Wadi Rum with children
An increasing number of people bring their
children to Jordan and naturally want them to visit Wadi Rum. While we enjoy
meeting these children, 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. Tears of exhaustion do not make
for a happy holiday!
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
"Small Three Bridges" 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.
Scrambling in the
mountains : any programme involving the mountains in any way is
unsuitable for children younger than 14 years old. We refer here to the
simpler scrambles and we reserve the right to refuse any child who appears inapt
at these, even if he is older than 14.
scrambles, such as the Rakebat Canyon, should not be attempted by children
before the age of 16. The Rakebat is more difficult than it appears at first
sight and our responsibility is totally engaged in these routes.
We should be 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 will we accept any advance
reservation for a programme which we judge unsuitable to the age of the child.
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