EXPLORING WADI RUM – Jordan’s Southern Desert



WADI RUM

Wadi Rum is a vast expanse of desert in the southern most regions of Jordan. Located about 3 hours drive eastward from the Gulf of Aquaba and the cities of Aquaba and Eilat, it’s a barren and arid area of sand and rock and beautiful desert vistas. For many it is best known as the land of the Bedouin through which British Officer T.E. Lawrence, aka “Lawrence of Arabia”, traveled and fought during the Arab Revolt in 1917 -18. Lawrence served as lisason between the British and the Arabs in their conflict with the Turks. The movie, “Lawrence of Arabia,” was released in 1962, bringing the area to the attention of the world. Exploring Wadi Rum is becoming an increasingly popular activity for travelers to the Middle East. Today Wadi Rum is an area frequently visited by travelers interested in history, rock climbing, hiking and camping.


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Wadi Rum is now a protected area in Jordan, an effort to preserve it’s open-space beauty and instill conservation efforts including control of access and use. Visitors to the area now arrive at the recently constructed Wadi Rum Visitor Center. It’s a modern facility with several shops, visitor facilities, ticketing and access control. The fee for international visitors to Wadi Rum is 5 Jordanian Dinar (currently @ $7.00 U.S.) for the day while the fee for Jordanians is 1 Dinar. Four wheel drive tours can be organized at the center as well as arranging hiking and camping experiences.


Friendly shop keepers will happily help visitors select souvenirs and local Bedouin items to remember their visit to Wadi Rum.

Wadi Rum presents a very stark and arid landscape to visitors. No wonder it has frequently been used as a backdrop for filming various motion pictures – especially those with space and science fiction themes such as Red Planet, Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen, The Martian, The Last Days on Mars, Dune, and several Star Wars movies.

The images below give a sense of the landscape and environment of Wadi Rum.


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Thinking of exploring Wadi Rum ? You have a variety of options available to you. You can take various hikes. (Keep in mind it is really sunny, hot and dry.) You could also go native and take a journey through the area on a camel. ( Speaking from experience, this is not the most comfortable means of transportation. ) Most visitors seem to opt for exploring the area while riding in the back of one of the 4 wheel drive trucks which will give you a brisk and bumpy ride over the desert.

Four wheel drive tour over the desert sands of Wadi Rum.
Local Bedouin offer camel treks to visitors.
Travelers set to embark on a camel ride. They area smiling at this point – there seemed to be fewer smiles at the ride’s conclusion.
Unlike tourists, the Bedouin appeared to be very comfortable riding their camels.
“Smile!” How about a “Selfie” with your camel?


What to do after a tiring, hot day spent exploring Wadi Rum? There area several areas where visitors can spend the night and “camp” in Wadi Rum. The camps use various types of modular construction, single room units for visitors with the rooms being hard-sided, well equipped and – of course – air conditioned.

Entrance to Hasan Zawaideh Camping Area ……..
Geodesic dome style camp sites sit on raised platforms agains the rock cliffs.
Modular, fabric covered modular camp sites in a Wadi Rum “camp” area.

Click on The Arrow below to view a brief video on Wadi Rum

Exploring Wadi Rum – The Video

EXPLORE WADI RUM ……… ….AND ENJOY THE ADVENTURE!



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© 2019, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.