Google has welcomed a new member to its Street View team: Raffia, the 10-year old camel. With a high performance “Trekker’ camera collecting 360-degree views strapped to the top of her hump, Raffia set off at 6am with her guide to photograph the UAE’s Liwa Desert in the clearest weather conditions possible.
As we navigate the dunes from behind our screens thanks to the desert’s most ancient mode of transport, we can spot Raffia’s footsteps and shadow in the sand, and her guide pops his head up at the bottom of the screen every now and again too!
You can start trekking with Raffia now to see what mirage or a bountiful oasis awaits you over the next hill.
Located south west of the city of Abu Dhabi, Liwa has a large oasis area that’s growing in popularity with foreign visitors. These rolling sandy hills were home to early settlers back in the Late Stone Age, making Liwa one of the oldest sites in the United Arab Emirates.
The spokeswoman for Google in the Middle East and North Africa, Joyce Baz says the coverage could help boost tourism for the area.
And she’s absolutely right, because here I am, trekking through the Emirate desert, curious to find out more about those buildings nestled in the palm trees that Raffia has captured with her hump-mounted camera.
I did a little Googling and think it might be this place, the Tilal Liwa Hotel.
Take a stroll through the desert while sitting at your desk.