The Azraq Wetland Reserve is one of the finest nature reserves in Jordan. It is known for its diverse wildlife and the many activities for visitors.
The reserve can be found close to the town of Azraq. This is at the eastern section of the country.
What to See
The reserve has many attractions. There are numerous artificial springs in the reserve. There are also pools and a mudflat in the site. The reserve is the destination of migratory birds from Africa, Siberia, Scandinavia and Anatolia.
Some of the birds that you will see are the Marsh Harrier, the Desert Finch and Cetti’s Warbler. The Azraq Wetland Reserve is also home to the Hoopoe Lark and other migratory birds. Other species are the Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Avocet and Ruff.
A few kilometers from the wetland is a lodge. There are 16 rooms, plus a gift shop. There is also a restaurant in the site. There is also a reception area.
These wetlands were formed 250,000 years ago. It was created by feeding by aquifers that matched with changes in the geological landscape. Since ancient history, it has been the center of bird migrations and trade routes for people.
The presence of freshwater drew the camel caravans that carried herbs and spices to Arabia, Syria and Mesopotamia. The migratory birds also availed of the resources in the area.
As the human population began to grow in the 1960s, the government began pumping water to support them. It was in 1978 when the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature declared it a natural reserve.
Today, the government has taken steps to protect the area even further. This has become necessary to prevent the area from drying completely.
Research has shown that African animals had lived in the area. These include the Arabian Oryx, lion, Syrian Ostrich and cheetah. The remains of these animals prove the site used to be a continuation of Africa.
The entrance fee is JD 2.
There are many trails in the reserve. One of the best known is the Marsh Trail that runs for 0.9 miles (1.5 km). Parts of the trail are set on land that passes through reeds. When you get halfway to the trail, you will see the “bird hide” and one of the lagoons at the reserve. This is also a good spot to see the birds.
The Azraq Wetland Reserve is open from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.