Uncovering 3 of Jordan's lesser known natural attractions
June 18, 2015
When people think of Jordan the main attractions that first come to mind are Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea, amongst a couple of others. But take a closer look and the truth is that Jordan has an array of other amazing attractions that are arguably as beautiful as the ones everyone knows about. The great thing about Jordan is the versatile landscape, ranging from green nature reserves to amazing canyons and gorges, vivid red deserts, and an almost unparalleled water world in the Red Sea of Aqaba.
During our trip we were lucky enough to travel across the whole country and here we’ve listed 3 lesser known attractions that we think are well worth a stop when visiting Jordan.
1. Trekking the canyons and gorges of Wadi Mujib
The Wadi Mujib nature reserve and it’s surrounding area offers numerous treks which, due to the amazing range in elevation, all guide you through its strikingly diverse landscape. Starting at 410m below sea level the Mujib reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world. It reaches 900m above sea level in some places and with the valleys year round water flow makes for some awesome trekking!
The particular trek we did was one of the shorter routes available, being just a two-hour round trip from the start with a moderate level of difficulty. A refreshing huge pool of water greeted us at the start which due to the mid-day heat was the perfect way to kick things off.
As we trekked through the meandering gorge, small rapids of water appeared which we overcame either on our own or, for the more difficult rapids, with the aid of ropes and bars (which are helpfully scattered around the route where necessary).
Turning the final corner we caught a glimpse of an amazing waterfall, which we rushed towards before ducking under and into the waterfall’s cave. Even in the summer the sheer volume of water crashing down makes for an extremely satisfying end to the trek.
On the way back we slid down rocks while the natural flow of the water carried us gracefully back at a super laid back pace. Albeit bumping into a rock or two on the way! Ultimately the whole experience was a lot of fun and one of our favourite things we did during our time in Jordan. Highly recommended!
When To Go
As the water flows year round, the best time to go is in the summer months (June to September) when swimming through the pools of the gorge is refreshing rather than cold.
Ajloun Nature Reserve
2. Ajloun Nature Reserve
Ajloun Forest Reserve is located in the Ajloun highlands north of Amman and covers 13 square kilometers. It is dominated by open woodlands and is important to local people for their wood, scenic beauty, and quite often for medicine and food.
Although on our trek we didn’t see anything apart from a couple of lizards, the reserve is host to an array of wildlife including wild boar, the red fox, roe deer and the striped hyena.
As you can see from the photos, the reserve is lush with plants and vegetation even in June. But if you’re planning a trip here during spring (March to May) we hear it’s absolutely stunning and covered with a carpet of vivid wild flowers.
With its Mediterranean like feel and climate the people of Ajloun are equally warm and welcoming. During our stay we were fortunate to be invited for dinner by Jamil, who invited us into his home serving up a delicious array of local food and guiding us through his house which was even more impressive, mainly growing olives and grapes, and all beautifully decorated.
When To Go
The Spring months of April and May is when the reserve flourishes most.
Wadi Dana Nature Reserve
3. Wadi Dana
Dana Nature reserve covers 308 sq km and is a world of natural treasures. It comprises of a chain of valleys and mountains that extend from the top of the Jordan Rift valley down to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba.
We stayed at the magnificent Rummana Camp site, which is set in a beautiful location surrounded by mountains and trails to explore. Sitting around a campfire at night, the stars are absolutely stunning and only when seeing them will you appreciate their mesmerizing display.
The reserve is rich with wildlife and we were lucky enough to see a couple of small snakes and a lizard along one of the designated treks. More fortunate than that though was a hyena running across the road in front of us the morning we were leaving the camp. It’s fairly rare to see them, especially in daylight, so this was a pretty cool sighting!
When To Go
Similar to Ajloun, Spring (April – May) is when Wadi Dana is most colourful and can be appreciated in all it’s glory.
For more inspiration and information about visiting Jordan you can visit the check out the Visit Jordan website here.
More photo's of all 3 amazing locations..
Wild Arabia would like to thank the Jordan Tourism Board for their generosity in organising this trip and hosting us in their beautiful country.