Wadi Rum was and still my favorite place to visit in Jordan, especially for camping and spending the night, and because it is my favorite place, I have created a special trip tour for two days trip that takes you to Petra
and move at evening time to Wadi Rum for camping over Rum valley desert, by this way the tourist will visit Petra and spend a day , but instead of taking just Petra Day Trip , it would include Wadi Rum as well .
I even added a bounce to the trip in order to encourage tourists and visitors to take this trip , by visiting Gulf of Aqaba after completing the Jeep Tour at Rum valley , taking the dinner and a quick walk at Aqaba public beach , and moving afterwards toward Dead Sea area through Jordan valley highway , instead of returning back from the same way “Desert Highway”, So you would have the chance to visit 4 places in Two days , Petra , Wadi Rum camping and taking the Jeep tour at the valley , visiting Gulf of Aqaba at Midday , and the Dead Sea at evening time and watching the sunset before returning back to Amman.
I even also added to all that taking of Wadi Al Mujib siq trail, which is one of the most wonderful adventure places in Jordan (water –wet- siq trail ).
Even though I had the chance to visit Wadi Rum for camping tens of times just during the past 12 months, but every time I was camping on Rum valley, I was able to find a new subject related to a shining part of Wadi Rum to write about , staring of the quiet, peace and calmness that you would feel at Wadi Rum, enjoying night times by setting a fire camp and watching the stars, enjoying astrophotography and taking some shots to the milky way ,living that feeling that you are not on earth anymore and that you might be walking between canyons on Mars or on another planet, and at last , but not the least watching and exploring the amazing geological formations of Rum mountains and rocks, every time I was on Wadi Rum, I used to notice a new strange part of the geological structure of mountains , rocks and even sand,and I was wondering if I would be able to describe this and write about it in a descriptive way , wondering if I would be able to take a photo that can show the idea of what I’m going to talk about, and before I start talking about the exotic and unique geological structure of Wadi Rum , I need to go through a quick description of Wadi Rum in general : Geologist think that this Wadi (from the Arabic word valley) resulted from a great crack on the surface of the earth caused by an enormous upheaval which shattered mammoth pieces of granite and sandstone ridges from the mountains of Afro-Arabian shield.
Some of the ridges are a thousand feet high and topped with domes worn smooth by the desert winds. Everywhere, in this timeless and empty place, are indications of man's' presence since the earliest known times Archaeologists are certain that Wadi Rum area was inhabited in the Prehistoric periods, mainly the Neolithic period between the 8th and 6th centuries B.C., and was known as Wadi Ream.
Fresh water springs made Rum a meeting center for caravans heading towards Syria and Palestine from Arabia. Neolithic flints, Iron age pottery and minaean graffiti indicate settlement of the area prior to the Nabataeans. Before Islam, it served as the gathering place for the tribes of Aad, Thamud. Lihyan and Main.
The Nabataeans, however, surpassed those early tribes in trade activities and monumental achievements. Recent excavations in the south have uncovered a Paleolithic settlement dating from 4500 B.C.,
on a hill, at the foot to jebel Rum, lies the AIIat Temple originally built by the Nabataeans in the first Century B.C., the Nabataean temple is a mere five minute walk from the rest house. A small village to the northwest of the temple was founded by the Nabataeans including a bath complex. Thamudic inscriptions, at the foot of the cliffs on both sides of the main Wadi, can be found in ancient stone constructions.
These inscriptions, on the temple confirm the pre Islamic involvement of the Arabian tribes in the construction of the sanctuary. The Temple was taken over by Thamudic graffiti covers both earlier Nabataean inscriptions, walls and columns.
Wadi Rum was the headquarters of Prince Faisal bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence during World War I to fight for the Arab Revolt against the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Lawrence became a legendary figure for his key role in the fight for the Arab cause. He made his home in this magical area. The mountain pictured on many photos is aptly known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom named by T.E. Lawrence and was the inspiration for the title of his book of the same name.
One of the strange effects that you can see on stones and mountains structure and I did not find any scientific explanation of it is the melting-effect, where you can see all edges of a mountain as if they were milted , and that’s why I used to call this melting-effect
Another strange thing you can see obviously on some of Wadi Rum mountains is the presence of different kind of stones at same mountains, scattered in a strange way, like seeing of Basalt stones , and this is in simple words is a volcanic origin stones, and seeing of Granite stones and rocks, some of this Granite is so much huge ,even some parts of a mountain is mainly consisting of this Granite, and the Basalt stones are sitting in between , other mountains are completely Basalt and the Granite is sitting in between, and between this and that you can see lamp stones here and there, and of course melting-effect is so obvious here as well, where you can see some of the Granite rocks melted here and there ,,,
even I am not a geologist , but I was able to distinguish between more than five of different stones types and formations of some of Wadi Rum mountains during my jeep tour visits and camping here and there.
Even though Jordan is a small country, and most parts of it are deserted, but it has for sure some places and sites that you cannot see on other countries, In fact, most of my long - Jordan Day tours - visitors have noticed the dramatically change from one place to another , like when starting from Amman , around 1000 meters above sea level , with moderate temperature , moving to the dead sea area , where we need to go down for around 1400 meters , and the temperature gets up in less than an hour more than 10c, driving for couple hours through Jordan valley highway, and gets up once again through unbelievable mountains structure, passing through some of the natural reserves , and keep driving through the desert highway , till we reach finally one of the best places ever in Jordan for relaxing, feeling and watching the beautiful desert nature , I mean Wadi Rum or Rum Valley …
Wadi Rum (Moon Valley)
Wadi Rum : One of the world’s outstanding desert landscapes… situated in the friendly and peaceful nation of Jordan … truly breathtaking scenery and a chance to experience desert life and Bedouin culture, which offers spectacular vistas of towering cliffs and bold rock formations etched by erosion into other-worldly forms.
Lawrence of Arabia was a well-known visitor to the Wadi Rum, and there are a number of sites here associated with him through tradition or historical proof. But generally there is little in the way of construction, or even vegetation, with only the nomadic Bedouins able to scratch an existence out of the red desert sands.
A maze of monolithic rocks capes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1750 m creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers’ .Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces and explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000-year-old rock drawing and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store
Wadi Rum Activities : Wadi Rum Camping , Rum Jeep Tours , Trekking & Hiking
Location of Wadi Rum :
Wadi Rum lies in the south western corner of Jordan 58 kilometers north of the coastal town of Aqaba. It can be reached easily by main roads from Amman (3.5hrs), Aqaba (1hr) and Petra (1.5hrs). Car-hire and bus tours can be arranged through hotels and travel agents and taxis can be negotiated from Aqaba and Petra. Daily internal air-flights operate between Amman and Aqaba.
Public transport is very limited and information has to be researched. Rum is a protected area covering 720 square kilometers of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. Huge mountains of sandstone and granite emerge, sheer-sided, from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 1700 meters and more. Narrow canyons and fissures cut deep into the mountains and many conceal ancient rock drawings etched by the peoples of the desert over millennia. Bedouin tribes still live among the mountains of Rum and their large goat-hair tents are a special feature of the landscape
Recognizing the unique natural and cultural history of Wadi Rum and the vital importance of tourism to the local economy, the government of Jordan declared Wadi Rum a protected area in 1998. With support from the World Bank they commissioned the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, a national NGO, to prepare conservation and build a team of local people to manage the area. This team is now under the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and is pioneering ways to restore and safeguard Rum's sensitive desert habitats from ever-increasing human pressure.
Things to see & Do in Wadi Rum:
You can explore Wadi Rum in several ways: by jeep, by camel, by horse or on foot (hiking) and you can stay overnight in a Bedouin tent and gaze at the amazing panoply of stars.
Jeep tours at Wadi Rum: Is the quickest way to see the well-known scenic and archaeological sites. There are 19 of these sites of interest and it is possible to visit any combination in a single tour. Tours start from the visitor center, where you can choose one of 9 tour packages, lasting from 2 hours to full day. Longer trips can be arranged. Most vehicles are pick-up trucks operated by local Bedouin cooperatives. They are characterful and fun but only have modest levels of comfort. Private 4 x 4 vehicles and tour company fleet-vehicles can enter Rum, provided they follow all regulations.
Camel ride at Wadi Rum: are a popular activity and short trips can be arranged on demand from the visitor centre., which last between 1hr to full day. Overnight trips and long treks are possible on request. A small number of operators offer pre-booked horseback tours.
Wadi rum camping:All our Bedouin Tents are weather proof and will keep you cool in summertime and warm in winter. The goat hair design is unique and will provide you with a very comfortable sleep. All rooms have a bed, mattress, and blanket and are fitted with power points and lights with power from our solar panels. The tents all have one door and a window with amazing views of the surrounding desert. Inside the tent have nice patterns on the walls and ceiling. All tents are located within 100m of the main communal tent where you will eat your meals and hangout with others.
Wadi Rum Night Camp : Fire Evening - : And this what you won't find it offered or presented by any tourism company in Jordan , or on other places ,,, the Personal touch that we deal with all our guests can be noticed very clear on this part ,,, where we will move after dinner time out of the camp to an isolated part "beside the camp" , and where we will set our private camp on that spot , all required tools and equipment is prepared and you will notice that yourself if you had the chance to take that part of the trip (Ice box with cold water and cold drinks , Wood for Fire "usually wood is not available on Rum area , so it's prepared and ready on the car ", chairs , etc. ... "This part is included by default with Mustafa SUV Offer only, cause sedan vehicles won't be able to go inside Rum reserve, and usually drivers are not familiar with Rum Desert driving conditions and routes"