Desert camping: Wadi Rum in photos

Jordan’s Wadi Rum was my first ever desert experience. Even better: I was able to camp out there under the stars, lulled into a restless sleep by bedouins snoring deeply. Yes.

Wadi Rum desert

Ooh, ahh.
This all happened after a luxurious stay at the Feynan Ecolodge. My little media entourage and I clamoured aboard some overland trucks and made our way deep into the desert, in one of the most exhilarating and slightly terrifying drives of my life. There’s nothing like a few hairpin turns overlooking deep valleys while Arabic music blares from a beat-up Ford’s cassette player to make you truly feel ALIVE.

Free Candie in Wadi Rum

We made a few stops here and there – ramshackle shops and cafes and the likes – but judging by the abandoned campsites, Wadi Rum had fallen onto hard times. The tension in neighbouring Syria had caused a drastic decline in Jordanian tourism. Most people seem to think this part of the world is borderless or something.

Anyway. Our plan was to make our way to Captain’s Desert Camp, in the heart of Wadi Rum. But not before stopping to watch the sun set. There are few places I’ve experienced where the silence is so thorough you can feel it. I’ve written about it in Iceland, and Newfoundland. I LOVE those silences. Of course, being on a trip with other journalistic types meant such silences are interrupted with camera shutters firing off. It’s how we roll.

The camp is about as luxurious as you can get for a camp. We were assigned to various tents, but I opted to sleep out near the campfire for fear of creepy crawlies hovering in the corners of my tarpaulin.

Wadi Rum, Jordan

(It didn’t really make a difference, I suppose. When we were seated near the campfire, one of the other writers said, “That beetle is MASSIVE.” I couldn’t see it. “Where?!” I squealed. “It’s over there,” he said, pointing off in the distance. “But it’s big enough I can see it from here.” NOPE NOPE NOPE.)

Anyway, our charming Bedouin hosts danced around the campfire, clapping and singing, until finally we were riled up enough to join them in a dance. By the time we all collapsed trying to catch our breaths, our epic feast for the night was ready.

Dancing around the campfire in Wadi Rum

I do enjoy me a good meal cooked beneath the earth. This is “zarb” – a traditional Bedouin meal where a large pit is dug in the ground, a fire is made, and then a massive tray of meat, chicken, and veggies is cooked up. Unearthing it is like a celebration. I could hardly eat half a plateful; there was SO MUCH FOOD.

Music in Wadi Rum

I didn’t sleep great. Camping in Wadi Rum is hard. I woke up entirely congested, and I knew I must have been snoring like a monster. I could hardly breathe. In the early morning, I could hear the Bedouins and other people stirring, and I definitely wasn’t the loudest snorer in the camp. I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a dry desert.

The finale of our trip was a slightly terrifying but awesome camel ride across sand dunes and sandstone-pillared landscapes.

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My camel was incredibly grumpy, and was not afraid to show his distaste for gingers. He tried to bite my face, and then he tried to eat my hair. I did manage to get a camel selfie, however.

Camel selfie!

But sitting on a camel while it’s running? TERRIFYING. I’ll stick to horseback. Maybe.

  • January 26 2015

    Um, when did you go to Jordan? Last year? I love reading about your experience but I really dislike when travel bloggers write about things way way after they happened that it seems like it was just dropped out of thin air. Can you clarify when you took this trip? Thanks. And it looks gorgeous btw.

    • January 26 2015

      Sorry Lynn, I always try to give some indicator of time but I guess it slipped my mind! This was about a year ago. Agh I seriously still have so many stories and images I wanna share from Jordan and Iceland! They were such great trips

  • January 29 2015

    I love all creatures of the earth, but I have to say that I am not partial to camels. They are mean and cocky. I would rather just let them do their camel thing and I’ll stick with horses too. Regardless, it looks like you had a pretty awesome trip!

    • January 29 2015

      LOL. Mean and cocky is definitely the right word choice!

  • January 29 2015
    Lauren @BonVoyageLauren

    You’re killing me with that first picture. And the last one. A+

    • January 30 2015

      It’s a pretty damned photogenic place!

  • February 03 2015

    spending the night at the desert really is one of the things everyone should do at least once! I slept like a baby but at the same time I couldn’t move because I had most of my clothes on! ;)

    • February 03 2015

      hahaha you’re right, it is COLD