If there’s one word to describe the experience of adventuring in Wadi Rum, it would be extreme. Temperatures in the largely inhospitable desert of Jordan shoot from high to low, while the arid air and sandy winds prove harsh against the skin. The burnt sienna sand dunes contrasted by azure skies and craggy cliffs will leave you in awe. The sunsets seem to go on for days.
It was this intensity that attracted me to Wadi Rum, but I didn’t want to give up all creature comforts on vacation. Fortunately, an evening at Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp gives travelers the desolation they so desperately crave, along with luxurious accommodations fit for Arabian royalty. Here’s what to expect when glamping in Jordan.
Embark on a Safari
Travelers can get intimate with the desert on Wadi Rum Night’s personalized safaris. While a camel ride gives the chance to experience the novelty of classic desert transportation, I chose to hop in the back of the rugged 4x4 truck in order to see more of the environment. The tour starts with a glimpse at centuries-old sandstone carvings, which connects travelers to the ancient caravans that once made their way through the area, followed by the presumed home of T. E. Lawrence, a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia. Its legends are the most impressive thing about this stone structure, which is now crumbling. The exhilarating journey takes you across rock bridges, epic crags, impossibly narrow ravines, and red sand dunes before settling in on one of the cliffs to watch the sun descend over the horizon.
Sip Sweet Tea With Locals
Bedouin families welcome visitors with sweet tea on blankets under tents they’ve set up in Wadi Rum. The interactions afford travelers the opportunity to ask questions about local culture and desert life. You can support the community with a small selection of goods to purchase that includes Bedouin-style eyeliner, handmade jewelry, and amber-scented solid perfume, which will transport you back to to the cozy abode with every whiff.
Accommodations Fit for a Princess
After the hot, dusty adventure, you’ll be more than ready to nestle into one of the 25 gorgeous glamping tents at Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp. The private, spacious setup features handmade beds and plush mattresses along with a comfy seating area and outdoor patio for stargazing. The solar-powered camp powers romantically-lit walking paths and hot showers in communal bathrooms without the disruption of a noisy generator. On my visit, the camp ran out of water by the evening — a situation the camp director assured was a rare instance. But you may want to pack some baby wipes, just in case — you are in the desert, after all.
Authentic Jordanian Cuisine
The chef at Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp will satiate even the most ravenous of appetites with authentic Jordanian cuisine. The impressive spread includes fresh salads, hummus and mezze-style spreads, chicken soup, rice, yogurt, meats grilled on-premise, and piles of freshly baked pita. Vegetarians can give the camp advance notice for freshly stewed vegetables served in locally-made pottery.
Stargaze Around The Campfire
After dinner, everyone heads out for a campfire chat. It wouldn’t be a gathering in Jordan without sweet tea, which the staff prepares in a black kettle over the crackling flames. When looking out into the night, all you see is perfect darkness — a stark reminder of just how distant the rest of the world is. Befriend the fellow campers and gaze up at the sky in awe. The splendid experience is both a humbling and wondrous way to experience a special piece of Jordanian culture.