Dangers & Annoyances
At the time of writing, the intensification of the civil war in Syria and the conflict in Iraq made straying too close to either border unwise. Take local advice (for example, through your consulate or from your hotel in Amman or Madaba) before venturing into this area. It is inadvisable to hitch or pick up hitchhikers along this route at present. Hitching is never entirely safe, and we don’t recommend it. Travellers who hitch should understand that they are taking a small but potentially serious risk.
The desert doesn’t take prisoners. At any time of year, but particularly in the middle of summer, dehydration and the threat of heat exhaustion and heat stroke – a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention – are hazards of visiting remote desert locations. Minimise the risk by carrying and drinking plenty of water, wearing a hat, avoiding exertion in the middle of the day and planning an exit route if travelling by public transport. If driving off-road, be aware that you will have to be totally self-sufficient in the event of a puncture or mechanical failure.
During the spring, flies and mosquitoes are an annoyance. Bring repellent if visiting the oases.