Wadi Rum geology
Wadi Rum, also known as Valley of the Moon, is a desert the size of 720km squared, cut into sandstone and granite rock. Many years ago, the sea formed the strange shapes you see in the sandstone. The highest peak in Wadi Rum is Jabal Um ad Adami (1,840m), which lies close to the Saudia Arabian border. Jabal Rum (1,734m), the second-highest peak in Jordan, is located right in the center of Rum and offers a scenic view of the area.
Wadi Rum is an area protected by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Association (ASECA) since 1988. ASECA takes care of preserving nature and the Bedouin living within Wadi Rum. UNESCO has protected it since 2011.
Due to its natural resources and its’ shade-giving rocks, people settled very early in Wadi Rum. It has been mentioned amongst Greek and Roman writings. Thamudic and Nabatean (4th century BC) inscriptions can be found all over the area, especially in Khazali Canyon and on a wall called Anfisheyh inscriptions. The desert provides Bedouin tribes with water, olives, figs, and herbs till today.
Wadi Rum flora and fauna
Even though Bedouins live in harsh conditions, Wadi Rum has an abundance of plants, such as local herbs that are being used by the Bedouins, as well as various types of desert flowers in that bloom in spring. Bushes that grow around the area and are being used mainly for firewood by the local Bedouins. Lining the water springs, you can spot figs, olives, and mint plants. These places are also used by several mammals, birds, and reptiles to find a shady place to sleep during the heat of the day.
The camel is probably the most popular and most frequently seen animal in the desert. The bedouins let them roam freely through the area during the day. With its unique way of reserving water in its body, the camel can survive for one week without water. Next to the camel, the desert is home to rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, and dormice. Almost all of them are nocturnal animals, and you would be fortunate to catch the sight of one of them during your visit. After the camel, the second most popular animal is the oryx antelope, which is now protected in a natural reservoir close to Wadi Rum because of its’ endangered status.
Next to mammals, Wadi Rum is home to a lot of reptiles such as snakes and lizards. Also, scorpions can be found, especially during the summer, but travelers rarely spot them as they hide in the rocks and in the shade. Wadi Rum is home to millions of birds, especially those of prey, such as falcons or eagles. They fly above the high rocks, searching for food.
There is much more to learn about Wadi Rum when you come for a visit. Our team has grown up in Wadi Rum and can share with you a wealth of knowledge about the area and its’ inhabitants.