02_Desert and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, JordanAfter seeing the magnificence of Petra, we didn’t think there would be any other place in Jordan that would enthrall us.  But Wadi Rum proved us wrong. A series of valley with a maze of monolithic rockscapes dramatically rising up from the golden desert floor,  T.E. Lawrence described Wadi Rum as “vast, echoing and God-like.”  And like him, it cast a spell on us.


Desert and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, JordanThis was our first sight of Wadi Rum as we embarked on our desert jeep safari.


The Seven Pillar of Wisdom,  Wadi Rum, JordanThis massive cliff was named “The Pillars of Seven Wisdom”  after the title of the book by T.E. Lawrence, the legendary British Army Officer who based his operation here to help the Arabs in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during  WW I.

His adoption of Arab custom and dress earned him the name “Lawrence of Arabia,” which was also the  title of the 1962 movie based on his life.  (A large part of the movie was shot here.)


Jeep Safari, Desert and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, JordanA convoy of jeeps on desert safari dwarfed by the rocks of Wadi Rum.

“Our little caravan fell quiet, afraid and ashamed to flaunt its smallness in the presence of the stupendous hills.”T.E. Lawrence


Desert Dunes and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, Jordan 

“The crags were capped in nests of domes, less hotly red than the body of the hill….They gave the finishing semblance of Byzantine architecture to this irresistible place: this processional way greater than imagination.” – T.E. Lawrence

Desert Dunes and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, Jordan


Desert Dunes and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, JordanPlaytime on the sand dunes!


Desert Dunes and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, Jordan


Desert Dunes and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, Jordan


Desert Dunes and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, JordanThe scenery from the top of the dune.


Petroglyps in Wadi Rum, JordanWe were amazed to see ancient petroglyphs at the bottom of the cliffs.


Petroglyps in Wadi Rum, JordanThe petroglyphs in Wadi Rum are Thamudic writing from as early as 4th century B.C.  Wadi Rum was an important stop along the main caravan trading route due to availiability of water. The inscriptions that mostly look like drawings of animals and people were messages left by passing traders for fellow traders.

The inscriptions translate into names of people who passed by, instructions, and indications of where water sources were located. (It must be the closest thing to e-mail or text message at that time.)


Bedoin Men, Wadi Rum, JordanThe men of the desert. Wadi Rum is home to several Bedouin tribes.


Bedoin Men, Wadi Rum, JordanSome tribes settled in the village of Rum while others still live deep in the desert in their tradional tent made of goat’s hair.


Petroglyps in Wadi Rum, JordanThe four-legged citizens of the desert at a Bedouin camp.


Yawning Camel, Wadi Rum, JordanThis guy looks bored. We better put him to work.


Camel Trek, Wadi Rum, JordanFor a full Lawrence of Arabia experience, we traversed the rest of our desert route the way he did it – by camel.


Camel Trek, Wadi Rum, JordanThe traffic on the desert highway.


Camel Trek, Wadi Rum, Jordan


Camel Trek, Wadi Rum, Jordan


Petroglyps (Thamudic), Wadi Rum, JordanWe passed by more rocks with Thamudic inscriptions.


Desert and Rock Formations in Wadi Rum, Jordan Passing through the maze of of giant cliffs.


Camel Trek, Wadi Rum, JordanWe reached another Bedouin camp where were ended our camel trek.


Camel Trek, Wadi Rum, JordanWith our gentle Bedouin camel guide. Our regret was not being able to stay overnight at a  desert camp to fully enjoy the hospitality and way of life of the Bedouin people.


Carving of Lawrence of Arabia, Wadi Rum, JordanA rock carving of the head of Lawrence of Arabia.

  “No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry.. the imprint of the desert… and he will have within him the yearning to return…. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match.’” T.E. Lawrence

We yearn to return…


Travel Notes:
• Wadi Rum is about two hours drive south of Petra and about four hours drive south of Amman.
• The desert trek can be arranged in advance through a tour company or upon your arrival at the visitor center.
• Admission is JD5=US$7 per person.


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63 responses to “Wadi Rum: In the Footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia

  1. Kira S.

    Hey guys, I love all these colors and sceneries and experience. What a breathtaking place. I didn’t know much about Jordan other than Petra. Now I know why you loved Jordan so much.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Kira, it really is breathtaking. It’s hard not to love Jordan:)

  2. Another great Jordan experience! I love the ancient petroglyphs. It sure must have been the best form of communication back then. Stunning photographs and yet another great read, Marisol!
    Salika Jay recently posted..Visit Bonifacio And Its Beautiful CliffsMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Salika, thanks! So glad you enjoyed it. Those petroglyps were really amazing, especially if you think that they’re more 2,000 years old.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Thanks Muza-chan!

  3. What fabulous photos of Wadi Rum…I know why I am yet to post mine! They were a great reminder of a fabulous trip there last year. I even recognise one of the drivers..Hussein..quite a character! We spent a night in one of the camps which was a great experience and very entertaining. I’d dearly love to go back and do it all again!
    jenny@atasteoftravel recently posted..The Abandoned Village of Gairo VecchioMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Jenny, wasn’t it an incredible place? It’s great you got to stay overnight at the camp. I’m sure it was a reat experience. We also want to go back and spend more time there. The people are just wonderful and so charming; they made our experience much more pleasant for us.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Jackie, thanks! It truly is amazing to see a place as described in a book written decades ago.

  4. what amazing scenery. I love the image of the view from the top of the dune, and the faces of the people (and the yawning camel), and your view from the camel. And wonderful to see hieroglyphics. To know you are where someone was standing thousands of years before.
    I am loving being with you on your tour. Thank you.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Jill, I’m pleased that you enjoyed being on the tour with us. Yes, it was so incredible to think that we were standing on the same spot where people from eons again stood.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Sophie, yes you should trek Wadi Rum. You will love the experience. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  5. Once again you have shown me a beautiful area that had never been on my radar in terms of places to visit. Thank you! What an incredible experience to trek across the desert by camel as Lawrence of Arabia did – so cool! The photos are all stunning but the yawning camel is my favourite.
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..Exploring the Bay of Fundy at Hopewell RocksMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Lisa, I’m glad we were able to introduce Wadi Rum to you. It’s a spectacular place that your family will enjoy to visit. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Yes, the yawning camel is adorable.

  6. What a very interesting area! I’d love to visit and enjoyed all your photos especially the camels. I wasn’t aware of the history related to Lawrence of Arabia but now you’ve whet my appetite to learn more!
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..To Market, To MarketMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Debbie, it really is an interesting destination. You will enjoy everything about it, especially the camel ride:)

  7. Love it! Everytime I read about Wadi Rum, it gets even more magical. How can one not be fascinated with petroglyphs, rock formations and those sand dunes. Most of all, those camel rides. It’s like a huge and most awesome nature playground! I so want to go to Jordan even more so after your posts.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted..Fun Times at the San Diego County FairMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Mary, I can’t wait for you and the kids to go to Wadi Rum. You’re right, it’s a huge nature playground! I can totally picture my adopted siblings running up and down the dunes. They will have a blast there.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Shalu,
      Yes, Jordan is very stunning. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Jan, it was indeed a spectacular and mysterious first sight.

  8. Marcia

    Jordan’s high on my list and each time I see photos of the Wadi Rum, I’m just enthralled. Thanks for letting me peek over your shoulder and you followed in Lawrence of Arabia’s footsteps.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Marcia, our pleasure. IWe hope you get to go there soon. We’re pretty sure you’ll have an amazing time.

  9. Riet

    What a fantastic experience. My goodness, I thought these places were not real when I saw them on TV. Thank you so much for sharing, I am glad I found your blog. I am learning every day on the WWW and you help them. Well, never too old to learn…..

    • Traveling Solemates

      HI Riet, Ha! Ha! Yes, they’re very real and truly fantastic! We’re glad you’re enjoying our blog.:)

  10. Ruth

    Be glad you did such an adventurous trip while you are still young. It was fascinating.
    Ruth recently posted..The Odd RuleMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Rith, thanks. It has been our goal to experience as much of the world while we still can.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Ellen, thank you!

  11. Leigh

    What a magnificent place and one that’s at the top of my list should I ever get to Jordan. What a fantastic experience. I would definitely wan to stay overnight at a Bedouin camp and can only imagine how incredible the stars would be.
    Leigh recently posted..A Kayaking Trip in the 1000 Islands, OntarioMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Leigh, it’s definitely not to be missed when you visit Jordan. Definitely stay overnight at a camp if you. That’s something we will do when we return.

  12. I am dazzled! Loved all the T.E. Lawrence quotes to accompany such breathtaking scenery! What a fantastic post! Loved the photo of the camel yawning! That’s one you don’t see often! I wonder, did you feel safe during this entire trip? How was it being a woman – a foreigner to boot – in this part of the world?
    Maria – Dreams and Epiphanies recently posted..Roman Holiday: The Papal AudienceMy Profile

    • Hi Maria, we’re so pleased you enjoyed the post. We totally felt safe throughout the trip. We found Jordanian very warm and friendly and open minded. They were vey welcoming to foreigners – men and women alike.

  13. Freya

    WoW those photos are spectacular, it looks so beautiful over there. I’m hoping to go to Jordan beginning November and Petra and Wadi Rum are high on my list. Your photos want me make to go even more.
    Freya recently posted..Inca Trail Day 4 – Arrival at Machu PicchuMy Profile

    • Hi Freya, I really hope you get to go in November. Petra and Wadi Rum are so spectacular, you’ve got to see them soon!

  14. Kalyan

    beautiful captures & the place!

  15. This was an incredible journey. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    I entranced by your photos.

  16. Linda

    What an incredible adventure that you have shared, just the kind of thing I would so enjoy. You captured it beautifully with your photos.

  17. Agness

    I am truly amazed by the landscape and the scenery. To be honest, I have never been to a dessert so I wish I could make it there one day. You look so happy in the photos. So glad you enjoyed it! :)
    Agness recently posted..Is Lonely Planet Killing Travel Blogs?My Profile

    • Hi Agness, I wish with all my heart for you to get there soon. It’s such an incredibble place with a great energy that you can’t help but feel happy:)

  18. What an adventure! It looks like such an interesting place. I love riding camels too – until the pain gets too much!
    Arianwen recently posted..Gone AWOL canyoning in PihaMy Profile

  19. Dennis

    Having lived & worked in the Middle East before, it does give me fond memories whenever I see pictures of the dessert. It is a harsh environment indeed but there’s beauty and tranquility lying in there. This is a wonderful continuation of your Jordan adventure!
    Dennis recently posted..Hanga RoaMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Dennis, glad we were able to bring you back fond memories of M.E! There’s such beauty and serenity in the desert indeed. We loved every minute of it.

  20. Bama

    Ahh Marisol, your posts on Jordan really make me want to book my flights to the country right away! If Petra is breathtaking, Wadi Rum is majestic!
    Bama recently posted..In Search of The True BaliMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Bama, you should do so! Petra and Wadi Rum are amazing but there’s so much more beauty in Jordan. It’s incredible.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Sarah, I share your lament — so little time and so much to explore! But I hope you get to explore Jordan soon.

  21. Riona

    Wadi Rum is indeed beautiful! Working on my own post about it and I came across yours. Amazing photos!

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