Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp, Petra, Jordan

Jordan: Overnight in a Bedouin Camp

Overnight at the Dazzling Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp

After exploring the great Jordanian cities of Amman and Jerash with Abraham Tours, we headed to Petra where we were going to spend the night before our day exploring Jordan’s most famous archaeological site. It was late already, around 9PM by the time we arrived at Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp, about thirty minutes outside of Petra in Wadi Musa. While it would have been nice to have a bit more time to relish in the camp experience, the night time entrance was magical. The rocky, undulated backdrop was covered with lights that looked like candles lighting the night. Bedouins running the camp helped us with our luggage and escorted us to dinner in a large tent. Nearby was a fire pit, plus lounge space for those staying for longer periods of time.

Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp, JordanSeven Wonders Bedouin Camp, Jordan

What was absolutely astonishing to me was how much more sophisticated this camp was than what I had imagined. I’d envisioned something rustic: no electricity, fires to provide warmth, no running water, and hosts who spoke primarily Arabic. What we experienced was something totally different.

Electricity – and wifi! – were available until nearly midnight at which point the generator would be turned off. Restrooms were available (no need to find a tree or rock to hide behind), and there were even showers with hot water during the evening. Our hosts spoke English incredibly well. Until I asked, I thought they’d actually studied in Britain based on their fluency and accents. The beds themselves were astonishingly warm and comfortable with extra thick blankets to stay warm during the cold desert nights (despite the near-freezing temps, I wasn’t cold at all).

Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp, JordanSeven Wonders Bedouin Camp, Petra, JordanSeven Wonders Bedouin Camp, Jordan

In terms of rooms, we had no idea as to whether the camp provided one large tent for groups (dorm-style) or whether we would be partnered up and given individual tents. For anyone that prefers their own private space, you’re in luck. The tents provide room for two people, and can be arranged as two twins or a double bed for couples. Some of the members of our group chose to stay the night at a nearby hotel right outside of the entry to Petra. While I’m sure they’re happy with their decision, I can’t imagine having done this any other way. Staying in a Bedouin camp provided us with one of the coolest, most memorable experiences possible, and was such a rare opportunity. If you have the option, this really is a must for anyone visiting!

Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp, JordanSeven Wonders Bedouin Camp, Jordan

Before departing the camp the next morning, I talked with one of the hosts to ask about this set-up. I really wanted to know about the authenticity of this entire experience and learn a bit about their personal backgrounds. He explained that he grew upon the very land that we were staying on, and his family’s heritage reflected a genuine bedouin lifestyle. They saw that visitors were interested in the culture and began hosting them in a small-scale operation. After acquiring the right permits they expanded the camp, making it what it is today. I was impressed – I always find that entrepreneurial spirit refreshing and inspiring, and it was even greater knowing that they wanted to share some of their lifestyle and culture with us. No doubt, a win-win for all involved.

xo from the Middle East,

Shannon Kircher, The Wanderlust Effect

A big thank you to Abraham Tours, Abraham Hostel and Tourist Israel for making this trip possible. As always, all thoughts and photos are my own and are genuine.

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect, formerly The Traveling Scholar. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. She is a former resident of London and San Francisco and now calls the island of Anguilla home. In addition to The Wanderlust Effect, Shannon is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort and is on the Board of Directors of the Omololu International School in Anguilla.

  • Pingback: Top 10 Travel Moments from 2014 - The Traveling Scholar()

  • Abby

    I was so excited to stumble across your post! My husband and I are heading to the Middle East this Saturday and on Monday, we will be staying in the Seven Wonders Bedouin camp. I was also very encouraged to see that you stayed warm during the night, because the forecast looks rather chilly. We will also be spending time near the Dead Sea, exploring Petra, and then flying over to Abu Dhabi/Dubai. Thanks for the recap!!

    • Hi Abby, You’ll have an amazing time! It’s such a cool experience and it was much warmer, cozier and sophisticated that I had imagined. Enjoy Petra and the rest of your adventures – sounds like an incredible itinerary!

  • Amit shir

    Holidaying in The Ancient City of Petra, Jordan in between the breathtaking rose tinted city is never to miss trip as you get a very rare chance to view the amazing and marvelous beauty which elegance during the sunset. A single glance of the rock based architecture makes you approve of the artists who crafted the rocks and made such a marvelous building which are awesome even after many years. I had gone to Israel for a tour of two days with my friends by help of which is best tourism Company in Israel. Really, this was a great memorable moment of my life. Thank you very much for sharing this information with us.