How Many Camels Are There in the World?

It is hard to figure out how many camels are there in the world as it is challenging to know the exact camel population around the globe.

Its number is certainly lower than many pets and livestock like dogs, cats, cows, pigs, and other animals. Though this figure can not be determined accurately, several ranges of stats give you an estimated figure.

Camel meat is a delicacy quite popular in the Muslim and African countries. Camels are more in demand in countries with huge deserts. They are called “ships of the desert” and well-adapted to the life of the desert.

Many inhabitants of the desert own camels for transportation or to get assistance for day-to-day activities.

From royalty to commoners, camels have impressed everyone and carry a rich history that dates back centuries.

Determining the exact number of global camel populations is nothing less than a challenge.

As per different studies and research, the data gathered tells us about the estimated camel population worldwide.

How Many Camels Are There in the World?

As per FAO live animals statistics, there are approximately 35 million camels in the world. When looking at the camel population by region, the camel population is distributed into different regions, 15% in Asia, 15% in North Africa, 26% in West Africa, and 44% in East Africa.

The largest population of wild camels was recorded in 2013, about 300,000 heads. This population roughly increases by 10% per year.

There are three breeds of camels; Dromedary camel, Bactrian camel, and Wild Bactrian. Dromedary or Arabian camel makes up the majority of the large camelid population.

As per many estimates, Dromedary constitutes 90% to 95% of the population. Bactrian Camels are estimated to be more or less 2 million heads.

Wild Bactrian camels are now considered critically endangered with about 1400 individuals left in the world.

Which Country Has The Most Camels?

Somalia and the Somali region of Ethiopia have the most number of camels. This region hosts ¼ of the entire camel population, therefore, Somalia has the honor of having the most domesticated camels.

This desert animal was domesticated in Somalia about 300 years BCE in the Land of Punt.


Somalia is home to millions of camels, about 60% of the Somali people earn livelihood with the pastoralism of camels.

Somalia is a region stricken with drought, therefore, many camels lose their life despite their hardiness, due to deadly droughts.

In Somalia, more than 07 million camels are providing their services, just a bit less than the current population of Somalia, 16.55 million.

Approximately 65% of the entire Dromedary camel population is found in the northeast African states of Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya.

Camels fit Somali life perfectly, this hardy animal is the answer to many problems in Somalia and withstands hunger, drought, and harsh climatic conditions well.


Generally, you would expect a large camel population in countries like Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, or some other Muslim countries considered the traditional homelands of the wild camels.

However, most wild and feral camels are found in the Australian desert with the population of wild camels reaching one million.

Camels first stepped on Australian land in 1840 for transportation purposes in the country’s hot, arid deserts.

Somalia grabs the first spot for having the highest population of domesticated camels and Australia has a large population of wild camels.

Australian deserts have a high number of camel types released or escaped into the desert.

After escaping domestication or captivity, these camels were bred and survived in feral states in the Australian deserts. These camels roam freely in the wild, causing a host of problems.

Camel Population in Different Countries

Many countries have varying camel populations depending on the demand and the need of the animal. Besides Somalia and Australia, the following countries have a higher number of camels

Sudan – Somalia is followed by Sudan for having the second-highest camel population. Sudan has a large population of camels owing to the huge arid areas and the increased camel farming. It has a close to 4.79 million camel population. Learn what do camels eat in wild.

Kenya – The camel population in Kenya is estimated to be 2.93 million heads making it the third country with the most number of camels.

Niger – Niger is a country located in West Africa having a camel population of about 1.72 million.

Chad – Located in Central Africa, this country comes fourth in terms of camel population with a number close to 1.55 million.


The world camel population is estimated to be 35 million with a yearly growth of 3.4%. Camels are of great help in countries with arid territories and large deserts. Thanks to continuous conservation efforts and increasing desertification owing to climate change, the population of camels is increasing each year.

  • Shumaila Ijaz is a Livestock expert and animal breeder. She has her own local farms for breeding and livestock nourishment. She is a research writer and answers the questions of readers.

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