Jordan | Trek in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia | Wadi Rum – Aqaba

7 Days


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.

What you can look forward to:

  • ✓ 3 nights desert camping with the Bedouin community
  • ✓ Visit to Petra UNESCO World Heritage site and Wadi Rum following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia’s journey to Aqaba
  • ✓ Archaeological and historical interest
  • ✓ Small group with experienced guides
  • ✓ Summit Jordan’s highest mountain
  • ✓ Local and international Freedom Trail Treks guides with a superb knowledge of the local culture and history


Arrive in Amman from the UK and be greeted at the airport for a convenient transfer to Madaba. If arriving late or with a group, please inform us in advance. The journey to Madaba takes about 30 minutes. Check-in at the 3* Hotel in Madaba.

Some background information:
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.

Start your day with an early breakfast before heading to Wadi Rum. Upon arrival, meet our team at the Wadi Rum Visitors Centre and enjoy lunch in the desert. Embark on a thrilling jeep tour to explore the iconic 7 Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence Canyon, and ancient Nabatean inscriptions. Trek through Burrah (meaning "fertile ground" in Arabic) Canyon to Mushroom Rock (7km / 2hrs). Later, transfer to Lawrence House and settle in at the desert camp or hotel in Wadi Rum. There will be no showers available this evening. (B,L,D)

Some background information:
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, holds a captivating history that intertwines ancient times with more recent events.

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”.

This morning, we awaken in the heart of the desert. Our journey begins as we trek from camp to the majestic Um Fruth bridge, spanning around 10km of pristine desert sands. We traverse through a wide canyon adorned with towering sandstone rock pillars, following ancient paths used by Bedouin hunters and shepherds.

Reaching Um Fruth bridge, we continue our adventure, navigating soft sands and scrambling across rocky Jebels. Here, we have the remarkable opportunity to walk atop both Burdah and Umm Fruth bridges, marveling at their natural grandeur. Burdah, Rum's largest arch, perches boldly, offering breathtaking views.

As we explore Wadi Rum, we encounter ancient petroglyphs dating back as far as 5,000 years, etched into the rocks by past civilizations. These captivating carvings depict scenes of human life, animals, and intricate symbols, offering a glimpse into the region's rich history.

Our journey then leads us to Wadi Nuqra Canyon, a landscape steeped in history. Here, amidst the white desert expanse, we trace the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia, envisioning the routes he may have taken during the Battle of Aqaba.

Continuing onwards, we venture towards Um Adami, tracing paths of historical significance where Lawrence rallied tribes for the decisive assault on Aqaba. Amidst rugged terrain and dry riverbeds, we catch glimpses of Um Adami against the desert backdrop. This is approximately 10km.

Arriving at Umm Ad Dami camp nestled at the base of Jebel Umm Ad Dami, we are greeted by the comforting warmth of our desert oasis. Supported by jeeps and skilled cooks, we indulge in hearty meals, replenishing for the adventures ahead.

Some background information:
The petroglyphs we will witness in Wadi Rum 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.

Wadi Nuqra Canyon is the 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 towards Um Adaami we will see the route that Lawrence would have likely 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.

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.

Embark on an exhilarating ascent of Jebel Um Adaami, Jordan's highest mountain nestled near the Saudi Arabian border. Along the journey, we'll encounter the remnants of ancient Nabatean ruins, a testament to the region's rich history. Upon reaching the summit, which stands as a gateway between Jordan and Saudi Arabia, prepare to be mesmerized by panoramic views stretching across Wadi Rum and the Gulf of Aqaba. After a rewarding trek of 3 to 4 hours, we'll descend back to the fixed desert camp in Wadi Rum, where comfort awaits with shower facilities and toilets. (Journey: 11 km | +400m | 5 hrs) (B,L,D)

Day 5 :

We make our way to a camp in the desert on the way to Aqaba. (B,L)

Conclude your journey with a transfer to QAIA for your departure. Reflect on your unforgettable experiences in Jordan as you bid farewell to this enchanting land. (B)

Included in this trip:

  • 4 x 4 Jeep support
  • 2 x IML guides and Local desert guides
  • Mobile data – Local Sim Satellite Phone access for leaders
  • First Aid Kit Group
  • Camping Equipment
  • Meals in country
  • 3ltrs water pp/per day
  • Jordanian Tourist Visa fee

Not included in this trip:

  • Flights
  • Tipping (suggest £40pp/wk)
  • Hotel mini bar or bar bills
  • Phone calls
  • Any evacuation costs
  • Personal insurance
How do I prepare for the desert?

Preparing for the desert involves conditioning your body for walking long hours under the sun while carrying a daypack weighing around 8kg. Ensure you’re accustomed to walking 5-6 hours daily with hourly breaks. Assemble a kit list including essentials like sunglasses, a sun hat with neck protection, sunscreen, and well-worn comfortable footwear.

What is camping like in the desert?

Camping in the desert is a mesmerising experience. Witness the stunning play of light during sunrise and sunset, accentuating the hues of the desert sands and creating captivating shadows with rock formations. Expect serene and tranquil evenings, albeit chilly, so pack a jacket and trousers. Prepare for sand to infiltrate every nook and cranny!



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Jordan | Trek in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia | Wadi Rum – Aqaba