What to Expect at a Bedouin Campsite in Petra

When I visited Petra, Jordan, I stayed in a Bedouin campsite. The Bedouins are historically Arabic nomads who traverse deserts in the Middle East.

I stayed for two nights at the Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp. This campsite was located near Petra.

We arrived at the campsite at night and it was dark. We couldn’t really see or tell where we were. The next morning, when I woke up and opened my little hut, this greeted me:

Not your Traditional Campsite

Though it was called a camp, it was not your traditional rough-and-tumble campsite with tents.

Instead, you get a little hut with an actual bed inside, one power plug, one light source and a tiny table. Since it was winter when we visited, we also had about 10 layers on blankets stacked on our beds… I used all 10. It was freezing at night.

Shower and Toilet Facilities

I want to call it glamping, but in the most basic sense. Except for the hut and the actual bed, there’s barely a luxe factor here.

No ensuite bathrooms here – everyone uses the shared toilet and shower facilities. There are two areas separated for men and women. They were very clean and modern, and you even get hot water. Not bad. I didn’t plan to shower – don’t judge, it was too damn cold – but I ended up doing a quick wash after a long day of exploring Petra. It was a welcome relief.

I would suggest bringing along slippers for the bathroom. If you’re particular about toiletries, bring your own. They only provide a universal soap for all your showering needs.They have clean towels available too, you just have to ask for it. There’s only one hairdryer, so expect to wait a while if it’s peak shower period. Or just don’t wash your hair if you can help it.

No Electricity and… Water???

The power and water turned off at 12 midnight, and remains off until the morning at around 6am. This meant if you’re getting up in the middle of the night for the loo, you’ll have to do so without light – and it gets pitch dark – and water.

The water thing… OK. I’m going to be real and 100 here – that was harsh.

Stripping us off water, which is a basic necessity. Lordy. Sure, we’re in the middle of a desert, and sure, there were no running pipes for 24/7 water, and SURE, the campsite has to physically transport water tanks… but still! This was a definite campsite for tourists, and not an authentic 100% Bedouin BEDOUIN campsite. Some leeway could have been afforded. Surely.

I woke up both mornings at around 5.45 am, and the water wasn’t turned on yet. Imagine peeing (or, bless your soul, having to poop) and not being able to flush… Now imagine if you have to go AFTER me. Yeeeppp.

So… Just saying, a heads-up, for your daily… ummm, needs. There will be no water and electricity between midnight to 6am.

In the daytime, don’t expect water or electricity. The Bedouin campsite emptied of guests in the daytime anyway, as they’re all most likely exploring the nearby Petra. They only begin to turn things on right when the first guests return.

Of course, if there’s an emergency situation, they can turn the taps and electricity on.

Mealtimes

Breakfast and dinner was provided in a cool tent at the entrance of the campsite.

Meals are the standard Jordanian fare in the form of a buffet. In the morning, you get mixed salads, hummus, boiled eggs.

Dinner would be a fuller meal of rice, stews, salads,and Middle Eastern desserts. I loved mealtimes. Went for seconds a lot.

Disconnect the Best Way Possible

There was WIFI available as well, but only in the main communal tent. Half the time, the wifi was spotty. I say… drop your Mom a quick “Hi I’m alive” text, and then just disconnect.

Enjoy meeting and chatting with fellow travelers.

After dinner, hang out with the Bedouins at the communal tent. The Bedouins at our campsite were these handsome men with intense eyes lined with kohl. Aladdin, dat chu? Juxtapose to their harsh, rocker vibes exterior, they’re very friendly. Apparently, they were all part of the same family.

One night, the Bedouins put on a show for us and performed some traditional songs. It was a euphoric experience as we clapped along while sipping our hot teas.

Verdict?

I loved it. It gave my trip another layer of experience.

You do have the option of staying in a regular hotel – and it costs the same as at a Bedouin campsite – but why would you?  I felt my trip was a lot more complete and special because of the campsite.

Have you stayed in a Bedouin campsite? Was it similar to my experience?


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