"Jordan Jubilee"
Available as a book!

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See the RSCN website at www.rscn.org.jo





     Wadi Mujib

     Azraq and Shaumar

Trekking in Jordan
Canyoning in Jordan
Hiking in the Petra area
Riding around Wadi Rum

Camels & Camel trekking
Wadi Rum climbing info
Climbing El Habla

Road to Mudawarra
Diving and snorkelling

Two Bedouin friends and their camels




Some FAQs

Suggested itinerary


A walk around Petra

Map of Petra

Wadi Rum

Tours of Wadi Rum



Dead Sea




     Wadi Mujib


Mt Nebo


Madaba Plateau

      Kings' Highway


      Um Al Rasas



The flag of Jordan
Map of the region
Quick map of Jordan
Tourist map of Jordan
Weather in Jordan
Jordanian dinar
Transport and driving
Car rental agencies
Souvenirs in Jordan
The Ottoman room

Made in Jordan
Bedouin weaving

The Mesha stele
Mosaics of the Madaba Plateau
Early views of Petra
Lawrence of Arabia
The Kingdom : the beginning

Etiquette and behaviour
Marriage customs
Bedouin of Wadi Rum

Some Bedouin customs
Villagers of Wadi Mousa

Women travelling alone
Out of Egypt
Jerusalem the golden
The road to Damascus
Time and money



About me
Tourist conditions in Jordan today
Website news

Weather In Amman
Weather in Aqaba
Is this a good time to travel?

Does anybody want to be a God?

The Gates of Damascus
Why do we travel?)

More Jordan links



Nature Reserves in Jordan


This is the "showpiece" of the RSCN. The Reserve was established in 1993 in southern Jordan and covers 320 square kilometers. Please see the RSCN website for prices - see also the page on the Reserves here for my personal opinion!

It is the only reserve which is relatively easy to reach by public transport : there are buses from Amman, from Ma'an and also from Tafileh. There are no direct buses from Petra some 40kms away, however, a pity. To get from the one to the other, you have either a circuitous bus ride via Ma'an, a taxi costing somewhere between 20 and 30JD or you just have to hitch, probably in several cars.

Originally another community being deserted by its people, Dana village occupies a wonderful site looking out over Wadi Dana and is now gradually coming back to life with the jobs associated with the Reserve. One of the first measures taken by the RSCN was to install a reliable water supply, and the fruit that can now be produced locally is made into jams which are sold at the Reserve shop, together with soap made with the local olive oil. Medicinal herbs, also grown in the valley, are to be found on sale here, as well as silver jewellery made in the workshop nearby. Tourism revenue is reported to be covering all the running costs of the reserve.

It embraces two major biogeographical zones and four distinct vegetation zones and contains a remarkable diversity of landscapes, ranging from wooded highlands and rocky slopes to gravel plains and sand dunes. It supports a wide variety of wildlife, including many rare species of plants and animals.

Dana Nature Reserve is a system of wadis and mountains, which extend from the top of the Rift Valley down to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba, an elevation drop of over 1600 meters.

It embraces two major biogeographical zones and four distinct vegetation zones and contains a remarkable diversity of landscapes, ranging from wooded highlands and rocky slopes to gravel plains and sand dunes. It supports a wide variety of wildlife, including many rare species of plants and animals.

The total number of species recorded so far consists of 697 plants, of which 3 are new to science, and 282 animals. Many of these are now very rare and some threatened with extinction : animals like the Grey Wolf, Nubian Ibex, the Lesser Kestrel, Eagle Owl and the Desert Monitor Lizard. So far, 45 endangered or vulnerable animals have been found in the reserve, making it truly a place of world importance. Apart from its wildlife, Dana is also rich in archaeology and culture. About 100 archaeological sites have been identified, of which the ancient copper mines in Wadi Feinan are particularly special, being considered the most important archaeological complex in southern Jordan outside of Petra.

There is a wide variety of hiking trails, from short one hour circuits to day- hikes requiring an over night in camps. All trails offer spectacular views and rock formations and some pass important archaeological sites, including the ancient copper mining centre of Feinan.

Hiking in Dana

Dana offers a selection of trails to key points of interest for both the casual and adventurous hiker. Four of the trails are clearly marked with intermittent piles of stones along the route, and can therefore be hiked independently or with an RSCN guide. The other two trails, which are longer and unmarked, must be hiked with a guide. Guided hikes offer visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy a stimulating walk and learn about the geology, wildlife, and history of Dana in a natural "classroom". Guides are available at the Rummana campsite, Dana Village and Feinan upon request. You should note that in Dana you are not supposed to leave the marked trails, and that no independent camping is allowed. Most (not all) of the hikes described below are only authorized with an official guide. I quote from the official brochure here, and the age limits are NOT my own idea!

Easy Trails:

Traditional Tribal Arts Tour : one hour visiting some spectacular viewpoints above Dana Village, exploring the terraced gardens, meeting some local farmers, visiting a traditional bakery, Dana's Jam Factory and the fruit, soap and silver workshop.

Campsite Trail : two hours circular walk around the campsite area, a favourable place for birding, nesting or migrating. (Can be self guided).

Wadi Dana Trail : Long hike lovers will enjoy this hiking experience for 14 Km (5-6 hours) of spectacular uphill walk from Dana to Feinan. (Can be self guided)

Moderate Trails: (up to 47 years old)

Roman Lost Copper Mines Tour (Dana- Feinan- copper mines): 16 Km trail taking 6 hours hiking from Dana to Feinan visiting the copper mines (Guided, group number maximum 20 young, 10 adult)

Griffon Vultures Tour: 2.5 Km moderate trail to Rummana scenic peak for an excellent view of Wadi Araba and an ancient cistern. Here you enjoy 1-2 hours of circular walk. Visitors will pass some magnificent rock structures of sandstone and limestone and Roman and early Islamic archaeology, observe Griffon vultures and other birds of prey, view the beautiful nature of the area covered by Juniper trees, early Islamic ruins. (Can be self guided)

Village Overland Trail : 8 Km, 3 hour, horizontal moderate trail starts from Rummana Camp past Wadi escarpments, through terraced gardens and Dana Village to Dana Guesthouse and Visitor Centre. (Compulsory guided)

Feinan Copper Mine Tour : Start from Feinan to see ancient copper mines and Tell of Khirbet Feinan with remains of Byzantine churches, a Roman tower, Christian and Islamic graves, and Iron Age remains. It takes 1-2 hours from Feinan. (Compulsory guided)

Waterfalls area Tour : Two and a half hours- 2 Km - moderate trail starting from al-Barra area to the beautiful springs and ancient ruins in Nawatef area going back to al- Barra area. (Compulsory guide)

Hard Trails: (up to 35 years old)

Palm Trees Wadi Tour: This Trail is exactly suitable for adventure lovers since it takes 6-8 hours of hard hike (16 km) up the Wadi past an oasis with a warm spring beginning from al- Barra to Feinan. (See Trekking page) (Compulsory guided, group number maximum 15)

Mysterious Nabatean Tomb Tour: 2 km hike, on a hard hike trail to a breathtaking ravine containing Nabatean tombs from al-Barra to Shaq al Reesh then back to al-Barra. (Compulsory guided, group number maximum 10).

Places to stay in Dana

Dana Guesthouse Rummana Camp

Besides the Dana Guest House in the village with a most beautiful view over Wadi Dana, and the Dana Hotel (phone/fax +962.3.227.0537) which is run as a village co-operative (and which could use a bit of encouragement), there are two sites in the Reserve itself : Feinan Lodge on the border of Dana Nature Reserve which will open later in the year, and Rummana Campsite further in. (See the map of Dana at the beginning of this section).  

Feinan Lodge : Set among the arid mountains of Wadi Feinan, on the western boarder of the Dana Nature Reserve, the Wilderness Lodge will provide a cool, atmospheric retreat for tourists wishing to explore this undiscovered and archaeologically rich area of Jordan. The lodge will have a unique arabesque desert design and will use environment- friendly technologies, including solar and candle power. At night, most of the lodge will be lit by candles, making it a very romantic destination.

Rummana Camp : Camping is not permitted outside of this area. The campsite is open for overnight visitors from 15th March to 15th November. Visitors must check into the campsite before 8 p.m. Visitors should leave their cars at the Tower entrance. Transportation to and from the campsite is provided by a shuttle bus. The campsite contains 22 large tents, bathrooms, and barbecue grills for the use of visitors doing their own catering. Each tent comes fully equipped. Drinking water is available and you can cook in barbeque trays if you bring your own charcoal. The staff can prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner if requested in advanced.

For booking tours or stays at the campsite at Dana Nature Reserve, please contact them at Tel. +962.3.227.0497/8 or by Fax. +962.3.227.0499

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