Are Camels Faster Than Horses : Where, How,Interesting Facts

Image Credits: Camel racing” (CC BY 2.0) by RaeAllen

Camels and horses both are among the top 10 fastest animals on the planet. But, there are several misconceptions that they have similar speeds. Let’s explore if camels can run faster than horses. 

Camels are neither faster than horses, nor are they too slow than horses. The difference in their average speed is only around 10 to 15 miles per hour. It is possible, however, to increase the speed of camels if they are trained to race. 

Due to their general body structure, camels are usually slower than horses. They additionally carry heavy heaps of water on their backs which makes them slower. 

Read on to know whether camels are faster than horses. We will also discuss the differences in their speeds and why one is preferred over the other.

Camel vs Horse Speed

Humans have been dependent on camels and horses for centuries. They are popularly used for exploration and transportation. However, they do not run at the same speed and have a significant difference in their speed. 

A camel can run at a maximum speed of 20 mph, as opposed to 35 mph for horses. This shows that horses run faster than camels by 20%. Hence, they are faster than camels. 

Camels Fastest Speed RecordedHorses Fastest Speed Recorded
              21.8 Mph            55 Mph

However, various factors can affect their maximum speed, including age, health, diet, training, and type of ground. For instance, a well-trained camel can easily beat a horse in a race in desserts. 

Apart from the USA, Camels are being trained for the race in many countries, but they cannot run faster than horses. 

How Fast is a Camel

Humans have an impression that camels are dorky, little animals that walk slowly and don’t compete in races. However, this is an entirely false notion. Speed is a strong suit of theirs. Read on to know how fast they can run. 

Camels can run as fast as 64km per hour. They have tremendous endurance! Probably the best of all animals at a constant speed. This is why they even compete with horses in a race. 

Why do Horses Run Faster than Camels?

So, now you are quite clear that horses run faster than camels. But why they run faster than camels is still a matter of concern. We have highlighted some pointers below that will let you know why they run faster. 

  • The solid ligaments help horses to maintain balance and run quicker. 
  • Unlike camels, horses don’t have humps, Thus they do not have to carry extra weight that allows them to run quicker.
  • Camels are thick and heavy; however, horses are not. Their ideal body weight likewise turns into the justification for them being the fastest in the race.

Are Camels Faster than Horses on Sand

Since deserts are the home of camels, you must be wondering do they run faster on sand? Can they win the race with horses on sand? Let us answer these questions. 

Camels are faster than horses on sand. In Fact they run with 25-30  Mph speed when on the sand. This is because they are well adapted to the area they belong to. However, the feet of horses might sink into the sand and they won’t be able to run faster. 

In fact, camels are the planet’s fastest animal when they run on the sand. They run with 20% more speed on sand when compared to land or any other surface. This makes them harder to beat when on the sand. 

Would camels prefer to walk or run?

It is obvious now that camels are able to run exceptionally well. But do they enjoy running or competing in races? Let’s discuss this!

 In the desert, camels are not allowed to run free. Camels are domestic animals whose masters never let them go wild. They will run if they are trained to do it, but this is not their favorite activity.

Hence, most of the time they react uninterested in races. This is the reason why robot jockeys are used in camel races that motivates them to run faster and also reduces the risk of injuries. 

How far can a camel run without stopping?

Now we know that camels can run really fast. But how much distance they cover without stopping is still a question that has remained unexplored. Let’s explore this together!

Camels routinely travel farther than 100 kilometres continually without pause. But the distance and speed can vary according to the age, health, weather condition and the breed of camels. 

Mostly due to their weight, Bactrian camels aren’t suited to race longer distances. Hence, Dromedaries are faster than Bactrian camels and can run for longer distances without any halt. 

Why Camels Run Faster than Horses in Desert?

Image Credits: hanmuhado0 by pixabay free Images

In spite of their lower running speed than horses, camels are able to run faster when they are in the desert. This makes it easier for camels to beat horses. This fact has a reason. Let’s explore it. 

Camels can walk easily on desert sand because of their wide feet. The camel’s feet have a wider surface area than a horse that allows them to reduce the pressure in the sand and run faster. Also, camels have thick layers of eyelashes that are used to blow sand which doesn’t affect their speed. 

Because of their ability to walk faster in the sand, they are often called ships of the desert. However, in certain circumstances, even horses can run faster in the desert, especially, when they are trained for that. 

Can the camel run with a rider?

Image Credits: WikimediaImages by pixabay free Images

Camels can run well in races, but do they also run well with a rider? Various views exist on this subject. Some claim they cannot run well when carrying riders, while others claim they are exceptionally reliable.

A camel can ride a rider. Infact, dromedaries were known to be able to carry a rider for over 115 miles in less than 11 hours, as they have longer legs and are slimmer than the Bactrian camel. 

In general, camels are cute, gentle and friendly creatures. They are affectionate towards humans and love to be petted. This makes it easy for a rider to ride on them even for longer distances. 


I am Vandana, A budding lawyer and an animal lover. I spend my spare time with my pets and also love to research different animal behaviors. My constant learning attitude keeps me exploring new understandings of Animals and my penchant for writing keeps me encouraged to do so. Apart from writing, I also like listening to soulful music, reading books, and being around animals.

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