Dana Nature Reserve
Dana Biosphere Reserve is an area of staggering beauty, history, and biodiversity. The only reserve in Jordan that encompasses the four different bio-geographical zones of the country (Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian), it is a melting pot of species from Europe, Africa and Asia. Such a combination of natural communities in a single area is unique in Jordan and many of Dana Biosphere Reserve’s animals and plants are very rare. So far, a total of 800 plant species and 449 animal species have been recorded in the Reserve, of which 25 are known to be endangered, including the Sand Cat, the Syrian Wolf, the Lesser Kestrel and the Spiny Tailed Lizard.
The people of the Ata'ta (or Al Atata) tribe are the native inhabitants of Dana Biosphere Reserve. Their history in Dana dates 400 years, but their original settlement in the area dates more than 6000 years. Besides the presence of the Ata'ta people, archeological discoveries suggest Palaeolithic, Egyptian, Nabataean, and Roman settlement in Dana.
Dana is the most diverse area of plant life in the country, consisting of numerous vegetation types including: Phoenician juniper, evergreen oak, sand dunes, acacia, and rocky sudanian. Dana is the southernmost area in the world to host the Mediterranean cypress, Cupressus sempervirens. Of the hundreds of plants species inhabiting Dana, three can be found nowhere else in the world. Many plants, especially trees and shrubs, grow in the highlands of the nature reserve.
The threatened Nubian ibex, Syrian serin, caracal, and lesser kestrel are natives of Wadi Dana and plans to save the species were put forth by Global Environment Fund in 1994. Additionally, the largest breeding colony of the Syrian serin is in Dana Nature Reserve. Threats to the animals include hunting.
Such a complex and diverse environment provides a wide range of adventurous and relaxing activities.Visitors can leave their vehicles behind and escape into the beauty and remoteness of the Reserve along one of the many canyons and hiking trails. Local Bedouin guides are available for longer excursions (hiking, canyoning, and mountain biking), while many shorter trails can be explored unguided. Activities at Dana Biosphere Reserve Guesthouse include tours of the Ottoman-era Dana Biosphere Reserve Village, a gorgeous hike through the entire Reserve to Feynan Ecolodge, visits to Nabatean tombs, and relaxing on your very own cliff-perched balcony, surrounded by Dana’s magnificent views.