If you are going to Jaisalmer and planning on a Camel Safari, the touts and scam artists will be waiting for you at the bus and train station. If you arrive a little groggy by night train/bus, they will pose as taxi drivers offering you a very cheap ride to the hotel of your choise. As soon as you are in the vehicle they will strike up a conversation how you got to know about the hotel of your choise, then suggesting their own hotel at incredible low rates, 150 INR or even less, including free thee and coffee, free WIFI etc.
And for the price the guesthouse doesn't look to bad either. Thety will probably claim they are so cheap because they are new and not yet in the guidebooks, therefore they have to offer low prices to compete.
This happened to me with the guys from Jaisal View guesthouse. I had already made a reservation by phone at the very reputable Swastika hotel and insisted I should go there since I had already booked. There was a German girl with me and since she accepted their offer, they reluctantly let half their prey escape.
The next day, in short succession 2 couples showed up at Swastika. They had been picked up by the same hostel and offered very cheap accomodation only to be ambushed over tea with a proposed Camel Safari. The first couple didn't bite and was asked to leave the hotel. The was second couple was first offered a 2 day Camel trip for 7000 INR for the both of them. When they said they couldn't afford that kind of price it miracously dropped to 3500 but they were asked not to tell the other people who had already coughed up the full amount. They were so shocked by this kind of hustler attitude that they immieiately checked out and also ended up in Hotel Swastika.
i booked a 1 day/1night Camel Safari trough Swastika and paid 900 INR. A German tourist also there took the 2day/1 night option and paid 1200 INR.
My deal included 3 meals and a night under the stars in the desert.
We had a chat with the Camel guys and they get 150 INR per camel. The operator provides the food and water but they have to prepare everything and babysit the tourists trough the night.
A honest guesthouse/hotel operator will never push the Safari. The man from Swastika waited until we asked for a Safari to even mention that he could arrange it.
According to the guidebooks and also to the Camel drivers we spoke to, the most reputable operator is Mr Desert of Sahara travel and also the Swastika guesthouse are the most reliable non cheating operators.
Of course if you decide to stay in luxury Swiss tents in a camp with Gipsy music etc, the price range will be different but paying a high price to a crook will by no means guarantee you a better quality Safari. As for me no tent can ever beat a night under the desert sky.
If I had to to it again I would do the Safari not from Jaisalmer but from bikaner to the rough Guide recommended Vinayak guesthouse. Mr Jitu is a trained Zoologist and in Bikaner you will have the Desert to your self, not having to share you sunset Dune with hordes of other people like you and me(tourists)
Good luck and beware, as they say in the guide books, any bussiness using a tout is best avoided.