in the Emirates, if you are lucky enough, there is the chance to come across the Arabian Oryx or white Oryx (Oryx leucoryx).
Their home territory is the desert and steppes of this region and they usually travel in herds. Sadly the Arabian oryx has been extinct in the wild since the 1970’s but preservation in zoos and breeding programs have allowed a re-introduction into the desert and steppes areas since the 1980’s.
Much of the desert area around Dubai is classified as a desert conservation area and they have been re-introduced here. The Western region of Abu Dhabi has also had a herd re-introduction along with Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.
The Sharjah Desert Park ( see information below) is an excellent place to see Oryx if desert driving is not your forte. There is a herd in the outside area together with gazelle, rock hyrax and flamingo. Feeding time (around 3.30pm the day I was there) brings all the animals into the viewing area.There is a large herd of Oryx.
Here are some photos of the Oryx I found on one of my drives….
Sharjah Desert Park information at http://www.breedingcentresharjah.com/Wildlife%20Centre.html and more at http://www.wordtravels.com/Attractions/3697.
Entry 15dirhams per person, well worth a visit.
Wow! It looks so regal! Thanks for sharing this!
What an interesting and beautiful animal! Your description was just what I needed to make me want to know more, so I looked it up. Thank you for feeding my curiosity and love of learning something new in this way.
This time I got it and it is super. I love the top photo, it looks so regal but a bit lonely
Thank you, Robert. It’s not often you find them alone, they usually roam with a herd. They are magnificent creatures, all that horn!
I’m trying to imagine going on a drive and seeing these magnificent creatures. Very happy to learn that herd re-introduction is happening. It would be a crime to lose these unique animals.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. They are unique and magnificent animals and having been lucky enough to have a few close up encounters in the desert, where they do roam freely now, albeit in a desert sanctuary, all credit to the government here for recognising the importance of such wildlife and making space and funding for them.
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I have no issues with government supported/sanctioned sanctuaries. Sometimes they are necessary until people understand the importance of these creatures.
Totally agree, it’s a good move to protect these unique animals. They are in the desert sanctuary areas now, I came across one not so long ago, but I didn’t have my camera, only an I-phone and it was just that bit too far away to have viable photos, but good to see.
I’m curious what kind of vehicle you drive to get these shots. Beautiful landscape.
Short wheel base Pajero with a bit of a lift.As I am completely non-technical when it comes to cars, any other vehicle specs require me to read the manual, which is in my car 10 mins walk away, so I hope that answers your question for now. It’s black, which is a pain in this region (sandy), goes like a little bomb and is a brilliant car for driving in the desert.I am sure it will be featured in photographs at some stage of my blog’s life, so please feel free to follow me 🙂 Thanks for commenting, much appreciated.
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I bet it’s a blast. Post a photo-I’d live to see it