What is it?
The Bedouin Trail a new intercontinental travelling passage stretching 1200km between Africa and Asia, of which most can be hiked. Starting at Petra in Jordan and finishing at Egypt's Luxor it connects two of the great capitals of the ancient world and traverses the territories of seven Bedouin tribes. It runs deep into some of the most beautiful, fabled wilderness on earth, creating a space in which the nomadic heritage of the region's Bedouin tribes and their ever-changing modern identity can be better shared and understood. The Bedouin Trail is the first intercontinental passage of its kind between Africa and Asia and the longest hiking route in the Arab World; it gives an extraordinary way through the region and showing it in a unique new way.
Three sister projects
At the heart of the Bedouin Trail are three, Bedouin-created sister projects: the Wadi Rum Trail in Jordan, the Red Sea Mountain Trail in mainland Egypt and the Sinai Trail in between. Each one of these projects grew within the last decade as a grassroots, community tourism initiative, seeking to show the best of its home region's landscapes and heritage to the wider world. Each is an independent tourism project overseen by its own, self-governing tribal organisation; each also has a place in a bigger transnational collective overseeing the operation of the Bedouin Trail today. The three work in their own regions and collaborate internationally on the Bedouin Trail to show the great depth, diversity and beauty of Bedouin heritage across the wider Middle East.
Other hiking options
Thru hiking the Bedouin Trail end-to-end is a long, journey that will take most hikers over two months to complete. Nevertheless, secondary trails alongside the classic thru hike route allow the passage to be shortened with lines that will take considerably less time. These secondary trails can also be connected together in a way that will make a thru hike of the Bedouin Trail a significantly longer journey. Hikers who do not have time to do either a shorter or longer thru hike in a single crossing can complete stand alone sections of the route in Africa, Asia and the Sinai over multiple visits to the region. Many options exist for making the Bedouin Trail shorter, longer, easier or harder; every hiker will be able to make the journey in a way that works for them.
Thru hike: a quick overview
Thru hiking the Bedouin Trail involves moving more than 1200km over the Middle East, going between Africa and Asia, Jordan and Egypt, and the traditional lands of seven Bedouin tribes. The Bedouin Trail can be traversed in either direction, but the classic thru hike begins at Petra in Jordan, taking a southerly course to Luxor in Egypt. It crosses rugged sandstone deserts, high, jagged mountains and vast sweeping plains on its course through the region and ends with a passage through the settled heartlands of Egypt's Nile Valley, following the River Nile to Luxor. Whilst the final section of the Bedouin Trail through the Nile Valley can be traversed independently every other part of the route must be walked with Bedouin guides and support.
Our human story
Traversing the territories of seven tribes between Africa and Asia the Bedouin Trail seeks to create a space in which both the depth and diversity of Bedouin heritage and the changing identity of the Bedouin in our times can be better shared and understood. At its heart it is a project about the Bedouin but it also tells a broader story about humanity itself. Connecting two of the great capitals of the ancient world, it seeks to show something of how the settled world in which most of us now live first developed whilst also reminding us of our collective nomadic past. Moving between Africa and Asia it also seeks to commemorate the first journey by which humanity left Africa to spread around the globe, shaping the modern world into the place it is today.