I visited camel pastoralists in the Somali Region of Ethiopia (SRE), mainly Jigjiga and found very interesting and new facts about camels and pastoralism.
A very amazing piece of information about the camel population in the region is that there are 6.5 million camels in SRE. Please tell me your views in this regard. The total camel population in Ethiopia is more than 8 million. (as per oral information provided by Pastoral Bureau)
The other fact I found personally, is the taste of the milk of the Hoor or Hur camel breed in the the region. It was very strange for me as I have visited many different camel herding communities globally and tasted the milk of many camel types (Dromedary and Bactrian) but never found the taste like it was in the region. I drank camel milk in Jigjiga, and believe me the taste was like the taste of honey. The milk was acquired from the naturally grazing camels. There is a wide floral diversity and the camels consume it regularly while grazing/browsing in the rangelands.
When I shared this information in the Camel4Life International (camel advocacy forum) WhatsApp group, many cameleers from different parts of the world responded with their experience of the camel milk taste. https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/health/al-ain-doctor-sees-potential-in-camels-beyond-their-milk-1.51957
I can easily imagine! Our milk also can be very sweet (Ilse Kohler Rollefson, a German camel lover residing in Rajasthan with the camel herds). Dr Piers (camel owner and PhD in camel production from Kenya) responded as;
“My milk in Kenya does too, almost like coconut milk sweet. I am sure that the sweet flavour is the natural flavour of all free-ranging camels that have the liberty to choose what and how much they want to eat. Depending on the natural plants and ecology it can be salty, or sometimes very bitter if they eat flowering Vernonia shrubs for example. It’s like natural honey from bees, the flavour depends on the plants. Someone should open a shop selling all the different flavours of natural camel milk over the different seasons globally.
For further good reading about the incredible camels and my camel advocacy work, CLICK THE LINKS
- What is World Camel Day?
- Ecological Camel Farming – Supporting Aravana Camel Breeders in Turkmen Region of Iran