October 2019 • Canon 80D camera
UNESCO World Heritage site
Wadi Rum Protected Area
Wadi Rum was the second reason why I wanted to come to Jordan (The first being to see The Treasury at Petra). This outworldy landscape that I had seen in photos and movies motivated me to one day go and experience this place. The martian-esque landscape of orange sand against the towering high mountain rock cliffs is mind-blowing. The expansive landscape stretches till the eye can see. Above, wonderful blue skies during the day, followed by some stunning sunsets. The sky at night is something to behold – stars lighting up the whole sky like you are there standing in space! It's no wonder that Wadi Rum is a UNESCO listed world heritage site.
It's also interesting to note that Wadi Rum has some cool areas hidden in rock cliff valleys. They have provided shelter and shade for humans in this region for thousands of years. There are canyons, like Khazali Canyon, that are covered with Thamudic, Nabatean, and Islamic inscriptions. Petroglyphs can also be seen, depicting humans and animals. There is evidence that Wadi Rum has had continual human habitation for over 12,000 years. While you are visiting Wadi Rum, you stay in traditional Bedouin camps, allowing you to get a feel of the local culture.
جبل أم عشرين
The following are some of the movies that were filmed in Wadi Rum: The Martian (2015), Prometheus (2012), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Mission to Mars (2000), and Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
After spending 3 days, I can honestly say the photos and movies don't do justice to how phenomenal Wadi Rum turned out to be. The amount of rock cliffs, canyons and bridges surprised me, and made exploring the desert more interesting. It is unbelievable hot, and so you only venture through the desert excursions in the early morning or late afternoon. Some tours can arrange some night excursions.
During the day when it is hot you spend time relaxing at camp. Bring books, iPad etc to keep you occupied if you plan to have some time alone. There is a communal tent where you can spend time with friends and other people at the campsite. In the evenings, you get to taste traditional bedouin cusine that has been cooked under the dessert! Best to bring a fleece or some layer of clothing to wear at night as it can get quite cold. Also, be careful about wearing white clothes or shoes! It is really difficult to get them cleaned perfectly white, after they have been stained in the orange desert sand.