Dana Nature Reserve
Dana Nature Reserve is a system of mountains and wadis, dry riverbeds. The height drops dramatically over 1,600 meters from the tops of the Rift Valley to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba.
This, combined with the compact variety of landforms, results in a very high biological diversity. Ranging from densely vegetated mountainous areas to the Rummana fountain. From white desert sands covered with fanciful acacia trees to small streams flanked by man-size oleander bushes.
From sky-high sand dunes to barren basalt or granite rocks. The total number of species recorded so far consists of 690 plants and 449 animals. Many of these are now very rare and some are threatened with extinction.
The area is also rich in archaeology and culture. Near Wadi Feinan you may visit the remains of the ancient capital of the Edomite kingdom. Feinan is a large area of copper mines. In ancient times these mines were among the largest in the world. Also the ruins of the Roman water system and two early Christian churches can be found here.
The Dana Nature Reserve is based on a model of integrated conservation and development: the protection of biodiversity goes hand-in-hand with improving the social and economic welfare of the local people. Ecotourism provides income for over 800 people.
Bird-watchers from all over the World have started organizing week-long trips to Jordan to enjoy the sight of some rare species of indigenous birds and others that migrate annually between the northern and southern hemispheres. Jordan's location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia means that birds from these three continents can sometimes be spotted in the same general area in Jordan.
Jordan 's remarkable variety of habitats - from rugged mountains and evergreen woodlands to scrubby steppe and hot deserts also makes for a dazzling variety of bird species. Jordan's Great Rift Valley is something of a high-traffic crossroads on the main migration routes for birds moving between Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Russia, and Africa. At certain times of the year, the skies over the Rift Valley are full of circling birds of prey.
Bird watching in Jordan is also enhanced by the genuine friendliness of the Jordanian people, and the opportunity to combine bird-watching with trips to some of the Middle East's most awesome ancient and natural wonders, such as Petra, Wadi Rum, or the Dead Sea.