I visited the Bedouin Life Camp for one night in late September with my sister and friend and ashamedly it has taken us until now to provide some feedback on our experience. When we arrived at the Visitor Centre, we were met by Obeid and his son Nial (sorry if misspelt) who took us to buy our Wadi Rum visitor passes. We were then whisked by 4x4 to their small but intimate camp in the protected area of Wadi Rum. We were fortunate to be the only guests staying so we benefited from the family’s (Obeid and his two sons) full hospitality; being greeted “Bedouin style” with a glass of sweet tea.
The sleeping accommodation, set in a remote shelter of sandstone rock formations, is a number of brightly coloured, simply furnished tents with foam mattresses and clean linen. The tents are set back (around 100m) from the main communal tents where you can enjoy meals. There are two basic toilets and showers located about half way between the sleeping tents and the communal tents – pretty good for the middle of the desert but two pieces of advice (i) bring your own towel and mirror and (ii) take care over the shower water temperature which we found to be a little temperamental. One suggestion for Obeid - It would also be useful for guests to have some hooks in the shower block to hang up towels and clothes.
After settling in, we decided to accompany Nial on a 4x4 jeep tour to explore the desert. Our tour took in the highlights of the desert murals, two-thousand year old Nabateus rock carvings, and Lawrence of Arabia’s “house” (as per the movie set) where Nial encouraged us to climb on the roof to better appreciate it! We then continued to another spot where we scrambled up a rock face to reach a sandstone bridge for some great photos (no safety harnesses in sight!). On the way back, Nial raced across the sand dunes to find us a lovely spot to watch the sunset where we enjoyed some more sweet tea around a small open fire made from some kindling we had found on route. We were joined by another Bedouin family who also shared their tea and stories with us.
When we returned to camp, the desert darkness having descended (handy to carry a torch), we watched our chicken dinner, which had been cooking in a pot buried in the sand, resurrected by Obeid’s sons. Dinner was a sumptuous feast (despite us being the only guests) of tender chicken, vegetables, rice and breads (note: no alcohol). After dinner, we retired to the campfire for star gazing – with no light pollution, the sky is a blanket of stars – and Bedouin music and singing. Suffice to say Obeid and his sons are not blessed with the best singing voices but nonetheless it is entertaining. Remember it can get chilly in the desert over night so you might want to bring a fleece to wear or sleeping bag liner for extra warmth.
Special thanks to Obeid’s young son for his cooking skills and to Nial for his role as our personal tour guide. We’d also like to thank Obeid for selflessly driving all the way to Aqaba to deliver my sister’s sun hat which we had left in his car. We wish you all continued success, good health and happiness.
In summary, we understand that many of the other camps accommodate much larger numbers and may feel more “touristy” so if you’re looking for a very quiet, peaceful retreat to sample desert life, this little family-run oasis might just be for you. After a busy time in Petra it certainly provided us a welcome sanctuary for the night.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bedouin Life Camp is run for twelve years by Obeid Naser Alamamreh, a licensed Bedouin desert guide and his sons. The authentic Bedouin camp is located in a scenic spot of the Wadi Rum Protected Area near Seven Pillars of Wisdom, offering accommodation, jeep tours, hiking, climbing and camel ride in the desert. Obeid organises car transfers and round trips with his tourist car in all Jordan as well.Price of accommodation includes breakfast.Lunch and traditional Bedouin dinner is available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bedouin Life Camp Hotel Wadi Rum