We stayed in Saleh's desert camp for two nights and 2 days. Our experience there made Wadi Rum our favourite destination in a month long tour of Middle East countries.
Wadi Rum is stunning and we got to see both the popular sites and the hidden treasures that are too far in for day trippers to get to. It was great to visit locations where we saw no other visitors - it made the experience even more magical.
Saleh's camp is similar to others in Rum - I think there's about 20 all up scattered around. The 'tent' is more like a cabin, solid and lined with board with a small window. It contains camp beds, pillows and blankets - we took sleeping bag liners and I would recommend doing this. There is a shared bathroom with showers and toilets but remember you're in the middle of a desert with no plumbing so water is trucked in and sewerage is trucked out.
This is a true family business with people who have lived in Rum for generations (unlike other Rum operators who pass off Syrian workers as family members!). Everyone in the family is warm and welcoming.
Saleh welcomed us and joined us for meals and was busy booking people's tours. On our first day, Saleh's nephew Musa took us around. On the second day, Saleh's brother Attik took us to out of the way locations where he dropped us off at various points and met us at the other end of the walk. We don't speak any Arabic and Attik spoke some English so we used maps drawn in the ground to help us with directions!
He cooked us a delicious hot lunch in the middle of the desert and made delicious local tea with zataar grown in the desert. Both days we had plenty of water and snacks supplied. I'm vegetarian and there was no issue with catering for me.
Considering the accommodation, food and touring Saleh's wadirumtours.com is extremely good value for money.
My husband and I had heard great things about Wadi Rum, so we knew we wanted to stay with a Bedouin and get two days out of it (we were only in Jordan 24-28th of April). Saleh was the first place I looked at and thought it would be amazing even after looking at other locations. It is truly a unique experience. A few things really stuck out to us.
1. It truly is a family business. They are in it together, and they let you also feel like you are in the family. The food is amazing; Alia (Saleh's wife) is an amazing cook.
2. It is very personalized. Even with several different groups in their camp, they will take you wherever you want to go. If you change your mind, no problem. Also, as they see you enjoying certain things, they will tailor your trip to see more of the things you enjoy.
3. They are very genuine and good people. They want to share the desert with you in a way that you enjoy it. One of the things I loved about them is that they would take you to the main things, but they would also take you to the hidden special places they have found that other companies don't know about and wouldn't take you to.
This was our first trip to Wadi Rum, and we absolutely enjoyed our time with Saleh and his family. We plan on going back and hopefully staying with them again. It may seem a little expensive at first, but you have to understand that it is very personal and essentially a private tour through one of the most beautiful places on earth. And it's amazing local food (they'll even teach you how to eat it like a local ). We would recommend them to anyone who wants to experience a slightly modern version of Bedouin life and get to know a local family.
Wadi Rum is one of the most incredible places on the planet. However to experience this place properly you must have a good tour guide. Saleh, his family and friends looked after my wife, my 18 month old daughter superbly. Our daughter was entertained by the team constantly, and was able to partake in all the tours. Wadi Rum is a must, and so are Saleh and his family!
Saleh and his brother Atik helped us make the most of our short time in Wadi Rum. In just one day we were climbing through canyons, visiting the famous Lawrence Spring, climbing sand dunes and sand stone bridges, sand boarding, watching the sunset, laughing telling stories around the campfire and playing with some camels. The food they prepared was really tasty and the camp was comfortable and picturesque. Of course Saleh and his family were perfectly welcoming and made our visit a unique and memorable experience beyond just the majestic scenery. We have already made recommendations to our friends and can't wait to visit again.
Saleh is well know in the village and has one of the better houses in the Rum Village, and speaks reasonable English. Everyone seems to know him, and it's just a case of trusting the locals and they will take you to his house (at the front edge of the village) if you aren't sure! Yes, you park inside his house compound in the shade. He has help with his emails from a Dutch friend, and the messages aren't always answered most accurately, but GO WITH IT, he's good and great value for a family.
We had an excellent 3 hour jeep tour, always a step ahead of the crowds, and enough time to see all the main sites, climb onto the rock bridges, grab a sandboard, and walk through a short canyon trail. We had a choice of lunch (hot or cold, we just said what food we liked) that his wife prepared and we ate with some Saudi friends of his who had just turned up for an impromptu visit. All in all an excellent few hours for JOD 90 all in for the four of us.
We wish we had had the time to stay overnight in a camp, so can't comment on that part of the full experience.
We had hoped to stay at Saleh's camp overnite but illness forced us to limit our Wadi Rum visit to a day trip. We were not disappointed!! On the contrary. Saleh, Alia, his wife, and his nephew, Musa, welcomed us warmly with tea and conversation at their family home even though we had had to cancel the overnite at very short notice. We loved Musa's sense of humor and the leisurely pace that he realized we preferred. We saw amazing vistas, walked through a spectacular canyon, climbed a red sand dune and lingered over a perfect picnic lunch that Alia had packed with our new diet restrictions in mind. Musa built a fire on a ledge overlooking the desert,made tea and offered to warm the flatbread for our sandwiches. We were in Wadi Rum heaven thanks to this delightful family. When we can return to Wadi Rum, Saleh will be the one we call! If you have not checked out his website--do so. The very special care and honesty you see there is the way he and his team really are.
We had a wonderful time with Saleh and family. He and his brother took us to all the nooks and corners of Wadi Rum. Zarp cooked by Aliya, Saleh's wife, was the highlight of our stay!! If you are looking forward to experiencing authentic Bedouin Wadi Rum, Saleh is your man.