It's a desert. Use your common sense!
The vast, vast majority of visitors visit Wadi Rum on organised jeep or camel tours, or use local guides. In those cases, you just need to be aware that Wadi Rum *is* a desert and thus very dry indeed (air as well as land). And it is also very hot indeed in the summer months. So use commonsense.
* You'll need plenty of sun protection, plenty of water, sunglasses and headgear of some sort. Even in the winter months.
* Lip balm is useful year-round. The dry air quickly dries out lips, especially if you are travelling by jeep.
*Sandals aren't a brilliant choice: sand is not comfortable between the toes! Much better to wear lightweight walking shoes or boots.
* It can be very chilly indeed in Wadi Rum in winter, and very chilly indeed year-round when the sun sets. If you are there in either period take clothes you can layer.
* If you are wild-camping in the desert itself (with or without a guide) take a torch, a lighter for burning toilet paper and a small trowel for burying your personal waste (I do not mean litter...hat should go back with you!).
* There are both scorpions and poisonous snakes in the area, though it is very highly unlikely that you'll come across them. Don't lift up stones, don't poke about in crevices and shake out your shoes/boots after overnighting.
- Hiking and Walking
Of cars, jeeps, trucks and camels.....
Wadi Rum is a truly magnificent place but it could very easily be ruined entirely if people do not respect its unique environment and its the fragility.....and behave appropriately.
There are two zones in Wadi Rum: the free access zone and the wilderness zone. Vehicle numbers are restricted in the wilderness zone, with access on foot, by camel or by horse preferred.
Cars: If you want to take your own (or a hired) 4x4 into the Wadi Rum protected area be aware that you must a) first register at the Visitor Centre and pay the appropriate fees and b) always stick to the designated trackways.
If you've hired a vehicle + driver you should also encourage him to stay on the designated trackways.
Jeeps Jeep/Toyota truck tours are operated by the Bedouin and controlled by the authorities. They begin from the Visitor Centre.
It's probably not a good idea to take one of these tours if you have a bad back. The ride is not excessively bumpy but it *is* bumpy (the desert isn't tarmac-smooth!), with the occasional sudden lurch from one side to another.
If you can't climb into and out of a truck which does not have a drop-down backflap then you'll certainly have difficulty with the Toyota trucks. Some drivers will allow you to travel inside the cab with them though I suspect that might be unbearably hot in the summer months.
Camels Camels are also 'operated' by the Bedouin and supervised by the Wadi Rum authorities. You can hire them, plus a guide/camel-driver, to explore on your own or you can take a ride from one point on the jeep/truck tour to another.
Camels don't actually spit; they regurgitate the contents of one of their stomachs. Not nice. They can also bite. If a 'tourist' camel is likely to do either you'll probably see it wearing a muzzle. The crotchety tourist camel in the photo has a very pretty crocheted pink muzzle.
When walking, camels have a side-to-side swaying motion which some people find uncomfortable, sometimes even causing motion sickness (that's me!). But it is getting up and 'sitting down' which seems to cause most people problems. A camel gets up back legs first, so hang on to the front and back saddle horns and lean back. Then be prepared to quickly lean forward as the front legs come up. Do the opposite when the time comes to get off. Just hold on tightly to those saddle horns and try not to shriek (which is always somewhat embarrassing).
Most visitors ride camels astride, like a horse (though camels are much fatter than horses). 'Professional' riders (including those as young as 5 or 6), wrap the right leg around the saddle horn and tuck the right foot under the left leg. Your choice....
- Hiking and Walking
Scamming In Wadi Rum
While being in Wadi Rum, be especially careful. Recently there increased a number of cases when foreign girls and women were scammed by the local Bedouins. Through charm, sweet words and beautiful lies they try to take all your money. Scamming is growing very rapidly in this region.
Also, planning your trip to Jordan, be especially careful dealing with such volunteer/work exchange sites as www.couchsurfing.org, www.hospitalityclub.org, www.helpx.net, and www.workaway.info, as they are often used by the Jordanian scammers. Bedouins will kindly invite you to stay at their home. In exchange of food and accommodation you will be offered to help them with the tourists and website. Then slowly you will find yourself being in love and even in romance relationship with one of them.
If it has already happened, you are in danger! Contact the Tourist Police immediately and stop the connection at once. Don’t trust these people. It is for your own safety.
- Budget Travel
- Women's Travel
Wadi Rum Desert Camps Fool Tourists
Most of the camps in Wadi Rum listed on TripAdvisor, Routard and other Internet resources don’t exist in life. Their “owners” together with the help of their girlfriends, who write and speak good English, create a fake website and post a lot of self promoting reviews in order to attract naive tourists. As a result, the last find themselves in problems and got scammed.
That is why, before going to Wadi Rum, insist the desert camps on sending you A SCANNED COPY OF THEIR LICENSE, as 99,9% of them don’t have any.
Have this in mind before booking any tour, and please don’t let Bedouins fool you with fake reviews and nemorous self-compliments.
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
How to survive in Wadi Rum
1) Have your head, legs (no shorts), and arms (wear a long-sleeved shirt) covered.
2) Bring the solar protection cream (coefficient at least 30) and apply it at the beginning to all exposed parts. If you feel you skin is dry, apply again.
3) Bring more water than you think you can dring and do not be shy. I needed 2 liters, but it was April and not so hot.
4) Wear trekking shoes.
BRING ALL YOUR LITTER BACK!!!!! and better also take someone's litter.
Don't challenge the desert alone
To travel in Wadi Rum a four-wheel drive car is compulsory. Do not challenge the desert alone, as getting lost there could become dramatically fatal.
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