When visiting Wadi Rum remember to bring something warm to wear at night as temperatures can vary from a daytime average of 32° Celsius to 1° Celsius at night.
By far the best way to explore the area is by foot and there are excellent opportunities for unusual treks. Many of these will take you down virtually unexplored canyons, or ‘siqs’, where ancient Thamudic inscriptions and drawings can be seen carved into the rocks, and Nabataean steps can be found leading to higher places. Also to be discovered are Lawrence’s Well, a Nabataean temple, desert oasis, and amazing rock bridges. Everywhere are breathtaking panoramic views and a sense of deep tranquillity.
For experienced rock-climbers there are climbs reaching 1,700m, and vary between Grade 3 and 5 in difficulty. The rocks are sandstone and excellent climbs are possible, often exceeding the quality and length of those in places such as the Italian Dolomites. Climbers must enquire in advance from the Visitors' Centre, as climbs are restricted and must be accompanied by an experienced Bedouin guide.
Although a common way to explore Wadi Rum is by Jeep safari, many of the more secluded areas are inaccessible to vehicles. Camels offer a more authentic and eco-friendly mode of transport, as does horse-riding. Camel and horse caravans can be arranged through the Visitors' Centre and include trips between Aqaba, Wadi
Rum and Petra. Horse-riding tours are available from
independent tour operators and should be booked in
Because of its unique ecosystem, Wadi Rum is a great place for bird watchers as it is a route for bird migration, the spring and autumn being the best times of the year for this activity. There are a great number of different species to be seen either nesting in the rock faces or soaring on the thermals high above the cliffs. Vultures, Eagles and other larger species of birds can often be seen here too. It's a good idea to bring a pair of binoculars with you.
Night walking in Wadi Rum during the summer months is a surreal experience, but not for the fainthearted. Only experienced walkers should undertake this activity as it is easy to become disoriented in this vast wilderness. However, those who do it are always deeply impressed by the experience.
Hot air ballooning
This is also an unforgettable way to view Wadi Rum. Ballooning trips are available during April to June and September to December. The balloons carry up to eight passengers and lift off early in the mornings, when the winds and thermals are right.
For further information on balloon flights, parachuting, and microlight flying in Wadi Rum and Aqaba, contact
the Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan - P.O.Box 1853, Aqaba 77110 Jordan.
Tel: +962 3 205 8050
Fax: +962 3 205 8052, or visit their