Wadi Rum Challenge 

Join us on this once in a life time trek in the magnificent Wadi Rum, Jordan. The home of several Bedouin tribes, the vast Wadi Rum (‘the Valley of the Moon’) is most famous for its association with British Army Officer T. E. Lawrence, who passed through several times during the Arab Revolt of 1917–18. In the 1980s.Shots of Wadi Rum in the 1962 film ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ were responsible for kick-starting Jordan’s tourist industry and introducing travellers to this spectacular place. The trail follows old shepherd paths, weaving its way west across desert wadis and over striped granite mountains, caused by basalt dyke intrusions. At the end of the trek, we pay a visit to the ancient city of Petra.

Challenge highlights

  • Trekking between 22 – 25km per day in the majestic Wadi Rum (a World Heritage site)
  • Finding dramatic, hidden desert scenery, including sandstone domes, rock formations and granite and basalt striated mountains
  • Experiencing the Bedouin culture and cuisine
  • Wild camping beneath spectacular desert skies
  • Summiting Um Dami, Jordan’s highest mountain
  • Exploring the ancient city of Petra

Dates and group size

The dates for our Wadi Rum Challenge is 12th – 18th November 2022.The maximum group size for each trek is 20 people. Demand is likely to be very high due to the success of our previous adventure challenges.  The minimum group size will be ten people.  The deadline for booking is 1st July 2022 and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Why trek with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity?

Taking part in the Wadi Rum Challenge will help us raise vital funds so that all soldiers, former soldiers and their families can have the opportunity to avoid hardship and enjoy independence and dignity.The overall scale, breath and range of the charity’s support is vast. We help serving families cope with a sudden bereavement or traumatic loss; provide wide-ranging support to wounded soldiers, many of whom will need increasing financial assistance for decades to come; provide help with housing, education and training for employment for soldiers and veterans of all ages; we are there for older veterans and their widows or widowers when they find themselves lonely or isolated.

Interested in entering as part of a corporate or work team?

Do you know five people or more interested in entering a team from your company? If so, contact us on wales@soldierscharity.org call 02920 726 132 to find out more.For the full itinerary and the online booking form, please click here .

Wadi Rum Challenge Itinerary 

Day 1 – London to Aqaba

Departing London Gatwick in the morning for our direct flight (approx. 5hrs 40mins), we arrive into Aqaba in the late afternoon where we will be welcomed by our Jordanian team at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Aqaba is fringed with palm trees, lapped by the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Aqaba, cooled by a steady northerly breeze, and ringed by mountains that change in colour throughout the day.Overnight in City Tower Hotel in Aqaba and dinner.

Day 2 – Aqaba to Wadi Rum Seven Pillars of Wisdom – Um Fruth Bridge

After an early breakfast, we will leave our hotel by 0700hrs so that the team can be at the start of the trek for 0800hrs.Our trek starts at the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and the route takes us off the beaten track and through the Jbel mountain area. We trek through the canyons and Siqs, (Arabic for ‘gateway’), enjoying the impressive landscapes. We will have lunch along the way at the halfway point. Along our route we will pass the petroglyphs and inscriptionswhich are ancient drawings of humans and animals, thought to be instructions and messagesto fellow travellers about the route and hidden springs. We can enjoy a short stop at the famous Um Fruth bridge before we reach our camp for the night.Approx. 24km, 8 hours trekking, Overnight wild camping and full board.

Day 3 – Um Dami

We leave camp early so we can complete a long morning trek of approximately 18km, trekking over the vast flat plains and crossing over the dry river channel. We head south towards Um Dami (1854m), Jordan’s highest mountain. After a hearty lunch and a chance to rest our legs we set off on our mountain ascent. The first part of theascent is steep and while we need watch our footing on the large boulders, this is not a technical climb and our guides will be there to help you. It takes between 1.5 – 2 hours to reach the summit and we will be rewarded with views across the Wadi Rum and over to the Red Sea and south into Saudi Arabia. After many photo opportunitiesunder the ‘well worn’ Jordanian flag we descend to our camp at the base of the mountain.Approx. 23km, 8 – 9 hours trekking, Overnight wild camping and full board.

Day 4 – Um Dami to the canyons

Leaving Um Dami behind us we start our journey north towards the majestic canyons, surrounded by unbelievably vast, towering rocks. As we head into the canyons we will need to negotiate a steady and sandy climb before we reach our lunch stop. We continue our journey and can enjoy climbing on the large rock in the centre of the plainwhere we can find the Bedouin dams. We will be able to see our camp from a high viewing point with views across the valley floor. Tonight we will enjoy a special Bedouin meal, ‘Mansaf’, cooked by our desert team and learn a new way of eating!!!!Approx. 22km, 8 hours trekking, Overnight wild camping and full board.

Day 5 – Burrah and Lawrence Canyon

Today is the final day of our challenge and we continue to head north, passing through the Burrah and Lawrence canyons. The route takes us through the narrow canyon paths, and look out for the mushroom shaped rock on the route from camp to our lunch stop. After lunch, we have the final leg of the trek and we pass the faces of TE Lawrenceand King Abullah carved into the stones. We finish our challenge in our stunning desert camp where we can enjoy a shower and a celebratory meal, experiencing the traditional ‘Zarb’ cooking and local music – watch out you may be asked to dance!!24km in total, 8 – 9 hours trekking, Overnight in Desert Camp in en suite rooms and full board.

Day 6 – Ancient City of Petra

After a very early breakfast we say farewell to our desert crew and head to the ancient city of Petra. We will have time to explore this fascinating Nabataean city dating back to 1st century BC. We will meet for a late lunch in Petra and head onto Madaba for our final night in Jordan. 2hr transfer to Petra/3hr transfer to Madaba.Overnight 3 Star City Mosiac Hotel, Madaba and full board.

Day 7 – Amman and fly home

After breakfast, we head to Amman airport for our direct flight home to London Heathrow (approx. 5 hours 40 mins).Meals included breakfast. (Please note you will be flying out of London Gatwick and return into London Heathrow).

Details of Rum Camping… What to expect:

The dining tent will be a comfortable communal area with cushions;There will be an open fire to sit around every night; We will provide twin share tents with mattresses; Water will be provided to wash with in the morning; Lunch on trek will be en route; November is a popular time to visit the Wadi Rum, daytime temperatures are on average between 20 – 25degrees; Night time temperatures drop to between 5 -10 degrees so evenings will be cooler; There is always the chance of rain so the team will need to be prepared for this. Drinks will be water, tea and coffee.

What does the cost include and exclude?

The Trip Includes:

Tribal Tracks Leader; International economy class flights between London Gatwick and Aqaba and Amman and London Heathrow; UK international departure tax; Passenger Service Charges; Accommodation in shared rooms in Aqaba, Desert Camp and Madaba; Accommodation in shared tents on trek; Supporting In-country guides and cooks during trek; Jeep support during trek; Entry fees to Petra; All transfers by minibus or bus as per itinerary; All meals from dinner on day of arrival to breakfast on day of departure; Bottled water on trek; Vegetarian or other meal plan can be provided, please specify at time of booking.

The Trip Excludes:

Personal Travel Insurance, Immunisation costs; Personal equipment and clothing; Boots suitable for trek, Sleeping bag; Visa fees; Any locally paid international airport departure taxes; Items of a personal nature; Tipping for local guides and driver; Single supplement.

Security of Booking – Payment and Financial Protection

Tribal Tracks has 100% Financial Protection and has a trust account with the Protected Trust Service, member number 5566. This means that all client monies paid to Tribal Tracks are held in our dedicated trust account, which is supervised by an independent trustee. This means that in the very unlikely event that Tribal Tracks ceases to trade, your money is safe.  For more information please visit www.protectedtrustservices.com/services/consumer-protection/.  Flights booked for you by Tribal Tracks will be ATOL protected under our own ATOL certificate.Tribal Tracks is fully insured and carries public liability insurance up to £5 million.

Who are Tribal Tracks?

Charlie Richards, ex Army Officer, will be your dedicated Tribal Tracks advisor for this trip and will be with you every step of the way, ensuring that every single detail of the tour runs smoothly, from start to finish.Tribal Tracks will provide the following:

  • Dedicated Tribal Tracks Advisor to The Soldiers’ Charity and its supporters;
  • A full, detailed itinerary, trip notes and kit list;
  • Booking and terms and conditions;
  • 24-hour support when the team is in country;
  • Robust in country infrastructure with expert Jordan team;
  • A suitably qualified UK based leader, who will be handpicked for expertise as well as an ability to bond the team and make the trip fun.

Online fundraising

Join The Soldiers’ Charity Just Giving team page here.We will also send you your fundraising pack in the post, which is full of top tips, sponsorship forms and more. We are here to support you every step of the way. Check out our Facebook page to meet and connect with your fellow trekkers.

Fundraising support

We have got lots of resources to get you started, including extra sponsorship forms and information on Gift Aid. We can also post you resources such as sponsorship forms, collection tins, and posters and balloons for your fundraising events.  If you need anything simply email wales@soldierscharity.org or call us on 02920 726 132.To learn more about taking part in our Wadi Rum Trek here.

Fitness 

It is important that the team understand that this challenge requires a good degree of physical fitness.  Although it is not technical, the distances and conditions will require stamina and strength, which you should recognise and train for.  We don’t want to scare you – it’s just that you will have a much better time if you are fit and prepared.

Preparing for your Trek

The best way to build endurance fitness is to start with some gentle walks and gradually build up both the distance and duration over the next few months.  In the last 2 months, we would recommend to go out and do long days, ideally in the hills, to build up the strength in your legs. About a week before the trek, limit any training to short walks – you want to have fresh legs at the start!For the trek you should be comfortable trekking between six to eight hours per day, but remember we have all day to achieve the distances and will not be going at racing snake pace. It may sound obvious, but make sure that you are walking properly, hitting the ground with your heel first, then rolling onto your toe, which pushes you onto the next step (this will help reduce the risk of shin splints and tendon pulls). Walk with your head up, eyes forward and shoulders level.It is a good idea to develop a level of cardiovascular fitness (exercising and strengthening your heart and lungs). This comes from running, cycling or swimming for between 20 minutes and an hour, and will really help develop your endurance fitness. Three sessions a week is normally advised, increasing time and distance over time.On the trek you won’t be carrying your main pack, but you will need to carry a small day pack, packed with essentials like your camera, sunscreen and water. During your training, make sure you’re carrying the day pack that you will be using on the trek.Remember train hard trek easy.

Wadi Rum Challenge – SUGGESTED KIT

It is important to pack good quality and hard-wearing kit, this can make the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one.Personal Equipment – We will provide a full kit list in the Wadi Rum Challenge Trip Notes that we will send out once the team is confirmed however here are few useful tips on key equipment:Boots – Your boots will be crucial to the comfort of the trek and ensure you use these to train, we would suggest a proper trekking boot with good ankle support.Wool socks are good and we would recommend this over synthetic ones. The most important advice we can give is to ensure they are worn in and have been tried and tested. If you don’t have boots already the outdoor shops are normally really helpful as their staff are trained on recommending the right footwear e.g. Cotswold Outdoors, Blacks and Millets. Sleeping bag – a 3 /4 season sleeping bag is recommended, we will provide sleeping mattresses and extra blankets if required.

Option 1 Minimum Fundraising

Minimum Fundraising Payment OptionHow to sign up… It’s easy! Complete the online booking form and pay a non-refundable registration fee of £400 to Tribal Tracks(account details are on the online booking form).Then, in addition to the payment of the non-refundable registration fee of £400, you must also pledge to raise a minimum of £2595 sponsorship for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. A minimum of 80% (£2076) of the Minimum Sponsorship Sum must be received, in clear funds, by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity at least ten weeks before you depart. If you do this,your place on the challenge is secured. The balance of the fundraising sum (a minimum of £519 (£2595 less £2076) is due no later than 4 weeks after The Wadi Rum Challenge team return.ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has set up a Wadi Rum Challenge fundraising team page which can be used for fundraising and for the depositing of the funds, just to make life easy for you.OR ….

Option 2 – Self Funded Payment Option

How to sign up… It’s easy! Complete the online booking form and pay a non-refundable registration fee of £400 to Tribal Tracks (account details are on the online booking form).The total cost of the trip is £1995 per person. The final payment of £1595 is due 10 weeks before departure – you will be invoiced by Tribal Tracks.ABF The Soldiers’ Charity asks you to aim for an additional fundraising amount of at least £1000 per person. A minimum of 80% (£800) of the Minimum Sponsorship Sum must be received, in clear funds, by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity at least ten weeks before you depart. If you do this, your place on the challenge is secured. The balance of the fundraising sum (a minimum of £200 (£1000 less £800) is due no later than 4 weeks after The Wadi Rum Challenge team return.

Insurance 

It is a requirement of Tribal Tracks booking terms and conditions that each supporter must hold their own travel insurance which covers the trip and the activities they are doing. We may require evidence of this.  Tribal Tracks is fully insured and carries public liability insurance up to £5 million.

Your Privacy Matters

Of course, we will need to communicate with you about this event, after that it is up to you. Registration allows you to choose how (or if) we communicate with you in the future. We value your privacy; our full privacy statement can be found here.To learn more about our amazing trekking events around the world, simply follow Treks & Walks. 

Contact Us

If you need to get in touch with us, please contact the team at contact us on wales@soldierscharity.org call 02920 726 132 to find out more.