Dana Nature Reserve

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Dana Nature Reserve is in Jordan.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

The Dana Valley (Wadi Dana) was used by the Romans and Byzantines as a source of copper. It contains some of the oldest copper mines in the world.

In 1993 the Dana Biosphere Reserve was established by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). The protected area contains a great variety of geological formations and habitats. It is considered to be very scenic and contains many opportunities for hiking.

Landscape[edit]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Climate[edit]

Get in[edit]

A bus can be caught in Ma'an to Qadisiyyeh or Tafileh that can drop you at the junction in Qadisiyyeh that leads to Dana village (as of October 2013). It may also be possible to get a bus from Aqaba, but this is not confirmed. From the junction it is quite a walk downhill, but many locals will offer to drive you down for 1 or 2 jd.

If driving, Dana can be reached via the King's Highway (route 35). When approaching Dana you will pass a large cement factory. Then follow the signs for "Dana Historical Village" which will lead you to the old village and the Dana Biosphere Reserve. The turnoff for Dana is on the right and you will go down a small steep road for approximately 1.5 kilometers to reach the Biosphere Visitor Center as well as the old village.

Fees/Permits[edit]

Get around[edit]

The old village of Dana is quite small and easily walked. The Dana Guesthouse and Biosphere Reserve is a couple hundred yards from the old village and this can easily be walked as well.

The valley itself is one traversed by hiking

See[edit][add listing]

Most sights here relate to the RSCN and the Dana Biosphere Nature Reserve.

Entry to the reserve costs (as of October 2013) 8.20jd. There are several trails in the reserve that can be walked, all except one requiring a guide. The exception is a walk along the bottom of the valley, which can lead to Feynan Lodge in around 5 hours, but should one not wish to stay there, the trail can be walked as far as desired returning then to Dana village. Be aware that the journey back includes quite an increase in altitude, and consequently is much harder than the journey out. The guided tours bring with them the cost of the guide, and involve usually climbing of some sort. The RSCN lodge in Dana village can advise about these issues.

The workshops run by the RSCN can also be seen, but these are frankly uninteresting.

The village itself is a sight of sorts, being constructed mostly from traditional stone and mud houses. It is very small however.

Do[edit][add listing]

There is extensive hiking in the Biosphere Reserve. Many trails go slot canyons and require both caution to avoid flash floods and a guide. One popular hike goes from the historical village of Dana at the top of the valley down to the Feyman lodge at the bottom of the valley. It can be done unguided as it follows an old road along the floor of the valley and getting lost is not a risk. The is the principal hike available during winter months (November through early March) as it is not subject to flash floods. The spectacular hikes through the slot canyons are not offered during the winter due to flash floods.

The hike down to the Feyman lodge will take most of a day and it would be challenging to hike all the way back up in the same day (this would be 20 miles and thousands of feet of elevation change). Generally it is hiked from the Dana Visitor Center down to the Feymen Lodge. One can then be met by a jeep which will make a two hour drive back to the visitor center. The visitor center can arrange this and as off November 2015 it costs 35 JD

Birding in Dana is quite good during the annual north south migrations of birds.

There is camping offered by the RSCN during non-winter months.

A three day hike from Dana to Petra can be organized either by the Dana Tower hotel or the RSCN. It is guided and uses mules to transport supplies.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The Dana Guest House has a gift shop run by the RSCN that sells many locally produced items, herbs, books, and other items of interest to visitors.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There is nothing in town that strictly qualifies as a restaurant. Both the Dana Hotel and the Dana Tower Hotel offer meals.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The supply of tea is unlimited, and you do not need to go looking for it, as it will be offered frequently by anyone you're doing business with.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Selection is limited

  • Dana Tower Hotel offers exceptional service, wonderful buffet meals, and can arrange discounted transportation from Wadi Musa (Petra). It's a comfortable atmosphere, with plenty of sitting space up on the roof, with meals served inside a bedouin-style tent. The hotel itself is a grouping of mud-built houses, typical of the town. 16JD doubles, 10 JD singles, both include half board. For those even more budget minded, a dorm bed is 2JD, mattress on the roof 1JD.
  • Dana Hotel. The most friendly and helpful staff for which one could hope, and basic but clean rooms in good condition. 10jd/night for 1 person in a double room including breakfast & dinner (October 2013), coffee and (delicious, local) tea is free. Breakfast & dinner both take the form of buffets. Hot water available for showers, wireless internet present. There is a constant stream of people passing through, spending one night here on the way to Petra, and a wonderful view over the valley, especially at sunset. This hotel is reported by multiple sources to be part of a cooperative which works to help the local people with the profits.  edit

Dana Guest House This lodge is affiliated with the Dana Biosphere Reserve and the RCSN and as such is the partner lodge of the Feyman Eco Lodge. As of November 2015 it charges 55 JD for a double room per night. Most rooms have balconies overlooking the Wadi Dana canyon. The lodge is staffed by guides working for the Biosphere Reserve who can guide hikes and provide information regarding the park. Feyman Lodge This lodge is at the bottom of the Dana Wadi (valley). It is reached either by hiking down the valley from the village of Dana or by driving to a parking spot off the Dead Sea Highway and then being picked up by a four wheel drive vehicle. As an ecolodge it aims for minimal environmental impact. Limited electric power is all solar power and meals are had by candle light. All meals are vegiterian. Numerous hikes in the Biosphere originate from this lodge and it is also run and staffed by the RSCN.

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

  • Wadi Rum Protected Area Camp, Wadi Rum Protected Area (11km past Rum Village), 00962776365182, [1]. checkin: 7:00am; checkout: 9:00am. Traditional Bedouin Camp, package includes dinner and breakfast. Optional tours available. Professional guides and service. 10-20JD. (29.48336,35.39370) edit
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