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Travel: Captain’s Private Desert Camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan

Of all the ways to get to know Jordan, staying in a Bedouin-style tent in the middle of the vast Wadi Rum Desert is one of the best. Watching the sun set across the vast desert of Wadi Rum feels almost hallucinatory as the rust-colored landscape of fine sand, surreal rock formations, and rounded peaks shifts from intoxicating shades of orange, gold, and red, before the blue overtakes, slowly surrendering to an inky black night.


And at this point, things can get truly surreal—especially if you’ve been fortunate enough to book a tent at Captain’s Private Desert Camp. A handful of large tents are arranged in a half-moon, nestled into the sand in the curve of a massive outcrop of rocks that block the evening winds. Just outside the curve of tents, which are decked out with plush, warm bedding, sits a ring of what could be described as day beds that encircle a massive fire pit. After the sun sets, you retire to the inner circle and sip tea while your hosts cook a mix of chicken, lamb, and vegetables in the traditional Bedouin earthen oven.


They make bread on an open fire, serve more spiced tea, and let you bathe in the stars that explode across the sky. After the sumptuous feast, the music—and the dancing—starts, and you are reminded, again, of the truly generous nature of the Bedouin people. Continue to dance, stare into the fire, or venture out for a short walk across the sand to take in the vast landscape under a glowing moon. Or retire to your tent. Or sleep under the stars on one of the day beds. Whichever you choose, dawn will come, bright and vibrant. Ascend a rock outcrop to watch the sun rise, then return to camp for breakfast and more of that bracing tea, whose burst of caffeine should help remind you that it’s not all some wonderful, never-ending dream.


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