The Space**SHOWN PRICES ARE PER PERSON PER NIGHT IN THE DESERT CAMP INCLUDING BREAKFAST AND DINNER. When more then two pax, the transportation between the village and the desert camp is included as well.
The Bedouin’s transformation from nomadic to sedentary to participants in the local tourism trade highlights their intrinsic aptitude to adapt to the ever-changing world around them. Known for their hospitality, they provide their guests with a unique opportunity to experience the traditions and customs of a way of life that is quickly changing. It is this mixing of the old with the new that makes the Wadi Rum Protected Area a vacation destination like no other.
My name is Ali Hamad and I belong to the Al-Zalabiah Bedouin Tribe. Me and my brothers call the desert our home and spend our early years playing in and exploring the desert.
The camp's name is Sunrise, because you can see the sunrise from it in the early morning. And not only sunrise, due to the location in the middle of the desert it is the perfect location for sunset as well. Between a small rocky mountain and a red sanddune, down the Jabal Khazali, on it's north side, it's location was also chosen for the main shootings of the famous Lawrence of Arabia movie.
Isolated from other camps, it offers a great view on jebels Rum and Um Ushrin, and is 10 minutes walk from the Siq of Khazali, which you can visit in the morning, when it's still quiet.
The camp consists of a large communal tent with adjoining cave to sit around the fire and eat, another large tent for sleeping, plus five small tents from two to four people each, and there is also a kitchen and a bathroom.
In the morning there is a included breakfast and in the evening me and my wife provide hot meals consist of fresh vegetables, rice and barbecue. There is a Bedouin-style meal (Al-Zarb) where we put the food (chicken or meat and potatoes and onions) inside a hole in the ground and then cover it for an hour and a half.
When wished, I can arrange jeep-tours, camel- & horse riding, hiking and climbing trips. I am well experienced as a trekking guide. You can choose to stay the night in the camp or sleep outside.
When you're my guest you can witness special local events, such as celebrations and weddings to get a even more thorough understanding of Bedouin Life.
The shown price is the price per person for groups consisting of 2+ persons. For single travelers we unfortunately have to charge an additional fee. Contact for more information about prices. The NeighborhoodAbout The Bedouin
Before the tourists came… in my words, with memories from my father and grandfather.
Before the tourists came the Bedouin didn’t know anything about the rest of the world and stayed in the desert the whole time. There were no villages, just tents that we would move when we needed to. The Bedouin at this time made their living from Sheep, Goats and Camels.
There were no borders, all the Bedouin were the same. We weren’t from Saudi or Jordan, we were just Bedouin. As there were no borders we were able to travel long distances and trade along the way.
At this time there was more rain, and less people. We would build dams in the canyons to catch the water when it came. In the summer we would find a good place to live and then we would change to a different place for the winter. When we moved we used camels and ourselves, not cars like today, this time was before cars.
The life was a hard life, but a good life.
There were not as many people and the people here were just Bedouin people. There were lots of rabbits, mountain goats and Orynx, so people could hunt more easily for food. There was also Wolves and Hyenas at this time. The wolves were not dangerous as they were afraid of the Bedouin, but the Hyenas were more dangerous. If they found you asleep on the ground they would dig a big hole under you until you fell down inside the hole, then they would eat you.
If people were sick they would go to an old man or woman who would make medicine from the plants and trees that grew here. If this didn't work then they would make an object hot in the fire and put this on the body. Likewise the old women would deliver babies.
When a boy was born then the family would kill a sheep and everybody would come together and celebrate. If the baby was a girl then they would still be happy but the celebration 'ceremony' was a little bit different.
When a young man wanted to get married, in those days it was not normal to marry with love. The young man would go to the girls father and talk (he would also bring his mother ands father with him). They would say to the father of the girl, I need your daughter. Some fathers would then ask for camels or money, but some fathers wouldn't, they would just want to be sure that their daughters were going to be treated well, and that was enough for them.
The young man and girl would then get married once these things were agreed, but the girl would not know the man before. Sometimes it would be a good marriage, and sometimes not. It was a matter of luck.
When people got married all the Bedouin from all around would come. They would hear the news that there was going to be a wedding (no mobile phones then). They would come together to enjoy each others company and to play music. At that time the weddings lasted for a week.
Now weddings last for two or three days. In the past people would have traveled a long way for the wedding, so that is why it lasted so long. But people didn't just come and eat and be waited on. Everybody would bring something (like food, or coffee, etc) and they would all work together to cook, clean and to make the party.
When it was evening 12 - 14 men would stand in a line and sing and clap. They wouldn't have lutes or drums. Then 3-4 women would dance in front of them.
In those days there was no government, police or laws. We did have rules though. So if somebody did something wrong, for example stole some sheep from somebody else, then the person who was robbed would send people to see the robber, and invite them to go to an old man who would help them to resolve the problem. They would invite the robber three times and if he wouldn't come, then the person who was robbed would be free to do what he liked, in retaliation.
Now the Bedouin are very different, not many live in the desert the whole time now. They all go to the village because the rain doesn't come as much and there are not enough plants for all the livestock. Now the water comes to a village in a pipe. Even the Bedouin that do live in the desert now, have cars.We still keep camels but we keep them for the tourists and we buy food for them to eat. Sometimes people keep racing camels or camels for milk. People also moved to the village for the school.
Life is different now. We stay in the village and work with tourists. It is a good life though. We still keep our sheep and goats but not so many, just enough for our own use and if we have guests. People live in houses and often have a tent close to their house. Everyone also has a camel for tourists.
So what else?… to be continued when you visit Wadi Rum.
What Animals might you see here?
Camels, Sheep, Goats, Orynx, Donkey, Wild Dogs, Beetles (and other insects), moths, butterflies, ants, lizards (all different kinds), mice, gerbils, hyrax, hedgehogs (yes really) and crickets.