Wild Jordan

By | Category: Travel destinations
Azraq Lodge

Azraq Lodge

Wild Jordan, a division of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) in Jordan, this year celebrates 20 years of pioneering eco-tourism and socio-economic projects across the country.

Set up in 1994, Wild Jordan’s founding ethos was to adopt a people-centred approach to protecting the environment and generate economic and social benefits for the local communities.

Initially set up to protect the Dana Biosphere Reserve near Petra, Wild Jordan worked directly with the local village and Bedouin communities to create income generating projects using the reserve’s natural beauty to generate employment, including the Dana Guesthouse which offers accommodation in the heart of the reserve.

Thanks to the organisation’s forward thinking combination of eco-tourism and conservation, thriving handicraft ventures have been established, including painted ostrich eggs from Azraq, olive oil soap from Ajloun, Bedouin silverware from Dana, and chic eco-lodges can now be found across the country.

But they have also developed some unusual accommodation in the Reserve. Forget traditional hotels for a start.

 Azraq Lodge, a former 1940s British field hospital, has been restored into a lodge, decorated with period trunks, black and white photographs of Bedouin, plus a 1956 Land Rover. The barracks contain stylish tiled bedrooms with flagstone floors and cacti-studded desert views. Meanwhile, in the Feynan Eco-lodge, solar power offers the most developed eco-experience in Jordan. The panoramic rooftop terrace offers a 360 degree view of the desert reserve by day and a never-ending vista of stars by night. Finally, and located at the edge of a traditional stone village, high on the cliffs overlooking the Dana nature reserve in the southern Rift Valley, is the Dana Guesthouse.

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