Jordan | Trek in the Footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia | Wadi Rum and Petra

7 Days

We offer this trek from November – February


Complete a desert trek to ascend Jordan’s highest peak Jebel Um Adaami and see the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, named after the book by T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). Try technical climbing, and scramble along ancient Bedouin routes used for thousands of years guided by members of the local Zilabia tribe and our leader.



One of the city's most famous attractions is the Madaba Map, a mosaic map of the Holy Land dating back to the 6th century AD. The map is located in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and is one of the oldest surviving maps of the region. The Arab Revolt, which began in 1916, sought to end Ottoman rule in the Arab territories and establish independent Arab states. The revolt was supported by the British, who promised Arab leaders independence in exchange for their assistance against the Ottomans. The revolt involved various tribes and guerrilla fighters, including those from present-day Jordan.

As World War I progressed, British forces gained control over parts of the Ottoman territories, including Transjordan. Following the war, the Ottoman Empire collapsed, and the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over the territory of Transjordan, which later became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1946.

After breakfast we will take a 4-hour transfer to Wadi rum. TE Lawrence was a British left lieutenant Colonel who played a pivotal role in uniting Arab tribes during World War I. It is said that he sought shelter here around 1917 during his desert campaigns against the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence’s House in Wadi Rum, also known as Arabian Nights and holds a captivating history that intertwines ancient times with more recent events.

Nabataean Origins: However, the house itself has a much older history. It was built atop a pre-existing structure crafted by the Nabataeans over two thousand years ago. The Seven Pillars are the first major formation you’ll encounter. They tower over the Wadi Rum visitor center. Ancient people used it as a station for passing caravans. While it’s known as Lawrence’s House, the Bedouin people have another name for it: “The Small Palace”.
We will take lunch having arrived at Wadi rum visitor centre. Now we will take a jeep to experience the 7 Pillars of Wisdom and Lawrence Canyon, seeing Nabatean Inscriptions on the way. Touch the sand and explore carvings!

Later we head to Lawrence Canyon and into Burrah Canyon stopping at sand dunes along the way. The name “Burrah” means “fertile ground” in Arabic. Journeying on foot we walk through Burrah Canyon southwards to Mushroom rock (7km / 2hrs). To experience sunset we drive to Lawrance House then on to our desert camp. There will be no showers available this evening. (B,L,D)

This morning we wake up in camp and walk from camp to Um fruth bridge which is around 10km on mostly soft desert sand through a wide canyon with sandstone rock pillars all around. Once there we will move on soft sand as well as scrambling on the rock Jebels where we will usually be following routes which have been used for generations by Bedouin hunters and shepherds.
Coming from Burdah canyon we will go around to Burdah bridge and then across to Umm Fruth bridge and have the chance to walk on them. Burdah is the largest of Rum’s three arches. It precariously perches about 80 meters above the surrounding rock. Both Umm Fruth and Burdah bridges offer unique experiences in this otherworldly desert. We also see petroglyphs in Wadi Rum that are estimated to be up to 5,000 years old. These ancient rock carvings were created by various civilizations and cultures that inhabited the region covering a wide range of subjects, including humans, animals, hunting scenes, geometric patterns, symbols, and religious motifs. They offer clues about the social structures, spiritual beliefs, and artistic expressions of ancient societies.

We then drive to Wadi Nuqra Canyon and see a location where Lawrence of Arabia may have escaped. Wadi Nuqra is in the white desert that runs north to south and is an old Bedouin name used by women in last centuries.

From Wadi Nuqra we walk towards Um Adaami and see the likely route that Lawrence would have taken to Aqaba. Here he got all the tribes together to make the assault on Aqaba. Starting in Amman he was able to gain support together with Faisal, the leader of the Arabs in the desert. We move through the canyon and out over a dry riverbed where we will see Um Adaami, continuing en route to the camp. This is approximately 10km.

On arrival we trek to Umm Ad Dami camp at the base of Jebel Umm Ad Dami. We are supported by jeeps with cooks to provide meals.

Battle of Aqaba: One of the notable military engagements in the region during World War I was the Battle of Aqaba in July 1917. Led by Lawrence and Arab forces, including the Howeitat tribe, the battle resulted in the capture of the port city of Aqaba from the Ottomans. This victory was significant as it opened up a supply line for the Arab Revolt and facilitated further advances against Ottoman forces.
Desert camp (B,L,D)

We are heading to Jebel Um Adaami, the highest mountain in Jordan on the Saudi Arabian border. On the way we will see an ancient Nabatean damn. On top we will be rewarded with views across the Wadi Rum and to the Gulf of Aqaba and south into Saudi Arabia. The Jordanian flag welcomes us on top. We walk for around 3 to 4 hours to ascend and descend Jebel Um Adaami. We move through wadi saabit and then ascend to the summit. We can now take the jeeps back to a fixed desert camp in wadi rum with shower and toilets. (11 km +400m, 5 hrs) (B,L,D)

We take the jeep back to the visitor centre to then pick up our road transport to drive to Petra. After taking an early lunch in Wadi Musa and have all afternoon to explore Petra. We enter the Petra site through the chasm of the Siq, which brings us to the Treasury.
Following a track past the Roman Theatre area and Pharaoh’s Column, we descend into Wadi Ras Suleiman and on towards the Snake Monument. We will walk for around 16km and visit the monastery. We spend overnight in a 4* hotel. We will experience magical Petra by night. (B,L)

Madaba is often referred to as the "City of Mosaics" due to its numerous ancient mosaic artworks. Our final celebratory meal will be at a fantastic local restaurant. (B,L,)

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Jordan | Trek in the Footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia | Wadi Rum and Petra