Where Do Camels Live?

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Arabian or dromedary camels, which have one hump, live in Northern Africa, Southwestern Asia and Australia, while Bactrian camels, which have two humps, lives in Mongolia and China. Most of the world’s camels are domesticated and live with nomadic people in desert regions. The largest camel population is on the Horn of Africa in the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Camels have many adaptations for their desert habitats. They store large deposits of fat in their humps which provide nourishment during famines. They also conserve water and go long periods without drinking. When water is plentiful, they drink large amount to restock their reserves. Bushy eyebrows and eyelashes, nostrils that close and well-padded feet further protect the camel from the harsh desert environment.

Domestic camels travel through the desert with their nomadic owners. They provide transportation, milk and meat to nomadic desert tribes. Large numbers of domestic Arabian camels live in Western Africa, the Sahara Desert area, the Middle East and around India. Domesticated Bactrian camels live in the rocky deserts of central Asia.

Camels in Australia are the distant relatives of camels imported to be pack animals in the 1800s. Thousands of their descendants, both Arabian and Bactrian, run wild across the Australian Outback.