Wadi Rum – Visiting Jordan’s Unspoiled Valley Of The Moon

Wadi Rum is located in southern Jordan, nearly 60 km from Aqaba. The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and it’s now a popular Jordanian tourist attraction.

Wadi Rum in Jordan

Wadi Rum in Jordan.

Wadi Rum has been inhabited by one culture or another since prehistoric times, and testimony of this can still been seen to this day in the many paintings; drawings and temples found in the area. The area, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is Jordan’s largest Wadi, and it now attracts an ever increasing number of tourists.

Wadi Rum And The 1917 Arab Revolt

In the West, Wadi Rum is perhaps best known for its connection to the famous movie, Lawrence of Arabia. The movie was based on the life of a British army officer by the name of T.E. Lawrence who fought with the Arabs during the 1917 Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks. In fact, he is credited with helping them to succeed.

During 1917 and 1918 Lawrence frequently stayed at Wadi Rum, using it as a secret hideout. After the war, Lawrence penned an autobiography which he named The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It was this autobiography that was later made into the movie classic, Lawrence of Arabia.

Many people, including many tour operators believe that Lawrence named his book after seven of the rock formations at Wadi Rum. However, this is not the case at all, although one of the rock formations was later named after his book, but this only happened during the 1980s, and it was most probably done in an attempt to boost tourism in the area.

Zalabia Bedouin And Eco Tourism

It is only fair to give credit where it’s due, and in this case, the Zalabia Bedouin who are practically the only inhabitants of Wadi Rum get full credit for what has become a very successful eco-tourism achievement. Today, tourism is the sole income for the inhabitants of Wadi Rum. While it is possible to explore the area in the comfort of air conditioned 4×4 vehicles, emphasis is typically on eco-tourism such as rock climbing; horse riding and camel trekking.

Despite being a relatively barren desert location, there is actually quite a lot to see and do in the area. With this in mind, visiting the area with a guide is highly recommended, as is camping in the desert under the stars.

Visiting Wadi Rum From Egypt

Wadi Rum has become an increasingly popular tourist attract in recent years, and today several tour operators in Egypt offer day trips to the area. However, while it is possible to do this, most people prefer a slightly longer stay in Jordan so that once they have visited Wadi Rum, they can continue on to the infamous Rose Red City of Petra.

There are also some excellent Egypt and Jordan Tours that include tour of the wadi as well, and these will typically include visits to several of Jordan’s other top attractions. Nonetheless, if you want to visit Wadi Rum, it is best to confirm this when you book your all inclusive Egypt vacation.