Please sign in to post.

Wadi Rum, Jordan - Is a self-drive tour of Wadi Rum possible?

We are visiting Jordan in March and are planning to spend good 3 to 4 days in Wadi Rum. We are mainly interested in photography (sunrise/sunset/night). After going through lot of posts, blogs, and guide books, it seems like almost everyone takes guided tours of Wadi Rum.

Is it possible to do a self-tour if we rent a 4x4? Has anyone done it before? Main purpose of wanting to do a self-tour is to have flexibility. A good example of that would be - if there is a tour group at a location we are waiting to photograph, we can wait until they depart or come back at a later time. Also, if needed we can extend our trip easily if we feel we need more time.

Is it safe/practical to do a self-tour? Also wondering about issues such as availability of help if car breaks down and emergency services etc. On the other hand, guides would probably know all the best photography locations.

We will consider a private tour if self-driving is ruled out. But we will prefer self-drive if its recommended.

Thanks for your time.

Posted by
15365 posts

I went on a guided tour. Our guide took us to places that had unpaved roads and places that had no roads. We could not figure out how he knew where to go in the dunes and rocks. Amazing! Also we went to a beautiful red rock canyon area that we had to go with another driver in his vehicle. The whole area is under the control of a Bedouin tribe and you can only visit using their drivers and vehicles. There are no facilities, so you'd have to take all your food and water with you if you are camping. I don't know if there is cell phone coverage or data access. Also can get really cold at night.

My trip was several years ago but I still have the guide's business card. He was excellent in all ways. His name is Yahia Ali M. Falahat. Mobile: 00962 777 755903, Maybe the phone or email are still active.

Posted by
1467 posts

Agree with Chani. There are no roads and no signs, so not sure how you will navigate and know where you are going or where you came from. A lot of the dunes, canyons, massifs do look alike - so believe that you will need a guide.

Posted by
750 posts

Everything Chani has said is accurate. I’ve spent months in the deserts of North Africa as well as the Middle East (including Wadi Rum), always with a guide. Not only does a driver/guide know where the beautiful vantage points are. They also know how to judge the safety of a dune or patch of sand, to avoid getting stuck or tipping over.

Since you are staying 3-4 days, perhaps hire a driver for the first day or two. Make sure he takes you both on and off the track. Then you can judge for yourself if you want to self-drive (if that option is available.)

And please remember if you’re self-driving off track south out of the green area, the Saudi Arabia border is not that far away.