Jordan may be a land of desert but it is also home to an abundance of flora and fauna. In fact, the nation is also covered by a plethora of wildflowers, strawberry oaks, and many different plant types including the national flower Black Iris. Bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts also travel from across the globe to witness the range of rare species that reside here. In order to protect the natural landscape in Jordan, there are a number of nature reserves located throughout the country where visitors can catch a glimpse of the diverse array of flora and fauna in Jordan.
Dana Biosphere Reserve
The Dana Biosphere Reserve is the largest reserve in Jordan spanning across 320 square kilometers. This spectacular national reserve is home to buzzards, eagles, and a wide range of Jordanian wildlife which make it ideal for budding photographers and bird watchers. The reserve is well connected to popular cities and towns in Jordan where visitors can arrange excursions and activities. The hiking trails here offer breathtakingly beautiful scenery and pass by charming local villages. The reserve also offers a number of unique experiences including camping beneath the Milky Way in a traditional Bedouin tent – perfect for romantic getaways.
Within the reserve are 600 species of plants and 180 bird species. Some of the plants that can be seen here are junipers, citrus trees, and the national flower known as the Black Iris. In order to make the most of the flora and fauna that grow here, the best time to visit the reserve is during spring when the plants reach full bloom. Entrance to the reserve is around 8JD (11.28 USD).
Mujib Biosphere Reserve
The Mujib Biosphere Reserve covers an impressive 212 square kilometers of both land and water. The reserve spans between the King’s Highway and the shore of the Dead Sea and includes many notable sites such as Ma’in Hot Springs and the Mujib River. The reserve also protects seven wadis and the wildlife within them. The entrance gate into the Mujib Biosphere Reserve is around one hour and 20 minutes from Jordan capital city Amman. As the Mujib Biosphere Reserve spans across such a large and vast amount of land and water, it is home to a variety of animals, birds, and plants.
Many ecological projects have been undertaken within the reserve and these projects have led to the discovery of four rare plant species that had never been recorded in Jordan before. Many animals including the Syrian wolf, striped hyena, desert cobra, and raptors also reside here. The reserve boasts some fascinating hiking trails ranging in length and difficulty. A popular hiking route is the Mujib Trail which is a highly challenging route covering 15 kilometers of flora and fauna. All trails within the Mujib Biosphere Reserve must be booked in advance and the Mujib Trail costs 45JD (64 USD) per person for a seven-hour hike.
Royal Botanic Garden
The Royal Botanic Garden in Jordan is a new conservation area that is dedicated to protecting the native flora. Set up in 2014, the reserve is home to more than 2,600 species of plants and trees. It is located just 25 kilometers from the city of Amman, making it an easy to reach day trip destination. The reserve is currently being used to grow a pine forest, oak forest, and juniper forest which will serve as habitats. The Royal Botanic Garden is primarily used for research and so visitors will need to contact the site in advance to arrange access. If you are lucky enough to get inside, it will be one of the best flora and fauna experiences in Jordan.
Azraq Wetland Reserve
Surprisingly, Azraq Wetland Reserve is located in the Eastern Desert of Jordan. It is an exceptional destination for bird watching as it is a stopover point for many migrating birds from three continents. There are many walkways and hides that have been constructed to support the birdwatching industry and the site is also known to have seen a number of rare species. The best time to see birds is between December and February, and March and April. Visitors can also expect to see water buffalo and frogs. Entrance is 2.5JD (3.53 USD).
Ajloun Forest Reserve
Unlike the other reserves in Jordan, Ajloun Forest Reserve only spans across 13 square kilometers. Though it is small in size it is home to a large number of plants, trees, and animals. It is located in the Ajloun Highlands and is most recognizable in the conservation industry for its strawberry tree forests. There are many hiking trails in the reserve which enable visitors to fully appreciate the reserve’s flora and fauna. There are also oaks trees, carob trees, and pistachio trees, as well as jackals, grey wolves, and polecats.
All in all – The Top Flora and Fauna in Jordan
The best time to experience the flora and fauna of Jordan is usually in spring when most plant species are in full bloom. The famous wildflowers adorn the country in April and provide beautiful scenery for hikers.