Let’s start by saying this.. i absolutely loved my time in Wadi Rum! I stayed there for 2 days and 2 nights and my only regret was not staying for a third day (but i also try to not regret anything so lets say i was happy spending 2 nights there)!
Wadi Rum has a small village which is where the locals live but tourists stay in Bedouin camps which are spread out around the desert and can easily be booked online, the majority that i saw have great websites with all their details and prices on and emailed me back within a few hours with the further information i was looking for.
I had emailed 3 different camps about prices but i decided to go to the camp recommended by my hotel owner in Aqaba as it included transport from Aqaba into the Desert and in the end this worked out better (and cheaper) than i could of imagined as i pretty much ended up having my own guide- Muhammad and paying roughly half of what i had been quoted by the other camps but also doing way more activities than they had quoted me for!
Muhammad was a lovely local Bedouin guy who had lived in the Wadi Rum desert all of his life, he was full of passion for his home which was lovely to see and a fountain of information.. even though he was just 24 years old!
He picked myself and a couple from Budapest up at midday from Aqaba and we drove straight to Wadi Rum which took less than an hour, once there we got straight on with seeing some famous sights and amazing views.
Lawrence of Arabia which is a film but also a true story is where all the famous landmarks come from, i hadn’t seen the film but once i have a decent wifi connection it will be the first thing i watch! The Desert resembles a Mars like landscape and kept surprising us around every bumpy corner (thank god for 4×4’s!), we had lots of photo opportunities and did lots of climbing so it was a great afternoon.
Sleeping outside in the desert is quite a popular thing to do so after having dinner at a Bedouin camp Mohammad and I drove out into the wilderness where he created a fire, made some chai tea and then i slept in the back of the pick up truck with a mattress and thick blanket under the stars… just perfect!!
The following morning is a morning i won’t forget for awhile as Mohammad drove us to watch a Camel Race!!
We arrived at about 7:30am and joined the mass of 4×4 jeep’s that were already there with lots of camels tied to the back minding their own business, Mohammad seemed to know everyone so he had a chat and just as i was about to say ‘should we get out of the jeep so we can watch?’ we were racing off along side the track which is when it dawned on me that in the Middle East they do not watch Camel Racing like we watch Horse Racing standing by the track, they drive found the 4km track a long side the camels!
The other surprising thing was that the camels are not riden by people, instead they have small robots attached to their backs with a microphone and the camel’s owner shouts encouragement as he drives a long side the camel!
We drove around about 6 times and each time i couldn’t quite believe i was there and i now felt like i was really in the Middle East!
Two other things i noticed were that i seemed to be 1 of 3 white tourists which was pretty cool as its a really local event and that i also seemed to be 1 of 3 women as everyone else was Male! Mohammad said that sometimes Wife’s come with their Husbands but generally its a Man’s thing (just like everything else in the Middle East hey??). Anyway i was glad i got to go along and witness this bizarre but wonderful event.
One of the things i really wanted to do in Wadi Rum was a Camel ride. When it comes to the use of animals for entertainment i like to think and research what i’m doing before i do it. I expressed some concerns to Mohammad and asked him about the Camels but after hearing how passionate he felt about his Camel i asked to be taken out on one.
His brother took me out and was just as lovely as he was, we rode for about 2 hours, had lunch and then visited the house where Lawrence of Arabia lived and then continued for another 2 hour ride, we had lots of laughs a long the way but i also got to ride in silence and appreciate once more how gorgeous this place was and just how quiet and peaceful it is.
I was pleased i did the Camel ride and that i did it this way (despite having a very sore bum and legs that evening and the following days!). I was never going to go for a ride which was a short 30 minutes in a circle which the Camel has to do all day everyday and i knew these camels were looked after and of course it is in their blood to be walking long distances in the desert heat.
The day ended with dinner in the Bedouin camp followed by a nights stay in my own tent and the following morning i reluctanly let Mohammad’s cousin (i met all the family!) take me back to the Village where the bus picked me up and took me to Petra.
Before arriving in the Desert i had been overthinking how long i would stay there and each place in Jordan, would i have enough time or too much time but after being in the desert for 2 days and nights with no wifi i felt myself completely calm down and relax.
If you are coming to Jordan to visit Petra then you HAVE to include one or two (but ideally two) nights in the Wadi Rum Desert.
I have Mohammad’s email address so if you are interested in contacting him once you are in Jordan for a tour then please let me know and i will pass this on as i highly recommend him.
The locals have seen a decrease in tourism especially in Wadi Rum over the last year or so so they are itching to get more tourists there and to prove to them how amazing.. and safe their country is!
A night in a Bedouin camp including dinner, overnight stay in a tent and breakfast costs roughly 25 JD/ £25.00 a night.
Definitely include a jeep ride for a few hours in your trip so you can see the changing landscape of the desert.
Watch Lawrence of Arabia before visiting.. then you can spot all all the famous sights!
**I made a video of my time in Jordan, check in out here to see more of this beautiful Country!