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Are Camels Faster than Horses?

Are Camels Faster than Horses

Horses are usually faster than camels, especially on short distances. Thoroughbred horses are especially fast as they are bred for short-distance races, and they’re also faster than camels.

Camels are made for longer distances. They’re extremely hardy animals as they can carry hundreds of pounds on them and still easily travel up to 20 miles per day without any issues. Horses are also good over longer distances, but racing horses and certain horse breeds will usually outrun a camel.

What is Faster: Horse or Camel?

North Swedish Horse

A horse is generally faster than a camel. A fast horse can, on average, run at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.

On the other hand, the fastest camels will run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, meaning that on average, camels are usually slower than horses, especially over shorter distances.

One of the main differences between a horse and a camel is the way they are built. Horses have slightly shorter legs and bodies, making them more compact. This allows them to move faster than camels. On the other hand, camels have longer legs, but they’re not made for running as they prefer to walk.

The top running speed of a horse is about 40 miles per hour, although certain horse breeds might run even faster than that. Thoroughbred horses are believed to be the fastest running horses in the world. Currently, the Guinness world record when it comes to the fastest horse is measured at 43.97 mph, but some horses might run even faster than that.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests that some of the fastest horses will reach the speed of up to 55 miles over a short distance. Most horses won’t be able to maintain such a high speed for longer distances, though. This is why most horse races are done over relatively short distances.

Camels don’t usually travel as fast as horses do. They’re much better at traveling over longer distances, as they can travel for up to 20 miles per day without problems. The top speed of a camel is believed to be around 35-40 miles per hour, but it will also depend on the type of camel.

Related Article: How Do Camels Eat Cactus?

Can Camels Run Faster than Horses in the Desert?


Yes, camels are faster than horses in the desert – or rather, in the sand. Camels have wider hooves, which gives them more grip in the sand, so they can run much faster than horses. 

This is probably not a fair comparison, but it’s still one that many people make. Horses and camels have very different habitats. Most camels live in arid areas such as deserts, so they’re perfectly used to the sand. Horses, on the other hand, are not used to the sand at all, as they prefer firmer surfaces.

Camels have wider hooves, which gives them much more grip as they run on the sand. In turn, more grip means that camels can run faster as they normally do on other surfaces. Horses, on the other hand, do much better on grass or firm surfaces because they have thinner hooves. On the sand, their hooves would cave in easily.

This is not a fair comparison, though. Horses live in various habitats, but almost no horse lives in the desert where there is sand. This means that they don’t have the same natural adaptations as camels do. They would not do very well on the sand, so they are slower on such a surface.

Can a Camel Run Fast?

Bactrian Camel

Camels can run surprisingly fast – up to 40 miles per hour. However, they’re not as fast as some other animals, such as horses.

You might not connect a camel to speed, but it has the capacity to run at decent velocities. The maximum running speed of a camel is around 40 miles per hour. Compared to a horse, they are slightly slower. However, they’re still faster than the majority of other animals.

Which is Better Over Longer Distances: Camel or Horse?

Maremmano Horse

Both camels and horses are exceptionally durable and can walk for very long distances. Camels can walk for up to 20 miles per day while also carrying a heavy load of up to 200 pounds.

Horses, on the other hand, can walk up to 32 miles, but that is if they’re not fully loaded. In general, their walking distances are similar.

Camels and horses have both been used as working animals for many centuries. When horses were first domesticated, they were mainly used for personal transport. But people soon found ways to use horses for various tasks such as agriculture, transport of heavy objects, and much more.

Camels are also the equivalent of horses in arid areas like deserts. They’re particularly common in the Middle East where they have been domesticated for many thousand years. Like horses, camels were initially used for transport, although they don’t have the same capacity to be working animals as horses are.

This means that purely for long-distance travel, camels are a bit more durable than horses. They’re larger and heavier, meaning that they can carry heavy loads that horses simply can’t. A single camel might be able to carry up to 600 pounds of weight, while a horse might only be able to carry up to 400 pounds.

Because of this feature, camels are much preferred for longer distances while horses are better for shorter distances. Then, there’s also the fact that camels might be able to walk longer even when carrying heavier loads. This is because they’re used to harsh weather conditions better than horses, although they won’t last as long when the weather is bad.


Camels are quite fast, but they’re not as fast as horses. Thoroughbred horses can run with speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and potentially even faster. Camels will only run with speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, so the difference between the two is not massive. There’s still a notable difference when it comes to running speed in the sand, where camels win out easily.

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