Guide to Jordan’s Nature Reserves, How to Get There & Where to Stay

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature has established 10 (and counting) nature reserves throughout Jordan to protect the precious flora and fauna that makes the country so beautiful. These nature reserves are great for a weekend getaway from Amman or a longer trip if you have a bit more time to fully explore them. Keep reading to find out more about these must-visit additions to your Jordanian eco-tourism itinerary.

Ajloun Forest Reserve

ajloun forest reserve
image source: pinterest.com

Ajloun Forest Reserve covers an area of 13 km2 located in the Ajloun highlands north of Amman. It consists of Mediterranean-like hill landscapes, ranging from 600 – 1100 m above sea level, with a series of small and medium winding valleys.

Distance from Amman: 1h 30m

Where to stay: Ajloun Forest Reserve

Azraq Wetland Reserve

azraq wetland reserve jordan
image source: jezratravel.wordpress.com

Azraq Wetland Reserve was established to conserve the uniquely precious oasis located in the heart of Jordan’s eastern desert, between a limestone desert in the west and a basalt desert in the east. It is distinguished by lush marshland and natural water collections that form glittering pools and streams, giving Azraq its name, which is the Arabic word for ‘blue’.

Distance from Amman: 1h 30m

Where to stay: Azraq Eco Lodge

Dana Biosphere Reserve

Dana-Biosphere-Reserve-In-Jordan-Panorama
image source: raredelights.com

Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve, covering 320 km2 of rugged and beautiful landscape along the face of the Great Rift Valley. It sweeps down in a series of mountain ridges, from the 1500m high plateau near Quadesiyya to the desert plains of Wadi Araba. The mountains are cut by many steep-sided wadis, often lined with a lush growth of trees and shrubs. Its geology is as varied as its landscape, switching from limestone to sandstone to granite.

Distance from Amman: 2h 30m

Where to stayDana Guest HouseFeynan Eco Lodge

Dibeen Forest Reserve

dibeen forest reserve jordan
image source: travelranger87508.blogspot.com

Dibeen Forest Reserve in northern Jordan is the newest nature reserve established in the country. It extends over 8.5 km2 of mountainous terrain, covering an area of pristine pine-oak habitat. These Aleppo pines are some of the oldest and largest in the Kingdom, and are the defining characteristic of this landscape, representing the southeastern geographical limit of this forest type. Dibeen is the driest part of the world in which the Aleppo pines are known to grow naturally, with an average rainfall of around 400mm per year.

Distance from Amman: 1h 20m

Where to stayDibeen Eco Farm House

Mujib Biosphere Reserve

mujib biosphere reserve jordan

Mujib Biosphere Reserve borders the Dead Sea at 416 meters below sea level and covers an area of 212 km2. The reserve surrounds Wadi Mujib, a deep and majestic canyon that cuts through the rugged highlands and drains into the Dead Sea.

Distance from Amman: 1h 45m

Where to stayMujib Chalets

Shaumari Wildlife Reserve

Ali-Barqawi-Studios-Adventure-Travel-Shaumari-Wildlife-Reserve-R
image source: alibarqawistudios.com

Shaumari is the first wildlife protection reserve in Jordan, covering an area of 22 km2. It is comprised of two main topographic features, desert wadis (valleys) and hammada (rock-floored or rock-strewn desert region) areas. Desert wadis form around 65% of its total area, the most well-known being Wadi Shaumari, which cuts straight through the heart of the site, giving the reserve its name.

Distance from Amman: 1h 30m

Where to stayAzraq Eco Lodge

Wadi Rum Protected Area

wadi rum myammanlife

Wadi Rum Protected Area is one of the world’s most outstanding desert landscapes, covering 720 square kilometers of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. Its huge mountains and broad sandy wadis (valleys) are home to several Bedouin tribes and a surprising range of desert wildlife.

Distance from Amman: 3h 40m

Where to stayBedouin Expedition Camp

Yarmouk Forest Reserve

yarmouk forest reserve
image source: Yarmouk Nature Reserve Facebook page

Yarmouk Forest Reserve is located in the northwestern part of Jordan, at the border with Golan hill. The total area of the Reserve is 20 km2. It contains two main topographic areas: mountains which are covered by deciduous oak up to 500m high above the sea level, punctuated by valleys of small and medium descend towards the Yarmouk river.

Distance from Amman: 2h 10m

Where to stayBeit al Baraka

 

Important note to readers – The final two nature reserves/protected areas are not as easy to navigate for beginners or non-locals: Fifa Nature Reserve and Qatar Protected Area.

Fifa Nature Reserve

fifa nature reserve jordan

Fifa Nature Reserve is located in the southwest by the Dead Sea, on the border between Jordan and The West Bank. It covers an area of 23.2 km², stretching from the Chatters area in the north to the Sow Valley in south. The lowermost point of the reserve is 420 m below sea level.

Distance from Amman: 2h 40m

Where to stay: there is no lodging directly at Fifa. You can stay nearby at Mujib Chalets

Qatar Protected Area

Qatar Protected Area lies in the southern part of Wadi Araba within the giant mountain of Aqaba, just north of the port city of Aqaba. With an area of 110 square kilometers it is characterized as having different heights ranging between 50 and 500 meters above sea level. Qatar was established with the express purpose of safeguarding protected trees, especially the acacia trees and the steppe vegetation type in which they grow.

Distance from Amman: 3h 30m

Where to stay: recommended to stay in Aqaba (browse Aqaba hotels)

 


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