Dana Nature Reserve

Dana Nature Reserve

An area of stunning beauty, history and biodiversity, encompassing the country's four biogeographical zones (Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian, Sudanian), and rare species from three continents.

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, archaeological discoveries suggest Palaeolithic, Egyptian, Nabataean and Roman settlements in Dana.

A combination of natural communities in a single area that is unique in Jordan means 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. 

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 the Global Environment Fund in 1994. Additionally, the largest breeding colony of the Syrian serin is in Dana Nature Reserve.

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.

Needless to say, it's a special place.