Dana Biosphere Reserve: Sustainable tourism in Jordan

Discover the best attractions in Jordan & spice up your trip

 Is the largest in Jordan

After saying that one of the reasons for traveling to Jordan is that two thirds of its surface is desert - among them the wonderful red desert of Wadi Rum - it seems strange that there are ten protected areas between national parks and biosphere reserves, many of them out of those desert areas. Rum , with its desert, and Mujib , with its canyon, are two of them, but the size of the country allows visiting more on a trip to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Dana Biosphere Reserve is the largest in Jordan . It is located in central Jordan, in Tafila Governorate, between the Mujib Nature Reserve and the Rum Protected Area. It is a valley that begins in the town of Dana and ends in the wadi, a canyon, which joins the Dead Sea and the Red Sea.

There are two entrances to the Dana Biosphere Reserve . On the east side, in the Ottoman village of Dana , is the highest, at 1,700 meters above sea level. In the west, 50 meters below sea level, is the entrance to the Feynan Ecolodge .

Between both points you can see all the landscapes of Jordan , it is the only protected area in the country that brings them all together: from the high mountains to the valleys , from the green of the vegetation to the ocher of the desert. At the same time, it is possible to find more than 800 species of plants and more than 400 animals –including a large number of birds– some endemic to the area.

What to do in the Dana Biosphere Reserve?

What to do in the Dana Biosphere Reserve does not vary much from the point of entry: active tourism with hikes ranging from a few hours to several days, mountain bike rides or canyoning; fauna observation –especially birds–; learn about the customs of local people and visit ancient ruins. What changes is the landscape that is enjoyed: from the almost mountainous area to the valley below the sea.

Feynan Ecolodge:

Electricity is obtained through solar panels - it cannot be said that Jordan is a country in which the Sun is not always present. The same sun heats the water. The rooms are lit with candles made by the Bedouin communities in the area - in the bathroom there is electric light and the possibility of charging all the batteries at the hotel reception. And, of course, everything is recycled : from plastics - the water in meals is served in clay bottles and reusable bottles are used in sports outings - to organic waste that is turned into compost. Respect for nature also comes to food, all is vegetarian

In the middle of a biosphere reserve one does not expect to find a place like the Feynan Ecolodge . Actually, it is what one expects, in the sense that it is what should be allowed to build in such a place

The Bedouin coffee ceremony in the Dana reserve

The experience of drinking Bedouin coffee is something that anyone in Jordan cannot miss. But doing it in a true Bedouin house in the middle of a nature reserve makes it an unforgettable moment.

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