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Camping In Wadi Rum: A Night In The Desert


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Glenine Albin



Imagine a vast expanse of golden sand dunes, towering rock formations, and an endless sky filled with stars. Welcome to Wadi Rum, a breathtaking desert in Jordan that offers an unparalleled adventure for those seeking a unique camping experience.


Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the stunning beauty of the Jordanian desert. Its rugged terrain, colored sandstone cliffs, and ancient rock carvings make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.


Camping in Wadi Rum allows you to immerse yourself in the captivating desert landscape and indulge in unforgettable experiences. Whether you are seeking a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a thrilling expedition, Wadi Rum offers something for everyone.


This article will take you on a virtual journey to explore the wonders of Wadi Rum, from the thrill of setting up camp in the desert to the enchantment of stargazing under the open sky. We will also delve into the warm hospitality of the local Bedouin community, the delicious traditional Bedouin cuisine, and the exciting adventure activities that await you.


So, pack your bags and get ready for an extraordinary adventure as we delve into the beauty and allure of camping in Wadi Rum.


Exploring the Wonders of Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum offers a myriad of wonders to explore, each more breathtaking than the last. As you venture into this desert paradise, you will be greeted by towering rock formations, ancient Nabatean inscriptions, and vast open spaces that seem to stretch into infinity.


One of the highlights of Wadi Rum is its unique rock formations, created by millions of years of natural erosion. The most famous of these formations is “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” made famous by T.E. Lawrence in his book of the same name. These massive sandstone pillars rise majestically from the desert floor, creating a surreal and otherworldly landscape that will leave you in awe.


Exploring Wadi Rum allows you to discover hidden treasures scattered throughout the desert. Take a camel ride through the dunes and witness the ever-changing colors of the sand as the sun sets, casting a golden glow over the landscape. Marvel at the ancient rock carvings that tell the tales of civilizations long gone. And if you’re feeling adventurous, challenge yourself by scaling the sandstone cliffs for a bird’s-eye view of the desert.


For those seeking a deeper connection to nature, Wadi Rum offers hiking trails that wind through the desert, leading you to hidden canyons, natural arches, and secret oases. As you navigate these trails, you’ll be surrounded by the silence and tranquility of the desert, allowing you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the natural world.


But perhaps the true wonder of Wadi Rum lies in its expansive and uninterrupted views of the night sky. Far away from city lights and pollution, the desert becomes a stargazer’s paradise, offering a crystal-clear canvas for observing celestial wonders. Lay back on a blanket, gaze at the countless stars twinkling above, and let the beauty of the universe captivate your imagination.


Whether you’re an avid photographer, a nature enthusiast, or simply a traveler seeking new experiences, exploring the wonders of Wadi Rum will leave an indelible mark on your soul.


Setting up Camp in the Desert

When it comes to camping in Wadi Rum, you have two options: staying in a traditional Bedouin camp or setting up your own camp in the desert. Both choices offer their own unique experiences, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the desert environment.


For those looking for a hassle-free camping experience, staying in a traditional Bedouin camp is a popular choice. Bedouins, the indigenous people of the region, have been living in Wadi Rum for centuries and offer their hospitality to visitors. These camps provide comfortable accommodations in traditional goat-hair tents, complete with comfortable beds and basic amenities. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Bedouin dinner, listen to stories around the campfire, and experience the desert lifestyle firsthand.


If you prefer a more adventurous and independent experience, setting up your own camp in the desert is an excellent option. Wadi Rum offers designated camping areas where you can pitch your tent and create your own temporary home in the wilderness. The campsites are well-maintained and offer basic facilities such as toilets and showers.


Before setting up camp, it’s essential to obtain a permit from the Visitor Center in Wadi Rum village. This ensures that you are camping in designated areas and following the rules and regulations of the protected area. Additionally, it’s important to pack all the necessary camping equipment, such as a sturdy tent, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and plenty of water.


As you set up your camp, take a moment to appreciate the tranquility and vastness of the desert. Find a spot that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape and enjoy the serenity of the desert silence. Be mindful of leaving no trace behind, respecting the fragile environment.


Immerse yourself in the simple pleasures of desert camping. Witness the stunning colors of the sunrise or sunset as they paint the sky with hues of orange, pink, and purple. Listen to the gentle rustle of the wind as it whispers through the sand dunes. Watch the stars come alive in the night sky, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.


Setting up camp in the desert allows you to disconnect from the outside world, reconnect with nature, and experience the beauty of Wadi Rum at your own pace.


Campfire Tales and Stargazing

One of the most magical experiences of camping in Wadi Rum is gathering around a campfire as the sun sets, sharing stories, and marveling at the beauty of the night sky. The desert provides the perfect backdrop for creating unforgettable memories and connecting with fellow travelers.


As the evening descends and the air cools, the campfire becomes the heart of the camp. Sitting around the crackling flames, you’ll have the opportunity to hear captivating tales from your Bedouin hosts or share your own stories with fellow campers. Learn about the rich history and traditions of the Bedouin people as they recount ancient legends and fascinating anecdotes, deepening your appreciation for the desert and its people.


As darkness envelops the desert, prepare to be mesmerized by the celestial wonders above. With minimal light pollution, Wadi Rum offers an unrivaled stargazing experience. Lay back on a blanket, gazing at the vast expanse of the night sky, and allow yourself to be transported to another world. The sheer number of stars that blanket the sky is awe-inspiring and humbling.


From recognizable constellations to twinkling galaxies, the night sky in Wadi Rum reveals a stunning tapestry of astronomical wonders. The silence and stillness of the desert enhance the experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of the moment. Take the time to appreciate the intricacies of the cosmos and contemplate the vastness of the universe.


If you’re fortunate, you may even catch a glimpse of a shooting star streaking across the sky, making a wish as it vanishes into the darkness. Capture the magic with your camera or simply soak in the awe-inspiring spectacle with your own eyes; stargazing in Wadi Rum is an experience you will never forget.


Remember, though, that stargazing is best enjoyed during the new moon or a moonless night, when the sky is at its darkest. Plan your camping trip accordingly to maximize your chances of witnessing the full splendor of the night sky.


Whether sharing tales around the campfire or getting lost in the celestial wonders above, campfire tales and stargazing in Wadi Rum provide a sense of connection to the natural world and a deeper understanding of our place within it.


Local Bedouin Hospitality

When camping in Wadi Rum, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the warm and welcoming hospitality of the local Bedouin community. The Bedouins are the indigenous people of the region, with a rich cultural heritage that has been passed down through generations.


Bedouin hospitality is legendary, and visitors to Wadi Rum are often taken aback by the genuine warmth and generosity they encounter. Upon your arrival at a Bedouin camp, you’ll be greeted with open arms and a traditional Bedouin tea ceremony. This simple yet meaningful gesture represents the Bedouin way of showing respect and welcoming guests into their homes.


During your stay, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with the Bedouin hosts, learn about their way of life, and gain insight into their customs and traditions. Bedouin camps offer a unique cultural experience, allowing you to witness traditional music performances and even participate in Bedouin dance and music sessions.


Bedouin hospitality goes beyond mere accommodation. It is an invitation to immerse yourself in their way of life and experience the desert as the Bedouins do. Whether it’s trying on traditional Bedouin attire or learning the art of baking bread in the sand, you’ll have the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the Bedouin heritage and foster a connection with the local community.


The Bedouin hosts will also be your guides on desert expeditions, sharing their knowledge of the land and leading you to hidden gems throughout Wadi Rum. From ancient rock carvings to secluded oases, they will unveil the secrets of the desert, narrating stories of their ancestors and instilling a sense of reverence for the natural world.


By staying in a Bedouin camp, you not only support the local community but also contribute to the preservation of their culture and way of life. The Bedouins have a deep respect for the environment and have always lived in harmony with the desert. By engaging with them, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for sustainable living and the importance of preserving our natural resources.


Local Bedouin hospitality in Wadi Rum is a transformative experience that leaves a lasting impression. Through their warmth, kindness, and genuine concern for your well-being, the Bedouins will make you feel like a part of their extended family.


So, embrace the opportunity to connect with the local Bedouins, listen to their stories, and learn from their wisdom – it will undoubtedly enrich your camping adventure in Wadi Rum.


Romantic Sunset and Sunrise Experiences

For couples seeking a romantic getaway or those simply looking to be captivated by nature’s beauty, Wadi Rum offers unforgettable sunset and sunrise experiences. The desert landscape transforms into a mesmerizing palette of colors, creating an atmosphere of enchantment and tranquility.


As the golden hour approaches, find a perfect vantage point to witness the mesmerizing sunset over the desert horizon. The sand dunes and rock formations are bathed in warm hues of orange, pink, and purple, casting a magical glow that is perfect for capturing stunning photographs or simply soaking in the romantic ambiance.


Share a quiet moment with your loved one as you watch the sun’s descent, casting long shadows over the vast expanse of sand. The tranquility of the desert enhances the intimacy of the experience, allowing you to connect deeply with each other and the natural world around you.


Alternatively, you can wake up early to witness the breathtaking sunrise in Wadi Rum. As the first rays of light peek over the horizon, the desert gradually comes to life. The soft glow of the morning sun paints the landscape with a gentle light, awakening the senses and rejuvenating the soul.


Watch as the colors of the desert shift and change with the rising sun, transforming the landscape into a breathtaking masterpiece. The tranquility of the early morning offers a sense of serenity and renewal, allowing you to start the day with a peaceful and romantic experience.


Both sunrise and sunset in Wadi Rum provide the perfect backdrop for romantic gestures and cherished moments. Whether it’s a spontaneous kiss, heartfelt declarations of love, or simply holding hands in quiet awe, the beauty of the desert ignites a sense of romance and creates memories that will last a lifetime.


To enhance your romantic experience, consider opting for a private desert tour or arranging a special desert dining experience under the starlit sky. The Bedouins can assist in creating a personalized and intimate setting, ensuring that your romantic getaway is everything you envisioned and more.


So, whether you choose to witness the captivating sunset or embrace the tranquility of the sunrise, let the beauty of Wadi Rum inspire and ignite your romantic spark.


Tasting Traditional Bedouin Cuisine

When camping in Wadi Rum, one of the highlights of your experience will undoubtedly be the opportunity to sample traditional Bedouin cuisine. Bedouin food reflects the simplicity of their nomadic lifestyle, focusing on hearty and flavorful dishes that have sustained them for generations in the desert.


A typical Bedouin meal is centered around communal eating, fostering a sense of togetherness and hospitality. Sitting on patterned rugs or cushions, you’ll gather around a large tray called a Sajj, which is filled with an array of mouthwatering dishes. Prepare your taste buds to embark on a culinary journey through the heart of Bedouin culture.


Mansaf is considered the national dish of Jordan and is a must-try when visiting Wadi Rum. This savory and aromatic dish consists of tender lamb cooked with fermented dried yogurt called Jameed and served over fragrant rice. Mansaf is often garnished with nuts and accompanied by a rich and tangy sauce made from yogurt and spices. The flavors and textures combine to create a truly unforgettable dining experience.


Another popular Bedouin dish is Zarb, a method of cooking that involves burying the food in an underground sand oven. The result is succulent and tender meat, typically lamb or chicken, seasoned with an array of traditional spices. The smoky flavors resulting from the unique cooking technique add a distinct taste to the dish.


Bedouin cuisine also includes a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. One such dish is Galayet bandora, a simple yet delicious tomato stew served with bread. The use of fresh ingredients and aromatic spices elevates this humble dish to new heights of flavor.


Throughout your camping experience, you’ll also have the opportunity to try Bedouin tea, a central part of their culture. This aromatic tea is infused with herbs such as sage and marjoram and sweetened with sugar. Sip on this comforting beverage as you relax by the campfire or engage in conversations with your Bedouin hosts.


Be sure to save room for desserts like Atayef, a sweet pancake stuffed with nuts, or Basbousa, a semolina cake soaked in syrup. These treats provide the perfect ending to a traditional Bedouin feast.


Tasting traditional Bedouin cuisine in Wadi Rum is not only a treat for your taste buds but also a cultural experience that allows you to connect with the culinary traditions of the region. The flavors, scents, and hospitality of Bedouin food will leave a lasting impression, creating memories that go beyond the confines of your camping trip.


Adventure Activities in Wadi Rum

For adventure enthusiasts, Wadi Rum offers a playground unlike any other. From exhilarating hikes to thrilling desert escapes, this desert wonderland offers a wide range of adrenaline-pumping activities that will push your limits and create unforgettable memories.


One of the most popular activities in Wadi Rum is dune bashing. Hop into a 4×4 vehicle driven by an expert Bedouin guide and set off on a thrilling off-road ride through the sandy terrain. Feel the rush as your vehicle maneuvers up and down the towering sand dunes, providing an exhilarating and heart-pounding experience.


If you’re seeking a more intimate exploration of the desert, hiking is the way to go. Wadi Rum offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to different fitness levels and preferences. Trek through the narrow canyons, known as siqs, and marvel at the intricate rock formations and vibrant colors that adorn their walls. Experience the sense of solitude and serenity as you venture deeper into the desert, surrounded by the beauty of nature.


For those with a passion for rock climbing, Wadi Rum offers a paradise of cliffs and peaks just waiting to be conquered. From beginner-friendly routes to more challenging ascents, there are options for climbers of all skill levels. With the guidance of experienced local climbers, you can test your limits and witness awe-inspiring views from the top of Wadi Rum’s majestic rock formations.


If you’re a fan of horseback riding, saddle up and traverse the desert like the Bedouins of old. Ride through the vast expanse of golden sand, taking in the panoramic views and feeling the freedom that comes with galloping along the dunes. It’s a unique way to connect with the desert and experience the nomadic lifestyle firsthand.


For a different perspective of the desert, consider a hot air balloon ride. Float above the expansive desert and witness the breathtaking beauty of Wadi Rum from the sky. As you soar higher, take in the stunning panoramic views and marvel at the intricate patterns and shapes carved by the wind and time.


For the ultimate adventure experience in Wadi Rum, opt for an overnight desert camping and hiking expedition. Embark on a multi-day trek through the desert, camping under the starry sky and exploring the hidden gems of Wadi Rum. Traverse the rugged landscape, navigate through narrow canyons, and witness the ever-changing beauty of the desert as you forge unforgettable memories.


Whatever adventure activity you choose, Wadi Rum offers an unparalleled experience for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. So challenge yourself, embrace the wilderness, and let Wadi Rum ignite your spirit of adventure.


Safety Tips for Camping in Wadi Rum

Camping in Wadi Rum is a thrilling adventure, but it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a memorable and worry-free experience. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind when camping in Wadi Rum:

1. Research and plan: Before your trip, research the area and familiarize yourself with the geography, weather conditions, and potential hazards. Plan your itinerary accordingly to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience. 2. Obtain necessary permits: Make sure to obtain the necessary permits from the Wadi Rum Visitor Center before setting up camp. This will ensure that you are in designated camping areas and complying with regulations. 3. Inform others: Inform someone about your camping plans, including the location and duration of your stay. This way, someone will be aware of your whereabouts in case of emergencies. 4. Come prepared: Pack all necessary camping equipment, including a sturdy tent, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and plenty of water. Additionally, bring extra layers of clothing, as temperatures can drop significantly during the night. 5. Stay hydrated: In the desert environment, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and carry enough water with you during hikes or explorations. 6. Protect yourself from the sun: The desert sun can be intense, so protect yourself by wearing loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen with a high SPF. Seek shade during the hottest parts of the day to avoid heat exhaustion or sunburn. 7. Be aware of wildlife: While the desert may seem empty, there is wildlife to be mindful of. Avoid approaching or disturbing animals, and be cautious of scorpions and snakes. Shake out your shoes and clothing before wearing them to prevent any unwanted encounters. 8. Follow safety guidelines: Follow the guidance of experienced Bedouin guides or tour operators when engaging in adventure activities like dune bashing, rock climbing, or hiking. They have local knowledge and expertise to ensure your safety. 9. Respect the environment: Leave no trace behind. Respect the fragile desert ecosystem by properly disposing of waste, avoiding littering, and refraining from damaging natural or cultural sites. 10. Stay updated on weather conditions: Be aware of any changes in the weather forecast, as desert conditions can quickly change. Be prepared for extreme heat, sandstorms, or sudden temperature drops during the night. By following these safety tips, you can have a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable camping experience in the beautiful desert landscape of Wadi Rum. Remember, your safety is paramount, so always prioritize caution and preparedness.



Camping in Wadi Rum offers an extraordinary adventure for nature enthusiasts, thrill-seekers, and those seeking a unique and immersive experience. From exploring the wonders of the desert to setting up camp under the starry night sky, every moment in Wadi Rum is filled with awe-inspiring beauty and unforgettable experiences.


Whether trekking through narrow canyons, climbing towering rock formations, or simply gazing at the endless expanse of golden sands, Wadi Rum captivates the senses and ignites a sense of wonder. The rugged terrain, ancient rock carvings, and warm Bedouin hospitality combine to create an atmosphere that is both exhilarating and enriching.


Through traditional Bedouin camps or setting up your own camp in the desert, you can immerse yourself in this magnificent landscape and connect with the rich cultural heritage of the Bedouin people. Sharing stories around the campfire, tasting traditional Bedouin cuisine, and stargazing under the wide-open sky are all experiences that create memories that will last a lifetime.


As you embark on adventures in Wadi Rum, it is essential to prioritize safety. Proper planning, preparedness, and following the advice of local guides will ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience in this unique environment.


Wadi Rum invites you to disconnect from the demands of everyday life and connect with nature’s wonders. It teaches us to appreciate the beauty of simplicity, the power of silence, and the incredible resilience of life in the desert.


So, whether you seek thrilling adventures, moments of tranquility, or a deeper understanding of Bedouin culture, Wadi Rum will exceed your expectations. Let the desert embrace you, mesmerize you, and leave an indelible mark on your soul.