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It was a long night; Jon with pain while I was worried. But there was nothing to do. We could have stayed at the a hotel and relaxed, but Jon gritted his teeth and held on. Those damn kidney stones would not ruin our plans!

Next morning our driver Ibraheem came and picked us up and took us to Wadi Rum Visitor Center where we met Saleh. In Wadi Rum our plan was a day and a night out in the desert with a Bedouin. We found a small family company;

Saleh Musa Sweilheen is a Bedouin from the Huwaitat tribe, descendants of the Nabateans who built Petra. He’s lived in Wadi Rum all his life and his parents before him. His grandmother’s brother, Selim, who died in the village in 2009, is believed to have been over 100 years old.  Saleh has been guiding visitors around Rum for nearly 20 years. Read more here.

Saleh’s home
“Seven Pillars of Wisdom”

As I wrote we met Saleh and he had already taken care of the Wadi Rum entrance fee (5JOD), so we jumped up in the back of his car and he took us to his home where we met his lovely wife who served us some tea before we went on to our hike up to Lawrence’s Spring just above Rum village. It was an easy walk (20 min each way) and it’s one of the most special locations in Wadi Rum with a genuine link to Lawrence of Arabia.  It’s called Ash Shallala. Read more here.

Lawrence’s spring
Rum village

When we got down we met another Bedouin with two camels – these two camels were for our hour long ride. We wanted to do this for the experience of being in a desert on a camel. And it was a great experience! Us two, two camels and a Bedouin surrounded by the magnificent landscape of Wadi Rum; a monolithic rockscapes rise up from the desert floor, sheer cliffs and silence… totally silence… and we enjoyed the bumpy ride into the desert.

The “pyramid” in the background

An hour later we got off our camels and met up with Saleh again. It was time to explore the desert by 4×4. On our day trip we had the company of a family of four from Australia, living in Oman. Jon and I sat in the back of Saleh’s car while the family drove on their own after us.

We had an amazing time exploring the desert, climbing up to the rock‘bridges’, the breathtaking views, the red hot sand dunes, a nice lunch out in the desert, the sun, a quiet cool canyon… Yes everything was just perfect! (Too bad about the kidney stones that made ​​problems for Jon so that he had to take it a little easy).



The “mushroom”


Walking over the little bridge
Jon got to drive Saleh’s car
The big bridge
Saleh, me and the Australian lady on the bridge I don’t know what we do, but I’m sure we’re not dancing! lol

After several hours we came to the camp we were spending the rest of the evening and the night. We drank more delightful tea, watched the sunset and ate Zaarb for dinner (Zaarb is the traditional Bedouin meal cooked in something like an oven/ barbecue under the sand. Served with rice, vegetarian dish, salads & bread.)

The Bedouin camp to the left



Sunset in the desert

Beautiful sunset in the desert
In the Bedouin camp with Saleh

Dinner time!


The next day after breakfast we were driven back to the Visitor Center where we were picked up by Ibraheem’s cousin. But more about that day later 🙂


We had such a great experience out in the desert. A day and a night in Wadi Rum is something you have to do if you’re going to Jordan. The scenery is breathtaking, the feeling of being there is just.. Oh, so fantastic! We had a GREAT time. And we want to recommend a tour with Saleh.
On their web page it says: “Saleh is the perfect guide for families, for those who care about history and environment, for those with more time to experience everything Rum has to offer and for those who want an individual tour”. And we want to confirm this 🙂


For our previous post about our time in Aqaba, click here!

9 thoughts on “The magic of Wadi Rum

  1. So fun! There’s something special about desert colors against the blue sky. Good on you both for pushing though – wish I always felt 100% on the road, but if I waited for that I’d be missing out a lot!

  2. It sure looks like a magical place!

    Gorgeous photos too. I felt like I was right there in the desert.

    Jordan is definitely on my bucket list and can’t wait to visit. TY for sharing!

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