Camels are a peaceful domestic animal. They are quite numerous in
Africa, mostly in the deserts of Numidia, Libyia and Barbary. They
are the wealth of all Arabs. When one refers to the fortune of a prince,
one says: "He has so many thousands of camels" ; and not
"He has so much money, or so many posessions".
Every Arab who owns a camel is a free man, for these animals allow
him to live in the desert where neither prince nor king can go due
to the aridity.
African camels are of the best quality, for they can carry their load
for up to 40 or 50 days without being fed: every day, you unload them
and let them roam about for wild grass, pines and branches.
you start on a trip, the camel needs to be fat. After 5 days travel
without food, the camel first starts to lose the fat in his hump;
5 days later he loses the fat around his stomach, and 5 days after
that the fat in his legs. Once he has lost all his fat he can no longer
carry his load.
Africain merchants who travel to the Sudan do not worry about the
return trip, as their camels come home with a much lighter load, given
that Sudanese goods are much lighter than those brought from the Maghreb.
As a result, friendly
bird plucking flees from camel's head
camels coming into the Sudan are very skinny and are sold for a few
dinars to locals who nurse them back to health" (Leo,