3 Rock formations with horses in Jordan
Galloping in the desert Jordan
Jordan vast landscape with the horses
Hot ait balloning in Jordan
Happy rider happy horse Jordan
The riding group at mushroom rock Jordan

After a day sightseeing in Petra, this trail is a chance to experience camping and riding across the desert in the iconic scenery of the Wadi Rum region, passing through valleys, mountains and dunes, marvelling at the colours and rock formations. Every day is different and as we go deeper into the protected area, the more beautiful the scenery becomes, all the way to the Saudi border. Relax in a resort or on the beach at the Dead Sea on the last day. 

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from CT of York on 07/11/2023

Ride Summary
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Outstanding. We were added to a WhatsApp group before riding to clear up any questions and have everything explained to us. The company are a family business with well loved and well trained horses, the food was the best of the 5 trail rides I’ve done- cooked out the back of a truck, the guide was the son of the stable owner who was an incredible horseman and great with people. The riding was with a small group of competent riders so all the canters went smoothly and everyone could control their horses to give everyone space (not the case on all trail rides).
I would recommend this to any competent rider but definitely not a beginners ride. Jordan is a beautiful country and a must for anyone into trail riding
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
You will feel like a local camping out with a family who were born and raised in the wadi rum. We felt and were treated like their guests instead of tourists.
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Excellent horses. They are very energetic and have their temperament and personalities. Not “follow the leader” horses either, you are in control of the horse and can go off to take pictures when you like
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
What could we do to improve this ride?
The only thing i could say to improve the ride is that the hotel and food could be better in Madaba. The desert is also warm at night so I would suggest equipment like a sleeping bag liner or a light sleeping bag as I brought an cold weather one and was too warm.
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
Long cantering, forward horses. You need to give the horses space in the canters but this should the case with all rides.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Very responsive and helpful. I’ve done 4 rides with them and will continue to do so.
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
Unicorn comments: Sounds like you had an amazing ride... thank you for your feedback.

Day 1: Arrival Day
Info: if you buy the Jordan Pass before departure your visa fee will be waived upon arrival (www.jordanpass.jo) and your 1-day entry ticket to Petra and entry to Wadi Rum are included in the price of 70 JOD. Our driver will be waiting in the arrival hall with a sign that has your name on it. Transfer to the hotel in Madaba; a mostly Christian town. If time allows you can visit the St. George church and the mosaics at the archaeological museum. We can recommend a nice dinner at a unique local restaurant: Haret Djoudna. Night at a hotel in Madaba, breakfast included

Day 2: Visit Petra
08.00 AM: Transfer to Petra (3 hrs). You will be taken to the hotel where you can leave your luggage (Early check-in only if possible). Walk to the nearby visitor center to get Jordan Pass scanned and start your (non-guided) tour of the ancient sites which Petra is famous for: the Siq, the iconic Treasury, the street of façades and the colonnaded street. Take the 800 carved steps to the Monastery, Ad Deir and marvel at the views. Night at a 3* hotel in Wadi Musa, dinner and breakfast included.

Day 3: To Wadi Rum
07.00 AM: Drive to the stables in Wadi Rum (1.5 hr) Meet your guide and the horses and start out to the majestic Jebel Khazali massif. The pace will be leisurely to get used the horses. Lunch is at Um Sabatah, the "red canyon", enjoy the panorama of this desert of sand and rocks with dazzling colors. In the afternoon, ride across the valley, a lunar landscape with large sand dunes to Um Khathah where the camp and hot tea await you. 

Day 4: Valleys and Views
After a good breakfast, departure on horseback through the ocher and pink valleys of Um Kathah and Wadi Sabbat. The lunch break at Al-Thatha offers great options for walks and short climbs to discover, from above, the immensity of the Jordanian desert. In the afternoon, you cross the Wadi Nugrah valley to Al Slebat where the bivouac is set up for the night.

Day 5: Colours and canyons
After breakfast your ride takes you through the great valleys of Wadi Nugrah, then a short ascent on horseback to the Bedouin water reservoirs, where the view of the desert is exceptional! The lunch break is an opportunity to be amazed by the multiple colors of the desert, contrasting white, red and green. The afternoon is still full of surprises and breathtaking panoramas, from the Um Fruth bridge to the Abu-Kashaba canyon. A beautiful day that ends with a big dinner around the fire and a night under the stars.

Day 6: Arch of Burdah and the Ashkiek Mountains
Leaving the Abu-Kashaba canyon you reach the impressive natural arch of Burdah. Your ride continues to the Ashkiek mountains where a landscape of white sand invites us to good trots and gallops. Lunch on the "small rocks" of Htepat Al Fla and  ride to Um-Mzelga where you camp for the night. 

Day 7: Dunes, Pillars and Lawrance of Arabia's House
After breakfast, you ascend the dunes of Um Zelgah on horseback, passing the famous house of Lawrence of Arabia, originally used by the local tribes to trade with Saudi Arabia and Syria. After seeing the astonishing Nabataean inscriptions of Anfashieh, continue to the Barrah canyon, and its large red cliffs, very popular with climbers. In the afternoon, enjoy gallops in the red sand dunes before arriving at Um Ishrin canyon, with astonishing natural pillars climbing towards the sky. The bivouac is installed in the canyon for our last night under the stars of the Jordanian desert. 

Day 8: Seven Pillars of Wisdom
After breakfast you leave the valley of Um Ishrin, passing by the famous “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”, mountains made famous by Lawrence of Arabia. Lunch in this superb setting then return, around 4 PM, to the stables of Wadi Rum, where you say goodbye to your horse and to the guide.
Transfer back to the hotel in Madaba (3.5 hrs). Night at a hotel in Madaba, dinner and breakfast included.

Day 9: Relax at a Dead Sea Resort
8.00 AM: transfer to the Dead Sea (45 minutes). You spend the day at a 4* or 5* resort (depending on availability), where you have access to the beach, the pools and other facilities of the resort and where you enjoy lunch at the buffet restaurant (drinks are not included). At 4 or 5 PM: Transfer back to our hotel in Madaba for dinner.

Day 10: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to the airport 2.5 hours before the departure time of your flight.

We reserve the right to change the itinerary if circumstances dictate.

We recommend purchasing a Jordan Pass.
By buying the Jordan Pass your visa fee will be waived upon arrival so no hassle with changing money at the airport, and your entry tickets to Petra and Wadi Rum will be included in the price of around JD70 (£80 2023) as well. You should chose the Jordan Pass with 1-day entry to Petra (Jordan Wanderer). Please be aware that you need a credit card to buy a Jordan Pass. 
Please PRINT your Jordan Pass so that the guide can take it to the visitor center in Wadi Rum. Speak to your travel consultant for help with this.

 

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

Riding tough, sturdy, local Arab and cross horses who are perfectly adjusted to the desert. All horses are responsive and forward-going. Heights range from 1.45m-1.55m and ridden in English tack. On the riding days of this tour the luggage is transported by 4X4 vehicle through the desert. Riders will have access to it during lunch stops and overnights. During the day riders are provided with saddle bags which have enough room for small items such as water bottles, cameras, sunscreen etc.



The riding on this trail is relaxed walking combined with long, relaxed, controlled group canters. Expect to be riding for between 5-6 hours per day, except on the last day. The ride will be in mountainous terrain on day 1 and on the morning of day 2, and will be in the desert on day 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the riding portion.


Rider requirements

This trail is for good intermediate to experienced riders only, who are confident riding in open spaces and comfortable at all paces on a responsive horse. The horses are used to long, relaxed, controlled canters (not wild gallops). Riders must be physically fit enough to spend between 5-6 hours in the saddle. Must also be happy to participate in horse care and camp activities such as grooming and saddling horses and pitching and striking tents.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 187 lb/85 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Meals

All meals are provided during the camping part of the trip and are prepared by the cook & staff. It is local Arabic food;  fresh, balanced and plentiful. 



Expect a continental breakfast, lunches are usually light, consisting of salads and other local dishes. Main meals for dinner, mainly rice, chicken, vegetables, lamb and other local dishes.



All non-alcoholic drinks are included. Tea is always ready upon arrival at lunch and camp locations. The cooler boxes are always available with water and soft drinks (usually Pepsi, Fanta and Sprite).



The chef can cater for vegetarians, please let us know in advance. Also contact us if you have other dietary requirements.



Accommodation

Spend the first two and last two nights staying in a comfortable hotel (day 1, 2, 8 and 9) in either single or twin rooms with ensuite bathroom. There is 5 nights camping (day 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) in single or twin tents.



Mattresses and dome tents are provided but riders will need to bring their own sleeping bag. You put up and take down your own tent every day, assistance will be given when needed. 



Sanitary facilities are basic and water is limited as we are trekking in the desert. The camping is basic wilderness camping, there are no toilets or showers. Water, although limited, is always available and can be used for washing. Toilet paper is always available, you will be asked to burn it or to simply throw it in the rubbish bag. 


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.
NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.
Passport and Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.
Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/jordan

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Jordan.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/jordan

Climate Summary

Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean climate in the north and arid desert climates in the majority of the country. Average temperatures range from 12 to 25 0C with summertime highs of 40 0C in desert regions and lows to zero C at night. Average rainfall is as little as 50mm in the desert and higher in the northern hills some of which falls as snow. November to May are the best times to visit, December to February are pleasant in the day but cold at night.

Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in the principal cities of Jordan, but not necessarily in outlying areas. Most hospitals in Jordan, especially Amman, are privately owned. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Italy and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Temperatures in summer months can be very high. Drink plenty of water and use high factor sun-block.

Electricity

In Jordan the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

Mobile, WiFi and charging

There’s no possibility to recharge camera or phone during the camping portion of the ride so bring a power bank or extra batteries. The desert is very sandy and dusty, be aware this is hard going on camera equipment! There is no phone / 4G access on most days in Wadi Rum but signal is good in other areas.

Packing List

Riding helmet
A pair of comfortable boots (Ankle boot with half legs chaps are favorite for comfort)
Comfortable riding trousers
Riding gloves (if you're used to riding with them)
Sleeping bag
Flashlight or headlamp
Personal toiletries
Sunglasses
Sunscreen and lip balm
Mosquito repellent
Personal medications
Long sleeved, light-weight shirts and some warm clothing (nights can be cool)
Camera and spare batteries
Scarf or bandana for wind and/or dust and sand
Rain jacket (rain is possible till early May)
Bathing suit and small towel for your visit to the Dead Sea
A pair of slippers to protect your feet at the rocky Dead Sea shore
Sleeping bag

Programmes

This is a 10-day / 9-night programme with set departure dates available from mid-February to end of May and mid-September to end of November.

Departure Dates

2024: 3, 10, 17, 24 Feb; 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Mar; 6, 13, 20, 27 Apr; 4, 11, 18, 25 May; 7, 14, 21, 28 Sept; 5, 12, 19, 26 Oct; 2, 9, 16, 23 Nov.

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
Wadi Rum 6 day Desert Trail10d/9n6double pp1,529
Wadi Rum 6 day Desert Trail10d/9n6single supplement149
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
Wadi Rum 6 day Desert Trail10d/9n6double pp1,805
Wadi Rum 6 day Desert Trail10d/9n6single supplement175
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
Wadi Rum 6 day Desert Trail10d/9n6double pp2,005
Wadi Rum 6 day Desert Trail10d/9n6single supplement195
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
Wadi Rum 6 day Desert Trail10d/9n6double pp20,475
Wadi Rum 6 day Desert Trail10d/9n6single supplement1,965
Recommended Reading

Books:

-     Our Last Best Chance by King Abdullah II of Jordan

-     Leap of Faith: memoires of an unexpected life by Queen Noor

-     Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite van Geldermalsen

-     Desert Queen by Janet Wallach

-     Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson​​​​​​

-     Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence

Movies:

-     Lawrence of Arabia (1962-1963), by David Lean

In addition Wadi RUm is a favourite film location and has been used in the following movies:

-     Indiana Jones and the last crusade (1989), by Steven Spielberg

-     Transformers 2 : the Revenge of the fallen (2009), by Michael Bay

-     Mission to Mars (2000), by Brian de Palma

-     Prometheus (2010), by Ridley Scott

-    ​​​ The Martian (2015) , by Ridley Scott

-     Aladdin (2019), by Guy Ritchie


Wildlife

Jordan has a great variety of wildlife, not least because it lies at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Arabia and Africa. The deserts, which may initially look devoid of life, turn out to contain a rich flora and fauna especially adapted to the harsh environment, and there's even life in the Dead Sea – you just need a microscope to see the two species of bacteria which are known to occur.
Mosaics, rock art and frescoes paint a picture of Jordan's wildlife at a time when its significance was as a source of food and later sport. Ancient rock art in the eastern deserts depicts gazelles, ibex and ostriches, and stone corrals remain as evidence of systematic trapping by previous generations of Bedouin.

Other Information

- We recommend purchasing a Jordan Pass. By buying the Jordan Pass your visa fee will be waived upon arrival so no hassle with changing money at the airport and your entry tickets to Petra and Wadi Rum are included in the price of 70 JOD as well. You should choose the Jordan Pass with 1-day entry to Petra for 70 JOD (Jordan Wanderer) in 2023. Please be aware that you need a credit card to buy a Jordan Pass. Please PRINT your Jordan Pass so that the guide can take it to the visitor center in Wadi Rum. Website: www.jordanpass.jo
- Please note when travelling in the Middle East you need to be aware that some Western familiarities can be misconstrued. To avoid any misunderstandings try to remain politely formal and dress modestly (long trousers and covered shoulders for ladies).

Other Country Information

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a developing economy. While many aspects of Jordanian life are modern and the government is Western-oriented, Islamic ideals and beliefs provide the conservative foundation for the country's customs, laws and practices. Tourist facilities are widely available, although quality may vary depending on price and location. The local workweek for Jordanian government offices and most businesses is Saturday through Thursday.

Jordan is one of the most welcoming and hospitable countries in the world. It is a rare place where you can leave your belongings on the side of the road and still find them there when you return, or be invited into a complete strangers home to eat with their family in a completely altruistic gesture. Due to the problems associated with the Middle East, tourists usually steer away from Jordan, but this fear has little basis in fact and you will find a beautiful country that is relatively trouble free.

Be aware that Bedouin culture is wonderfully friendly, however there is a fine line. Invitations to watch the stars and the like should be regarded with care: be absolutely sure they are platonic before accepting!

Jordan is two hours ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.

The international dialling code is +962.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Amman Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Jordan
Transfer:
Return transfer from Amman airport included in price.
Flight Guide:
Return flight London to Amman from £240pp
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