Robyn Davidson India nomads camels


In 1978 Robyn visited, quite by chance, a camel fair in Pushkar, Rajasthan. There she found herself amidst the pastoral nomads of north-west India, thousands of whom had congregated to buy and sell their animals.She was on her way to England to write her celebrated book, Tracks. As soon as she saw the Rajasthani nomads, she wanted to accompany them on a year’s migratory cycle through the Thar Desert. A decade later she was given an opportunity to live out that wish. But it was to take years, and a series of false starts, before she was able to join a dang on migration. In 1992, and with an article once again commissioned by National Geographic,  Robyn was finally accepted into a group of Gujurat and they set off. She was determined to live as they lived, to ‘enter the frame’.

This brave and moving journey is the subject of Robyn’s book Desert Places.

Robyn regularly returns to India. She is passionate about nomadism and the qualities which can be applied to business and personally. One topic of Robyn’s public speaking engagements outlines how nomadic methods of resource management are currently being applied by multinational companies to stimulate innovation. Robyn explains how nomads strategise and spread risk; how they are agile and flexible, their ability to change direction quickly and how they move through the world leaving a lighter footprint.

Robyn also hosts select groups for a tour of Kutch in Western India, an area famous for its textile works. Expressions of interest in participating in a tour should be emailed via the Contact Robyn link.

Listen to Robyn speaking with Margaret Throsby, ABC Radio National, 2014