The spectacular dessert, which is famous for its iconic beauty & harsh yet stunning landscape, ‘Wadi Rum’ is a true gem of Jordan’s heritage! This 74,000 hectare property features extraordinary landscape consisting of valleys cut into the sandstone & granite rocks. The splendid range of natural gorges, towering cliffs, natural arches, caverns & ramps dramatically improve its aesthetics! The walls of the cliffs feature around 25,000 rock carvings & 20,000 inscriptions & petroglyphs that affirm to 12,000 years human habitation in & around this site.
‘Wadi Rum’, which is also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, sits in southern Jordan at 60 km to the east of Aquaba. Technically speaking, it is a series of about 2 km wide valleys that runs north to south spanning 130km of distance. It is the largest ‘Wadi’ in Jordan & its base is set 900 meters up the sea level. ‘Jebel Rum’ (1734 m) is the tallest peak in ‘Wadi Rum’ & stands as the second tallest peak in Jordan after ‘Jabal Umm ad Dami’ which soars 1,840 meters high & is located 30 km to the south of Wadi.
‘Wadi Rum’ came into the limelight during the ‘Arab Revolt’ of 1917-18, when the British officer T. E. Lawrence, who later on became famous as the ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ passed through it on several occasions. The site was declared as the ‘World Heritage site’ by UNESCO in the year 1998.
THINGS TO DO:
Sight Seeing: The stunning landscape that radically changes its color in sync with the changing angle of sun rays is the most striking feature of this otherwise parched desert. Exploring the desert is the most loved activity in ‘Wadi Rum’. Guided trips are arranged by the local Bedouin people, known for their noble hospitality, which include overnight stays in Bedouin camps & delicious Bedouin cuisines. The desert houses many natural attractions such as the ‘Lawrence’s Spring’, ‘Shalalah Spring’, ‘Big Rock arch’, ‘Red sand dunes’, ‘Khaz’ali Canyon’, etc. It also features man-made attractions including the ‘Anfashieh Inscriptions’, the ‘Nabatean Temple’ & the ‘Lawrence’s House’!
Desert Safari: The site can be explored by opting for 4-wheel drives. However, many tourists love hiking in the harsh conditions through the desert. Alternatively the ‘Camel Safari’ & ‘Arabian Horse Safari’ is also hugely popular among the tourists.
Camping: Camping amidst the barren landscape under the open sky entices many tourists. Watching the sky full of innumerable sparkling stars in the dark night & the spectacular sights of sunrise & sunset are thoroughly enchanting experiences.
Rock Climbing: ‘Wadi Rum’ is hugely popular among the rock climbers & trekkers, thanks to the sheer rock walls of its sandstone mountains! The rock climbing has played a heroic role in the increasing the popularity of this site. The area has now become Jordan’s one of the most important tourist destinations & its attracts hordes of foreign tourists who gather here to experience the thrill of climbing vertical cliffs & walls of this dazzling landscape!
Best Season To Visit:
Early Spring (March & April) & the late Autumn (October & November) are the best seasons to explore the beauty of ‘Wadi Rum’. In winter, it can rain, whereas in summer (May to September), the temperature during daytime can reach past 400 C. However, the night temperature can drastically fall to 00 C.
Apparently, describing the beauty of the ‘Wadi Rum’ by a series of words or sentences can never do justice to its actual mesmerizing appearance. This astonishing desert as much as to be experienced as it is to be seen!