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Wadi Rum is a famous desert region in southern Jordan. Predominantly inhabited by Bedouins, some of whom still lead a nomadic lifestyle, Wadi Rum is a wondrous land of awe-inspiring sandstone and granite mountains which rise dramatically from the pink-ochre sands. T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, set up his base here in 1917 to assist the Arabs in their efforts to oust the Ottomans. These days, Wadi Rum is a magnet for hikers, climbers and visitors who wish to see the spectacular desert landscapes. There are many things to do in Wadi Rum, however, I highly recommend going on a hot-air balloon tour at sunrise; in my book, one of the most spectacular, mind-blowing and magical experiences in Jordan! Scroll down to view my photo essay of this amazing Wadi Rum hot-air balloon tour and you’ll see why.

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Wadi Rum seen from a hot-air balloon.

Wadi Rum hot-air balloon tour

The tour starts in the early hours of the morning, just before sunrise. Guests are taken in jeeps to a site (which site depends on the direction of the wind) where the balloon is rolled out. As we waited for the crew to prepare the balloon, we were treated to a simply magical sunrise.

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The balloon was rolled out as the sun rose from behind the mountains.
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Long shadows at sunrise.

Large fans and the burner were used to inflate the balloon while the basket was anchored to the pick-up truck.

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Getting the balloon up.
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Up and ready!

With the balloon firmly anchored to the pick-up truck, we scrambled into the basket which was surprisingly spacious, with high walls (there was no way anyone would fall out!). There were sixteen of us, visitors from all corners of the world, and we chatted excitedly as the captain made the final preparations. I got to stand with the captain in the middle of the basket right under the burners. And that’s the best place to be! He gave me a cap to protect my head from the heat of the burners and told me that I could move around freely. Awesome!

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The burners on full blast.
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Take off!

Photos of the Wadi Rum desert landscapes

The balloon rose quickly to a height of 3,000 feet and I was stunned! The scenery that unfolded was absolutely breathtaking! Strangely enough, I didn’t experience any fear (like I usually would from great heights). The surreal landscapes below and the soft breeze in my face kept me occupied I guess and I felt perfectly safe. I took so many photos of the Wadi Rum landscapes, I think because I couldn’t quite believe my own eyes!

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The incredible landscapes of Wadi Rum quickly unfolded!
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The wavy dunes were a sight to behold!
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The dunes and the mountains.
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The mountains of the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan.
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Shadow of our hot-air balloon.
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The spectacular colours of the dunes.
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Amazing isn’t it?
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A hot-air balloon ride over Wadi Rum is unforgettable!

The hot-air balloon tour lasted slightly over an hour and judging by the elated look on everyone’s faces, I think everyone had the experience of a lifetime. I most certainly did!

The hot-air balloon tours over Wadi Rum are offered by Royal Aero Sports. This company also offers microlight and ultralight aircraft flights over the desert. If you’re visiting Wadi Rum, the hot-air balloon flight should be on your to-do list! For sure!

Book your hot-air balloon flight here.

Read about other things to do in Jordan.

Note: a big thank you goes to the Jordan Tourism Board for hosting me.

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23 Responses

  • Hi Kaylini,
    Thanks for your comment. Wadi Rum and Cappadocia (Turkey) are two spectacular places to go on a hot-air balloon flight. I hope you get to do it some day. I haven’t tried it but I’ve also heard amazing stories of a balloon ride above the Great Migration in the Serengeti.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  • Hi Keith, Thanks for the great article and especially the photography. Hot Ar ballooning has been on my bucketlist for some time but Ive never been able to decide which country would be best to try this activity. i thought it would be something I’d only try in Turkey. Im originally from South Africa, so we have some incredible landscapes, but surprisingly their aren’t many places to try this due to the differing weathering conditions. Jordan is on my bucketlist and I think that this would be an amazing add on to experience the landscape from the basket. Thanks again!

  • I would like to book a hot air balloon ride from Wadi Rum on Thursday 18th April next week. We are a group of 6 people.

  • […] Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a desert region in southern Jordan that consists of a broad valley with extensive dunes and impressive rocky outcrops, some as high as 1,500m (or close to 5,000ft), carved out over time by the eroding effects of water, wind and frost. I highly recommend going on a hot-air balloon flight at sunrise. The experience is quite literally breathtaking! Read about my Wadi Rum hot-air balloon experience. […]

  • Good morning,
    my wife and I we will be in Jordan for a 3-day tour to visit Petra and Wadi Rum.
    Being on tour we hd only a few hours free and we would like to have the experience of a balloon flight over.
    Will we be free the day 17 August until 8 o’clock , when we start a guided tour of Petra by Bedouin tent camp near Petra, or the 18th of August until 9:30 when we get to Wadi Rum for a jeep tour 4X4.
    For you it would be possible to collect us to the Bedouin camp Petra possibly August 18 , in order to do a balloon ride and be then directly to Wadi Rum for 9:30 ?
    We would also like to know the cost.
    Thank you and best regard,
    Simone

  • […] Aktivitäten: Wüstentouren mit Allradfahrzeugen zu Sanddünen, Bergen, Felsbrücken, Felszeichnungen, Ruinen von nabatäischen Tempeln. Kamelritte (bis zu mehrtägigen Kamelsafaris), Wandern und Felsklettern. Einen Bericht über eine Ballonfahrt über dem Wadi findet Ihr hier. […]

  • Hi Jan Nel,

    I suggest getting in touch with Royal Aero tours who conduct the balloon tours. I recommend booking in advance as you don’t want to be disappointed if you’re there for a limited time. Royal Aero will come pick you up at your camp – let them know where you’re staying. I believe the balloon ride costs something like 130 dinars.

    Have a great time in Jordan!

    Best regards,
    Keith

  • Hi

    We are a tour group that will be sleeping at Jacks Camp and I would like to find out if it would be possible to take a baloon ride/ what does it cost and do we have to book in advance. Will we be able to travel from jacks camp in time for the ballon ride?

    regards
    jan Nel

  • Hi Nina,
    Thanks for your comment. The balloon tour costs JD 130 per person for a ride of about an hour. Hope this helps.
    Enjoy Jordan!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  • Hey Keith!
    This are great photos and I am going to Jordan in April. Eversince i saw these photos on your blog i defintitely want to include balloon ride. Have contacted Royal Aero Sports, but noone replied to my email.. Do you knoe how much is the cost ?

  • […] moments then piled up: a romantic experience in Petra, a cooking course in Petra, a mind-blowing hot-air balloon flight over the Wadi Rum desert and an equally amazing sunset experience at the Dead Sea. After a week in […]

  • Oh Wow Keith!

    Those pics are “off the hook” amazing!

    You know, we’ve been seriously considering doing that. In a few weeks we’ll be in Phoenix and then Sedona, any of those you would suggest?

    Nancy & Shawn

  • Hi Kelly,
    Thanks for your comment. To be honest, the whole experience of being up in the hot-air balloon and seeing those amazing scenes was pretty unreal! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Keith

  • I’ve done this in the US and the most surprising element was that as we slowly descended dogs would not only see us but run their fences excitedly barking. I was surprised they noticed us at all.

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