Jordan Tours

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Bird Watching
Style: Nature & Wild Life

Code SLA004


Middle East
Description Jerash, Ajloun, Azraq Oasis, Dana


What sorts of birds might we see?

In the east, there are large deserts and the famous Azraq Oasis. The heart of the oasis has been recently restored and is attracting many wetland birds like Squacco Herons, Egrets and Marsh Harriers, and it is packed with migrants in spring. The surrounding deserts have characteristic species like Temminck`s horned lark, Desert Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Desert Wheatear and Trumpeter Finch. In winter, Cranes and Imperial Eagles cross this area and while walking around the desert castles you might see Thick-billed lark. In the west, the wooded highlands have birds like Upcher`s, Orphean and Sardinian Warblers and Palestine Sunbird, while in the more open steep country there are Spectacled Warbler, Long billed Pipit, Woodchat Shrike and Blackeared Wheatears. The mountainous fringe of the Great Rift Valley holds a wide range of birds, reflecting differences in altitude and the presence of perennial water courses. Wadi Mujib and Wadi Shu`eib, for example, are home to the beautiful Smyrna kingfisher and Syrian Wood Packer, while the rocky gorges of Dana, Mujib and Petra support Griffon Vulture, Bonelli`s Eagle, Sinai Rosefinch, Tristram`s Grackle and Fan-tailed Raven to mention just a few.

Last but not least, the Dead Sea area and Wadi Araba (also part of the Rift Valley) have African and Arabian species like Sand Partridge, Hoopoe Lark, Little Green Bee-Eater, Arabian Warbler and Dead Sea Sparrow.

Bird Watching Program

Arrival to Amman. Meet & Assist at Queen Alia International Airport or at land borders. Transfer to your hotel in Jerash for O/N.

Day 2: (Jerash - Jerash Visit - Ajlun Visit - Overnight)
Breakfast, Visit the Roman City of Jerash then to Ajlun visiting its natural reserve which is located in Ajlun highlands, around the extention of a long valley known as Wadi Ain Zubia. It consists of Mediterranean-like hill country, dominated by open woodlands of Oak and Pistachio trees. The Reserve is 13 square kms and is located in an area called Eshtafeena. It has two hiking trails and has a special area for camping.

Ajlun’s woodlands consist of mostly Oak trees, Pistachio, Pine, Carob and Wild Strawberry. These trees have been important to local people for their wood, scenic beauty and quite often for mediocine and food. The Roe Deer is adapted to forest habitat and feeds on a variety of trees, shrubs and grass. They were introduced to the habitat in 1988 from a similar habitat in Turkey . Today there are thirteen Roe Dees at Ajlun. The Persian Fallow Deer is another species that once common in Jordan . This animal probably became extinct by the turn of the century. A re-introduction program for this deer at Zubia will begin as soon as the Roe Deer program has been firmly established.

Azraq is a unique wetland located in the heart of the arid Jordanian desert. It contains several pools, a seasonally flooded marshland, and a large mudflat. A wide variety of birds visit the reserve each year, either stopping for a short rest on their long migration between Africa and Europe; or they stay for the winter and some breed in the wetland. O/N in Azraq. The word Azraq means `blue` in Arabic and before water pumping began in the 1980s, the oasis provided a sparkling blue jewel in the desert, attracting up to half a million migrating birds at any one time. By 1993, however, the extraction of water was so great that no surface water remained and its ecological value was virtually destroyed.

With international support, a rescue effort started in 1994 and a significant portion of the wetland has been restored. Many of the birds for which the oasis was renowned are coming back and special boardwalks and bird hides have been constructed to enable visitors to see and enjoy them. Azraq Wetland Reserve lies at the center of eastern part of the Africa - Eurasian flyway, which is an important passage for the migratory and resident birds. The reserve is currently utilized by around 180 species on a regular basis in addition to around 90 vagrants and about 20 breeding species, resulting in a total about 290 species.

Day 4: (AZRAQ - DANA)
Today we will head to Dana, a system of mountains and wadis, extending from the top of the eastern Rift Valley to desert lowlands of Wadi Araba, an elevation drop of over 1600 meters. O/N in Dana.

The total number of species recorded so far consists of 690 plants, of which 3 are new to science, and 449 animals.Many of these are now very rare and some threatened to extinction: animals like the sand cat, the Syrian wolf, the lesser kestrel and the spiny tailed lizard. So far, 25 endangered or vulnerable animals have been found in the reserve, making it an area of global importance. Apart from its wildlife, Dana is also rich in archaeology. About 100 archaeological sites have been identified, of which are the ancient copper mines in Wadi Feinan that are particularly special, and they are considered as the most important archaeological complex in southern Jordan outside of Petra. Dana is well renowned as a model of integrated conservation and development, where the protection of biodiversity goes hand-in-hand with improving the social and economic welfare of the local population. Development activities include a substantial ecotourism operation; handicraft production based on local skills in silver jewelry, pottery, plant production, and food processing. Furthermore, a goat-fattening scheme for nomadic pastoralists and sustainable systems for the use of grazing lands in the Reserve have been established. Over 800 people now benefit from these income generating schemes and tourism revenue is covering all the running costs of the reserve.

More than 200 bird species have been recorded in the reserve, of which 33 species are of global and regional importance .Some species have significantly large populations in the reserve.

Day 5

Day 6 : (DANA - PETRA - O/N)

Full day visiting Jordan's Jewel "Petra" a city fully carved in stones. Upon arrival, you will take a horse back ride through the Siq, the only access to this city. Return back to Petra for overnight.

Wadi Rum. Here you will find adventure and feel the romance of the Arabian Desert. Wadi Rum is like a moonscape of ancient valleys and towering weathered sandstone mountains rising out of white and pink colored sands. Upon arrival to Wadi Rum, a 2hrs jeep tour to explore Lawrence Road, visiting the most spectacular sights of Wadi Rum. You will be treated for a Bedouin lunch at Wadi Rum. Then we will drive to the Red Sea Resort City of Aqaba for O/N.

The Dead Sea eastern coast in Jordan is one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the whole world. Series of new hotels and archaeological discoveries are converging to make this region, the lowest spot on earth at 410 meters below sea level, as enticing to international visitors today as it was to kings, traders and prophets in antiquity. The leading attraction at the Dead Sea is the hot, soothing super-salty seawater, which is four times saltier than normal seawater. It is rich in chloride salts of magnesium, sodium, potassium, bromine and several others. This unusually salty, buoyant and mineral-rich water has attracted visitors since ancient times, all of whom have floated effortlessly on their backs while soaking up the water’s healthy minerals along with the gently defused rays of the Jordanian sun. The Dead Sea’s total attraction is due to its unique combination of several factors: the chemical composition of its water, the filtered sunrays and oxygen-rich air, the mineral-rich black mud along the shoreline, and the adjacent fresh water and thermal mineral springs. After enjoying the Dead Sea, we will head to Amman for O/N.

After breakfast, transfer to Queen Alia Airport in Amman or to land borders for departure.

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