Mars on Earth: Wadi Rum Desert


What to say of the Wadi Rum, other than it’s one of the most spectacular natural sights I ever seen. I can’t even find words to describe the experience so I will be counting on my photographs to tell the story better than I ever could using words.

Being in Wadi Rum is like you have literally just landed on Mars or some other alien planet.

We rented a car in Aqaba and drove to Wadi Rum Visitors Center (1 hour drive from Aqaba – light traffic). A standard fee (5 JDs) is charged to all foreign visitors entering the protected area. This fee is used to help local Bedouin communities and pay for the protection of Wadi Rum. After getting our passes, we continued driving to Bedouin Wadi Rum Village located about 8km inside the protected area, from where most of the tours start so you’ll inevitably have to pass through it.

In the village, we met our guide Salman (from Wild Wadi Rum) and jumped into his old school 4×4 Toyota pickup for a scenic off-road drive through the redish otherworldly landscape of the desert. We stopped for some Bedouin hospitality on our way (where you can ride camels if you so wish), visited the various beautiful rock formations, ancient carvings and even tried some sand boarding. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy so the sunset wasn’t as spectacular but still beautiful especially when you are in such serene environment.

After sunset we arrived at the camp where we spent the evening in a traditional Bedouin style, alongside Salman’s family and friends. We had an excellent dinner cooked in the sand, followed by singing and dancing to the sound of lute.

We finished the evening by stargazing under the clear sky and sparkling stars of the Milky Way.

The next morning, after an early breakfast, we continued the off-road adventure tour across marvelous canyons and valleys of the rocky desert, sprinkled with solitary trees and bushes. At times, we stopped for short hikes through the canyons or to explore the extraordinary abundance of ancient landmarks.

At noon we made fire and cooked a simple and tasty meal for all.

…which we ate with much relish from the truck tray.

After lunch, we continued our trip making our next stop at the Mushroom Rock and then stop to enjoy a cup of tea at Lawrence of Arabia’s house, before returning to the village.

The pictures can’t do justice to the beauty of the Wadi Rum Desert, but I can’t see any other way to describe it.

Check out my Instagram for more images!

Useful Tips:

  • The desert can get cold at night, even during the summer months, so it is advisable to carry extra layers to wear.
  • Don’t forget your hat, sunscreen and sunglasses to protect you from the sun.
  • Respect nature, don’t litter and always be polite with the locals.

Many thanks to Salman and Wild Wadi Rum staff for the wonderful experience.


About Author

I'm a keen explorer, wanderer, traveler and photographer with a restless drive for new adventures, experiences and challenges. My mission is to explore the world, document it, and inspire you to do the same.

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