Exploring Wadi Rum, Sleeping in a Bedouin Tent and Riding a Camel in Jordan

Bedouin Adventures: Exploring Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum Bedouin Adventure in Jordan
Wadi Rum Bedouin Adventure in Jordan

As I walked up a steep hill I took the time to feel the warm sand beneath my toes as I took each step. When I reached the summit, I pivoted and marvelled at the scenery before my very eyes. Panoramic views of jagged rock formations on a bed of sand left a lasting impression. Each rock formation was so distinct it appeared it had been individually hand carved by an artist. I snapped a few photos and then I put my camera down and sat down in awe – some places are just worth the extra attention.

Visiting Wadi Rum was one of the true highlights of our journey to Jordan. Β Known also as The Valley of the Moon, its name derived from the Aramaic root of ‘elevated’ and has been inhabited by many human civilizations over the years – most notably the Nabateans. Β Home to the Zalabria Bedouin, the region is one of the most popular eco-adventure tourism spots in all of Jordan. Β From treks to camel safaris to cultural experiences there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Our most memorable experiences included:

Sleeping in a Bedouin tent at night

Sharing a meal which was cooked under sand

Dancing, singing and lounging by the campfire

Riding camels

Photo Essay:

This is a sunset shot from Wadi Rum where Audrey is rendered as a silhouette. Our guides specifically took us to this particular point roughly half an hour before sunset. We certainly were not disappointed.

This is a sunset shot from our Wadi Rum tour where Audrey is rendered as a silhouette. Our guides specifically took us to this particular point roughly half an hour before sunset. We certainly were not disappointed.

As a travel photographer it is paramount to look back every once in a while. This particular shot was taken from the back of our pickup truck after it stopped for a few minutes. Looking back I noticed the spectacular cloud formations in the sky.

As a travel photographer it is paramount to look back every once in a while. This particular shot was taken from the back of our pickup truck after it stopped for a few minutes. Looking back I noticed the spectacular cloud formations in the sky.

Here a Bedouin man puffs smoke out of his nose just outside of tent in Wadi Rum. Smoking hookah, know locally as Arghila or Shisha, is very common in Jordan. You can select tobacco with an assortment of different flavours. My personal favourite is apple mint.

Here a Bedouin man puffs smoke out of his nose just outside of tent in Wadi Rum. Smoking hookah, know locally as Arghila or Shisha, is very common in Jordan. You can select tobacco with an assortment of different flavours. My personal favourite is apple mint.

Sleeping in a Bedouin tent was one of the top highlights from my time visiting Jordan. Here a group of Bedouin men prepare a camp fire at night that would later be used to serve tea.

Sleeping in a Bedouin tent was one of the top highlights from my time visiting Jordan. Here a group of Bedouin men prepare a camp fire at night that would later be used to serve tea.

This is a shot of Seven Pillars of Wisdom Mountain in Wadi Rum, Jordan taken just after lunch. Can you spot all seven?

This is a shot of Seven Pillars of Wisdom Mountain in Wadi Rum, Jordan taken just after lunch. Can you spot all seven?

The rock formations are especially impressive at Wadi Rum. I'm not a huge fan of HDR photography but I found myself taking several of these types of shots given the contrast between harsh shadows and light.

The rock formations are especially impressive at Wadi Rum. I’m not a huge fan of HDR photography but I found myself taking several of these types of shots given the contrast between harsh shadows and light.

A Bedouin man puffs exhales smoke from a cigarette nearby our camp in Wadi Rum.

A Bedouin man puffs exhales smoke from a cigarette nearby our camp in Wadi Rum.

This is another shot of the same Bedouin man from the third photo in this gallery smoking Hookah. In this particular photo you can clearly notice the smoking device and rock terrain in the background.

This is another shot of the same Bedouin man from the third photo in this gallery smoking Hookah. In this particular photo you can clearly notice the smoking device and rock terrain in the background.

This is a photo rock formations during a spectacular sunset in Wadi Rum. As a travel photography tip, it's a good idea to not only focus on the sunset. Look around and you'll often notice other subject areas worth shooting.

This is a photo rock formations during a spectacular sunset in Wadi Rum. As a travel photography tip, it’s a good idea to not only focus on the sunset. Look around and you’ll often notice other subject areas worth shooting.

This is a telephoto shot of rock formations during sunset in Wadi Rum, Jordan.

This is a telephoto shot of rock formations during sunset in Wadi Rum, Jordan.

This is a travel image of Audrey Bergner riding a camel for the first time. She did remarkably well and looked rather graceful for somebody with very little experience riding animals.

This is a travel image of Audrey Bergner riding a camel for the first time. She did remarkably well and looked rather graceful for somebody with very little experience riding animals.

This is an action shot of a Bedouin boy and Dustin Main riding camels in Wadi Rum, Jordan. You'll notice Dustin wielding his dSLR camera in his hand. He took a lot of photos of our group which we greatly appreciated.

This is an action shot of a Bedouin boy and Dustin Main riding camels in Wadi Rum, Jordan. You’ll notice Dustin wielding his dSLR camera in his hands. He took a lot of photos of our group which we greatly appreciated.

This is another perspective shot of rock formations during sunset in Wadi Rum, Jordan. This was the nicest sunset we witnessed during our entire time in Jordan.

This is another perspective shot of rock formations during sunset in Wadi Rum, Jordan. This was the nicest sunset we witnessed during our entire time in Jordan.

I was a little under the weather at the time and having an opportunity to lounge by the camp fire prior to going to sleep was the coziest option at this Bedouin camp.

I was a little under the weather at the time and having an opportunity to lounge by the camp fire prior to going to sleep was the coziest option at this Bedouin camp.

In this photo you can notice several mattresses that were used to sleep on around the camp fire at night.

In this photo you can notice several mattresses that were used to sleep on around the camp fire at night.

This is a candid portrait of a Bedouin man smiling early in the morning before breakfast.

This is a candid portrait of a Bedouin man smiling early in the morning before breakfast.

Here is another group shot of us riding camels. Can you spot Audrey?

Here is another group shot of us riding camels. Can you spot Audrey?

Here is a photo of the tents we used while camping overnight with the Bedouins in Wadi Rum, Jordan. Inside our tent were sample mattresses, warm blankets and candles.

Here is a photo of the tents we used while camping overnight with the Bedouins in Wadi Rum, Jordan. Inside our tent were sample mattresses, warm blankets and candles.

This particular Bedouin man was so photogenic I decided to take one more shot of him smoking Hookah ;)

This particular Bedouin man was so photogenic I decided to take one more shot of him smoking Hookah πŸ˜‰

Here is a candid shot of a Bedouin man smoking a cigarette and beaming an even more impressive smile.

Here is a candid shot of a Bedouin man smoking a cigarette and beaming an even more impressive smile.

One last scenic shot from Wadi Rum, Jordan.

One last scenic shot from Wadi Rum, Jordan.

Travel Videos:

Sleeping in a Bedouin tent, dancing, singing, smoking hookah and riding camels in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Visiting Wadi Rum, Jordan (وادي Ψ±Ω… ): The Valley Of The Moon وادي Ψ§Ω„Ω‚Ω…Ψ±

For this trip we partnered with My Jordan Journey.

Join the Conversation

84 Comments

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Pingback: Road To Petra
  2. says: Joy

    I really enjoyed the photography in this article – especially the hookah. Really makes me want to go back to Morocco. πŸ™‚

  3. says: apol | Wanderful Together.com

    hmmmm this photogenic man convinced me to try smoking hookah when we get the chance… I don’t smoke but I’d like to try hehehehe.

    Love the clouds in the photos, spectacular shots.

  4. says: Mike

    Wow, Samuel, I’m brand new to your blog and just finished looking at some older posts of your’s. Just came back to this and I can see why your’s is one of themost popular travel sites out there! Your pictures are absolutely amazing! I’ve been learning more and more on photography (a long ways to go) and to be better with description in my writing and “letting go” vs apprehension. I will stick around for at least a while and check back with you! I just Subscribed and followed you on Twitter. The picture of the gentleman with the smoke coming out of his nostrils made my jaw drop! Score there! Thank you for the insight I’m looking forward to your next post πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Mike!

      Great to discover your blog recently as well. Photography is something that can be learned at any age. I didn’t really start getting into it seriously until 4-5 years ago.

  5. says: Tom

    Great article and amazing photos, I visited Wadi Rum and Jordan a month ago and it brings all the memories back… Unbelievable place, rock formations, red sand, out of this world…

  6. says: Derek

    lol reading this brought back a lot of memories of my own Camel trip….what a pain between the legs eh?! haha

    Unbelievable place though, loving the pictures you got of the Bedouin with their Shisha!

  7. says: Arti

    Those rock formations are just something else!! And wonderful captures in the post, superb human emotions as well as beauty of nature!! Thanks for sharing Sam πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: Photo of a Bedouin man smoking hookah shisha in Wadi Rum, Jordan
  9. says: Jorja Alcorn

    Hi! I really like every shot you got and the place is just so stunning. Do you think it is safe to travel in Wadi Rum,Bedouin for a group of women? Or maybe 2 or 3? I’m thinking of visiting there but kinda hesitant. Really appreciate your answer. Thanks

    1. Hey Jorja,

      I certainly think it’s safe for women to travel to Wadi Rum. If you stay in a camp you’ll be surrounded with other travelers and the Bedouins are very kind and generous hosts!

  10. Some nice shots there. I never actually heard of this place, but it seems amazingly photogenic, both the landscapes and the people. I’d love to spend a few days there chasing some light! I’ll put it on the list! thanks for sharing

  11. says: Jess

    Those rock formations are amazing! I’ve never gotten to spend much time in a desert, but I would love to check out a place that beautiful. Getting to spend the night in a bedouin tent seems like a great way to experience the culture.

  12. says: Ryan

    Wow, always blowing my mind with some powerful photography. Still working on my fear of photographing people and offending them. I’ve gotta’ get over that or not be shy to ask. Great stuff as always Samuel.

    1. Thanks Ryan,

      I felt the same way as you do now. I’ll be honest that sometimes I do get caught taking a shot and it is a bit awkward but that doesn’t happen very often now with practice.

  13. says: bastiaan

    Hey Samuel,

    Great pictures! I’ve only visited Jordan for a few hours because it was on a stopover on one of my flights. These pictures really make me want to go back to Jordan and discover the rest of the country. Thanks for inspiring me!

    Cheers Bastiaan

  14. says: Jeremy

    Awesome pics! I slept with the Bedouins too when I went on birthright. Only problem was they ran out of space with our big group so I ended up sleeping right on the dirt in my sleeping bag. Oh well, I actually slept better than I had in months!

  15. says: Mary @ Green Global travel

    I absolutely loved this post and your gorgeous images! You do a brilliant job of capturing people looking luminous, alive and engaged as well as in sharing the experience through your phoyos as well as your ever amazing videos!

  16. says: Vid

    Loved the photographs, Sam. But the videos are even better. They give one the real “feel” of the experience. We were in Wadi Rum in 2010, and loved how majestic the whole area was. Would love to go back now with the blogging hat on πŸ™‚

    Cheers

  17. Luv the Bedouin photos! Though don’t think we could sleep in the tent :-). Need our hot shower! We stayed at the Kempinski in Aqaba – but admittedly it was a one-hour drive to Wadi Rum (so much more convenient to stay in the desert).