Category: Dana NP

Tour of Egypt and Jordan – The Dana National Park

flag We arrive in Aqaba.Our superb guide, collects us from the ferry port, nods at all the right people, and within minutes we are in a coach on the way to our first destination, the Dana National park

The flag of the Arab league, said to be the largest flag in the world.

As we travel in the coach, along the famous Kings Highway. Moses was refused permission to travel on this road by the King of EdomOur guide Aladdin makes good use of the time, to teach us about local customs, currency and a little of the language.

I sometimes hear people complaining about tips for the guide. In reality, they are less than £20, and an experienced guy like this could save you several hundred pound through his advise and local knowledge.

In a way, I feel lucky to have had bad experiences in Beijing on my own, as I now know, just how valuable, people like this really are.

 krrocks There was some amazing geology at work, on the mountains and hills along the side of the kings highway.This line through the middle of the rock, occurred naturally, and ran for several miles.
We arrive at the Dana National Park.The now ubiquitous excellent food, but what could beat a roaring fire and homely accommodation.  fireplace
 balcony1 In the morning, I wake and go through my gear (I always like to stay on top of routine stuff like this, so that things don’t go missing/I know if anything is broken etc.I don’t remember a more beautiful venue for this routine job, than the balcony overlooking the Nature Park bellow.
 All the balcony’s were in a row, and as I look to my left and right, I see that most of the group are up early enjoying the view.  balcony2
 shuttle After breakfast, we all jump in a truck and head down to the national park, in the valley bellow.Private vehicles are banned within the Park (the whole area is environmentally conscious, the recycling bins outside the visitors centre are the only ones in Southern Jordan).
 Our truck is halted for a few minutes, as a large group of farmed camels needed to cross the road (well, their herders did, the camels didn’t seem to have any preference).  camels
 guide1 Our nature guide (a reformed poacher) showed us around the park.The scenery and weather were brilliant.

At one point, he described how, when stalking a particular animal (I forget which) once you saw it, you should move back behind the tree, and approach it from the other angle.

He also told us, that when cooking a Badger (protected in the UK, by law) that it takes 9 hours.

The interesting thing about the park, was most of the wildlife, were fairly small, it wasn’t a big game park, and you could explore in almost complete safety.We are shown this beetle. After being handled for just a second, it appears to die, and doesn’t move at all.

We leave it, and return a few moments later, the beetle has gone, it was playing dead the whole time.

 merock  Another one of the superb rock formations in this magnificent country.
 This magic tree, was alive on one side, and dead on the other. At certain times, it would change, and the “dead” side would come back to life.  landdtree
 guide2  Our guide spots another insect, but advises caution.
It turns out to be a scorpion (this picture is heavily zoomed, I never got less than 4 feet from it).The scorpion stings our guides shoe, and we are shown the sizeable but harmless mark it leaves there.  scorpion
 kingrock This picture is featured on the adventure company web site and their new brochure (I’m famous).Its said that King Hussein of Jordan spent time on this very rock, looking into the valley, in deep contemplation.
 The park rangers on the other side of the valley, had camped up and were making coffee.  wardens
 camp As we reach the valley floor, we see the campsite at Rummana, where its possible to stay the night.I wish I could have spent 2 nights there, as I would have loved one night, sleeping out.