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Saleh Mahomed

Ernest Giles (1835–1897) is widely acknowledged as one of Australia’s most accomplished explorers. During two of his 1870s expeditions, he relied heavily upon Saleh Mahomed. Giles wrote this after his 1875 expedition:

I named this fine watering-place Saleh’s Fish-ponds, after my Afghan camel-driver, who was really a first-rate fellow, without a lazy bone in his body. The greatest requirement of a camel caravan, is some one to keep the saddles in repair, and so avert sore backs. Saleh used to do this admirably, and many times in the deserts and elsewhere I have known him to pass half the night at this sort of work. The management of the camels, after one learns the art, is simple enough; they are much easier to work than a mob of pack- horses; but keeping the saddles right is a task of the hardest nature. In consequence of Saleh’s looking after ours so well, we never had any trouble with sore-backed camels, thus escaping a misfortune which in itself might wreck a whole caravan.
E. Giles, Australia Twice Traversed, Sampson, Low and Marston, London, 1889

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