The Thar Desert is 200,000 sq. Km. and is predominantly located in India but also spreads into the Pakistani provinces of Sind and Punjab. To the west it is continuous with the Cholistan Desert. It is a typical sand dune desert with some of these rising to over 150m. The scarce vegetation supports a remarkable variety of fauna including many rare species such as the Great Indian Bustard, the Bengal Fox and the Indian Wild Ass.
My travelling partner, Holly, and I enjoyed a Thar Desert safari which was led by a characterful Rajput, Boor-Singh. When we were clear of Jaisalmer’s outlying villages we exchanged a Tata jeep for dromedary camels and trekked west towards the border with Pakistan. Boor-Singh was a talented bush-chef and singer and the meal times spent around the campfire eating, watching distant electrical storms and listening to Rajput songs and poems were excellent experiences. During one night a small sand-storm made sleeping nearly impossible so I went for a walk. The moon was bright enough to light up the dunes and military observation flares could be seen above the Indo-Pakistani border. These flares are fired by both sides and drift to the ground over 15 minutes or so. The resultant white light is used to highlight smugglers and illegal immigrates. This lizard was photographed in pre-dawn light as I was returning to camp.