Wadi Rum is a protected area covering 720 square kilometers of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. Huge mountains of sandstone and granite emerge, sheer-sided, from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 1700 meters and more. Narrow canyons and fissures cut deep into the mountains and many conceal ancient rock drawings etched by the peoples of the desert over millennia. Bedouin tribes still live among the mountains of Rum and their large goat-hair tents are a special feature of the landscape.

There are many ways to enjoy the attractions of Rum, including jeep, camel and hiking tours and you can stay overnight in a Bedouin tent and gaze at the amazing panoply of stars.

To safeguard its unique desert landscape, Wadi Rum was declared a protected area in1998 and an intensive conservation programme is now underway.

There are opportunities and challenges associated with Community-based tourism in Wadi Rum as elsewhere in the world. It is for certain that Bedouin people at Wadi Rum depend strongly on tourism and that we need your support!

The southern Jordanian desert has been frequented by nomads and migrating travelers for thousands of years. There is evidence that Nabatean people, who build Petra, and the ancient Thamud tribe, relatives to the Nabateans, passed through the area and numerous rock inscriptions document the human influence in this vast desert area. It is notable that Lawrence of Arabia had his base near Wadi Rum during his stay in the region.

Although most visitors to Wadi Rum are mainly in awe with its landscapes and the night sky, there is abundant desert life to be found. Tenebrionid beetles, reptiles, snakes and lizards, and other desert folks can be found and observed on desert excursions. Specially adapted plants survive the harsh climate and water stress. In 2002 a small herd of Arabian Oryx antelope were allocated for re-introduction in the Wadi Rum area. To date the animals have not yet been successfully released, however attempts for protection of the environment and improved conservation are being made.