There’s no doubt Jordan has plenty of historical treasures but the country is also rich with nature. Jordan’s desert landscapes are appealing to the eye and an amazing sight. The country is rich in nature and places like Wadi Rum are a magnet to adventurous travellers. So, it’s pleasing to see that the Jordanians are making a serious effort to conserve their natural treasures as well as their historical ones.
Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has a goal to develop eco-tourism through an arm of their organisation called Wild Jordan. The main ecotourism attractions are the coral reef ecosystem in the Red Sea, near Aqaba, and six nature reserves including the 308 sq km Dana Biosphere Reserve.
The main ecotourism attractions are the coral reef ecosystem in the Red Sea, near Aqaba, and six nature reserves including the 308 sq km Dana Biosphere Reserve.
Wadi Rum – canyons and dunes
The most visited natural attraction is Wadi Rum, where the rock bridges, red sand dunes and canyons are breathtaking.
Most people who visit Wadi Rum spend some time climbing the soaring cliff face at Lawrence’s spring, which lies 100m above the ground, and was once a waterhole for Bedouin caravans. If you have time, stay overnight in a Bedouin camp for a luxurious desert experience.
I’m only visiting for the day, and it’s a searing hot one. I have nothing to prove except a promise to myself to speak to a real Bedouin.
Fortunately, there’s a Bedouin tent at the foot of the cliff, where I sit cross-legged on the floor and drink mint tea in the shade.
My driver Hussein is feeling chatty. He screws up his face in amazement when I tell him that camels in Australia’s deserts are allowed to roam free.
In Jordan, camels are valuable and the camel population is dwindling. The best bloodlines come from Australia.
Hussein’s eyes are filled with longing as he plots to travel to Australia to catch and export as many camels as he can find.
Snakes and scorpions in Wadi Rum
Hussein tells me about life in the desert where snakes, scorpions, foxes and wolves roam.
Although most Bedouin families now live in houses, the traditional way of life in the desert is in their blood and Bedouins spend weeks camping under the stars.
As we talk, I begin to develop a dream of my own to sleep under the stars in the desert. He makes me long to listen to the voice of the wind howling through the canyons in the moonlight and to bare my soul to the pureness of a vast desert land where time has no beginning and no end.