We welcome our guest who travel with their children. While we enjoy meeting these children, an increasing number of people bring their children to Jordan and naturally want them to visit Wadi Rum. We have to admit that very few of our programmes are really suitable for them.
There is no difficulty with the jeep tours; the children are welcome to travel with their parents, and we usually make a discount for the smaller ones. We do expect their parents to take full responsibility for them, and to look after them at all times.
For camel rides : a child of two years or less can ride for a short time, two hours maximum, in front of one of his/her parents. Quite frankly, this supposes that the parent does not take up all the place on the saddle! If the parent is a large size, you should bring a "child bag" so that the child can ride on your back. (This solution is not acceptable for any other programmes)
A child of 8 years old or older can ride his own camel on a leading rein for one day. We do not advise more than about 4 hours in the saddle and we also advise against more than one day, however enthusiastic the child may be.
Hiking : This is often our main problem. Our hiking programmes are deliberately designed to leave any vehicle out of sight and reach for most of the day. Many of our clients do not realise the difficulty involved in this. Parents systematically overestimate a child's stamina and tell us "Yes, he can do it!" Our experience is that very often he cannot, however strong the will to do it may be. This leads to a great deal of distress for everybody.
Please remember that in the desert of Wadi Rum, hiking is done almost entirely in the sun, often on soft sand, and usually in temperatures of 28C to 35C. These conditions are much harder than those most visitors are used to, and it is not surprising that children tire more quickly here than at home.
We are sorry, but after a number of unhappy episodes we cannot accept children younger than 12 years old for hiking on the sand for two or three hours at a time. If you are very anxious to hike with your child, we draw your attention to the programme "One day jeep and hike" which is designed for those who are unsure just how much they want to walk and where the vehicle is within reach all the time. This is the only hiking programme where we will accept smaller children.
Our guides are always anxious to help out, but they must remain free and unencumbered in order to be able to react quickly in an emergency. Obviously they cannot do this when they are carrying a small child and we have instructed them not to do so.
We are perfectly happy to discuss this with you when you and the child are here. This doesn't mean that we would change our minds very easily. In no circumstances would we accept any advance reservation for a programme which we judge unsuitable to the age of the child.