Dana Biosphere Reserve – Jordan’s Largest Nature Reserve
The Dana Biosphere Reserve is the largest nature reserve in Jordan. Established in 1989, the reserve covers an area of 308 square kilometers in south-central Jordan, in and around Wadi Dana and Dana Village. While you won’t see the reserve featured in many of our Egypt and Jordan combined tours, it is nonetheless a wonderful place to visit if you have the time.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast or if you just enjoy spending some time in nature, then the Dana Biosphere Reserve should definitely be on your list of must-see Jordan tourist attractions.
The reserve is home to countless plant and animal species, many of which are very rare, including some which are found nowhere else on earth.
Visitors to the reserve have a number of different accommodation options, and each camp, guesthouse and/or resort offer varies activities. These include trekking, mountain biking, walking, and canyoning.
Alternatively, visitors also have the option of just being able to relax in a beautiful unspoiled environment.
The Dana Biosphere Reserve – A Brief History
The only inhabitants in the Dana Biosphere Reserve are a few clans from the Ata’ta tribe, but archeological research has uncovered traces of Egyptian, Nabataean, Roman, and Palaeolithic settlements.
The Ata’ta people that one sees in the reserve today, settled in the area about 400 years ago. However, it is believed that some of their ancestors were living in the area some 6,000 years ago.
Sadly, the small Dana Village which is located in the reserve came very close to being abandoned. As is often the case in remote areas, the native inhabitants started moving to the cities in search of jobs, schooling and etc.
Many of their beautiful stone houses began crumbling, but thankfully, a group of women in Amman, known as the Friends of Dana, were able to raise much-need funds, and thanks to their efforts, more than 70 of the village’s traditional stone houses have so far been restored so that their owners can continue living in them.
Adding this nature reserve to one of our existing Egypt and Jordan tours is a great way to experience some of the country’s natural beauty alongside many fabulous historical attractions.
The Unique Geography of Dana Biosphere
The geographical uniqueness of the Dana Biosphere Reserve is nothing short of Amazing, in that it encompasses 4 distinct bio-geographical zones:
- Sudanian penetration zone
- Mediterranean zone
- Saharo-Arabian zone
- Irano-Turanian zone
Fauna and Flora
While visitors won’t see the same sort of wildlife that one can see in some parts of Africa, it still has to be said that the Dana Biosphere Reserve has been blessed with an abundance of fauna and flora.
The reserve is home to more than 700 different plant species, many of which are extremely rare, while some are not found anywhere else in the world.
The Dana Biosphere Reserve is also home to more than 200 different species of birds, and 38 different species of mammals. A number of species found at in the reserve are also listed as Endangered Species, including the lesser kestrel; the Nubian ibex, the caracal, and the Syrian serin.
A Little Something for Everyone
Dana Biosphere Reserve really does have something to offer anyone and everyone who chooses to visit. The area is like a dream come true for anyone who wants to enjoy some hiking or trekking in the Great Outdoors.
It is also a great place to visit if you just want to lounge around and relax away from Jordan’s towns and cities.
As an added bonus, the reserve is also home to some fascinating attractions, including some old Nabatean tombs; the ruins of a Neolithic village; an old Roman well; Byzantine churches, and of course, the area’s famous ancient copper mines.
Visiting the Biosphere Reserve
If you are only going to be in Jordan for three or four days, then you will most likely want to spend what little time you have, visiting some of the country’s most famous and most popular attractions, including places like the Lost City of Petra and etc.
However, if you have already seen most of the main tourist attractions, or if you have some time to spare and you want to spend that time in nature, then the Dana Biosphere Reserve could very well be just the sort of place you are looking for.
If you are currently thinking about booking a tour through us, it is worth noting that all of our Egypt and Jordan tours can be customized and tailored to meet your exact needs.
Even if your preferred tour package doesn’t include a visit to the Dana Biosphere Reserve, we can easily add it if you ask us to.