Bivouac camping - sleep under the stars in Wadi Rum
Bivouac camping, also known as sleeping under the stars, is a fantastic adventure for anyone who loves going back to basics and seeks adventure. It is about experiencing the true silence of the desert night, marveling at the mind-blowing starry night sky, eating yummy Bedouin food, and chatting with Bedouins about life and whatever else comes up. After a night under the magical starry ceiling, you wake up to the rising sun casting the mountains of Wadi Rum. Feel the peace, feel how the air is refreshed, and listen to the first bird songs of the day, and you will understand why we endure the harshness of life in the desert.
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The Wadi Rum Nomads 'cave'
We call it a ‘cave’, but it is more an overhanging rock that protects us from sun, rain, and wind. Although the ‘cave’ is well protected, we built a traditional low wall for extra protection. At the same time, it also gives a more secluded feeling.
Location of our 'cave'
Opposite our 'cave', you can climb on a plateau or the mountain to enjoy mesmerizing views over Wadi Rum. And these places are excellent for enjoying both the sunset and sunrise. In addition, from the 'cave' itself, we have a great view of the billions of stars at night.
How sleeping under the stars works
After the day tour, your guide drives to our ‘cave’. While you enjoy the sunset, your guide starts with preparing and cooking the traditional Bedouin dinner. Of course, he will prepare our famous Bedouin tea alongside.
When you return to the ‘cave’, you can enjoy the tea. And once dinner is ready, it will be served to you. We have no tables and chairs. So, we eat being seated on the matrasses.
You can spend the rest of the evening seated around the fire. We can tell you about Bedouin culture and music, or you can gaze into the starry night sky and enjoy the peaceful silence of the desert.
Once it is time to sleep, we will organize the mattresses on a carpet and provide you with your sleeping equipment. It consists of a sleeping bag and sheet. And during colder nights, we also offer blankets. Please note that we don’t provide pillows. If you want to bring your own sleeping equipment, that is fine with us. But it is not necessary.
The next morning you can wake up to the rising sun. We start the day with breakfast in the ‘cave’. Afterward, we either continue exploring the desert or return to Rum village.
Facilities during bivouac camping
Bivouac camping in our ‘cave’ means back to basics. So, no running water, no toilet, and no shower. All that we have is what we bring along.
We have designated places, ‘toilets with a view’ as we call them, where you can mind your business. And we request all our guests not to leave toilet paper (also not the biodegradable ones), and other things behind as in arid areas like our desert decomposition can take decades.
As for taking a shower, that won’t be possible when you sleep under the stars. You can take a shower the next evening at our camp or your next accommodation.
Stargazing at our 'cave' is fabulous
When bivouac camping is available
We decided to limit bivouac camping in our ‘cave’ to May, June, July, August, and September as it is a high impact way of staying overnight. As we love our homeland and want to contribute to the preservation so that many generations to come can enjoy our magical desert. For preservation, we must limit the collecting of firewood and pollution. In our camp, we can use the same amount of wood for all our guests, which we otherwise use for a few guests in our ‘cave’. And as the camp has bathroom facilities, we also limit pollution due to human waste, etc.
Sleeping outdoors near our camp
Does this mean you cannot sleep outdoors with us during the other months of the year? No, of course not. It is a unique experience that we want our guests to have. On our webpage ‘Wadi Rum Base Camp‘, you can read all out bivouac camping near our camp.
Our food and drinks
We serve our meals buffet-style. For breakfast, we have bread and a selection of toppings like oil & za’atar, labneh, hummus, cheese, jam, and eggs accompanied by Bedouin tea, coffee, and mineral water.
Lunch typically consists of a freshly prepared hot dish like Galayah Bandura accompanied by bread and a selection of side dishes as hummus, cheese, tuna, and salad. And as for drinks, we serve mineral water, Bedouin tea, and soda or juice.
For dinner, we serve freshly prepared, traditional Bedouin food like Zarb or Khabsah accompanied by bread, rice and salads. After dinner, we serve either sweets or fruit. And as for drinks, we serve mineral water, Bedouin tea, and soda or juice.
We pay attention to your dietary requirements as much as possible within the limitation of the desert.
Lastly, note that mineral water is available for free throughout your stay. So, no need to bring some yourself.
What our guests say about bivouac camping
Sleeping under the stars was the cherry on the top. the view at sunset and the sky showcasing the Milky Way in all its glory was to die for. Plus how many times do you actually get to sleep outdoors these days in absolute quiet and no pollution!? They offered foam mattresses and sleeping bags and blankets, although it was too warm to use them. We had dinner and breakfast next morning at the same site. Having no toilet could be an issue, but only if you make it into an issue. It was definitely worth it!
Anna, United Kingdom
Reviewed on Tripadvisor
Our guide cooked us a wonderful lunch and dinner aft which we slept under the stars in a groomed site. He provided everything for a comfortable sleep, mattress pad, sleeping bag, and blankets. Our hot breakfast, again, cooked by our guide was wonderful.
Reviewed on Tripadvisor
While they call it a 'cave', it is more of an overhang near a stunning cliff, in the area where the white and red deserts meet. We hiked to a nearby rock outcropping to view the sunset, only to return to a fantastic dinner that was cooked in a pit. Similar to a very large dutch oven. After dinner, Fawaz entertained us with his musical talents while we sipped on Bedouin whiskey.
Reviewed on Tripadvisor