Bedouin camps follow each other in the Wadi Rum desert. How to navigate through the abundance of offers with services that are not always manageable and at variable prices? We tell you everything.
The promise of a devastatingly beautiful desert and nights marked by millions of stars is attracting more and more tourists to Wadi Rum. Bedouin camps follow each other, symbols of the alliance between the nomadic lifestyle and modern comfort. When one observes them on hotel reservation pages, nothing seems to distinguish them. Everywhere, the same rows of bungalows covered in gray wool, the same pictures by the fire and sometimes panoramic tents to plant your nose in the stars. But from the night in a protected cave to the camp with swimming pool, from the small cabin without bath to the panoramic tent, the accommodation options are many. And the benefits are not always clear. We tell you everything you need to know to offer you the escape of your dreams in this majestic setting, which is Wadi Rum.
SEE THE FILE – Jordan: the travel guide Figaro
What to start with?
Explore the pink desert in a 4×4, follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia on a camel, cross gorges on foot, climb to the top of the Jordan, take a picture of yourself over a natural arch, Wadi Rum offers all these very photogenic options . If it is possible to book a guide during his visit to the Wadi Rum Visitor Center, in practice it is the camps themselves who arrange the excursions in the desert. These are preferably performed on board a pick-up that departs its passengers from one natural area to another, for a few hours or an entire day. The vast majority of camps are set up in the heart of the reserve and its major attractions, so you can get a good overview of Wadi Rum in three hours.
To discover this desert in a more original way, you can choose a hike between the mountains, a hike, climbing with rappelling or a night in a bivouac to the sound of silence. This requires prior arrangement by contacting the camp directly or a local travel agent. They will summon a camel driver or a native Wadi Rum guide. Once installed in your camp, you have no alternative. The excursions will be organized by him and the meals not included in the stay will be billed to you, sometimes at high prices. In any case, it is advisable to specify your expectations in detail, to avoid unpleasant surprises and to negotiate the service as well as possible. The local agency allows you to have a conversation partner in case of a mistake or dispute.
Does the location matter?
The first camps took up residence south of the small village of Rum, in the cave of the rocky bars that stretch across the reserve. The intense development of tourism since the 2000s has seen more and more camps flourish and develop ever further. From now on, the new camps will be set up on the edge of the nature park, around the village of Ad-Disah.
With the exception of a few XXL camps located along the road and intended for groups led by tour operators, the Bedouin seek, above all, places sheltered from the wind. The camps nestle in the crevices of the mountains, on the edge of wide valleys or in sandy streams and always offer a spectacular view.
What level of comfort should you expect?
From a simple sleeping bag placed on a mattress to a panoramic tent with terrace and whirlpool, there is something for every adventure and every wallet. The vast majority of camps are equipped with bungalows with two or three single beds, hung with thick goat wool blankets to block from wind and rain. Many offer a shared toilet block, which has the benefit of reducing the environmental impact, but is less convenient for nocturnal emergencies.
Each camp has a dining room, often set up in the style of Bedouin tents, an open fire for evening gatherings and one or more outdoor spaces for relaxation. The Bedouins have understood that not all travelers dream of returning to the Scout years, and the recent camps move exclusively with individual bathrooms and reversible air conditioning. A new trend seems to be tackling this bit of desert with the look of “bubble” tents.
The tent “bubblereally a good option?
These plastic geodes allow you to enjoy sumptuous starry nights from your bed. However, the large surcharge does not always justify this extended desert experience. Some bubbles have only a limited transparent surface, located in front of the bed and not above it. The design of the tents is crucial. Make sure they are not facing each other, with the risk of observing your neighbors instead of the Milky Way. The star tissue extends more intensely from an overhanging position than from the bottom of the goats.
Visitor center. Such. : +962 3 209 0600. Admission to the reserve: € 6.50. Possibility to book a 4×4 or camel excursion for the same day or the following days.
Enjoy Jordan. Al Gardens Street, Amman. Such. : +962 5 553 4544. This French-speaking travel agency collaborates with several camps and local guides in Wadi Rum and adapts to your wishes to organize your stay in classic mode, hiking or climbing.
Enjoy Desert Camp. Such. : +962 77 777 0520. A reasonable number of tents with bathroom and air conditioning, a wonderful welcome, a guide dedicated to hiking, great meals and above all a spectacular terrace that opens out to a wide wadi and the mountains of sandstone. From € 45.
Wadi Rum Nomads. Such. : +962 79 546 71 90. This inviting camp with basic tents is sheltered between the red cliffs of Wadi Rum. It offers a formula without bad surprises, including excursions, meals and the opportunity to sleep under the stars for the more adventurous. From € 180.
Bubble Luxotel Wadi Rum. Such. : +962 3 215 6600. The most luxurious option in Wadi Rum has taken possession of a desert stretch which is still little utilized near the village of Ad-Disah. The panoramic odors with terrace and whirlpool give a feeling of exclusivity. From 360 € half board.
BECOME A GUIDE
Salam Abdallah Zalabieh. Such. : +962 79 213 8841. ENSM-certified mountain guide, Salam takes novice or experienced climbers to the attack of the sandstone and limestone mountains. He speaks a few words of French.