Located along the eastern side of the Dead Sea, the Mujib Nature Reserve is a beautiful space that makes for a great place to hike, swim and spot wildlife. Take the time to visit its highlight, the pretty canyon that winds through the red rocks. The canyon leads to the Dead Sea, but the rivers here are not salty and are perfect for swimming.
The reserve was founded in 1987 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) as a breeding ground for the Nubian ibex, a desert goat best known for the dramatic curve of its horns. Look for goats as you explore, but note that due to illegal hunting, the numbers of this species are sadly dwindling.
Spot other evidence of the reserve’s rich biodiversity in addition to the goats. More than 400 plant species have made their home here. Animals that live in the park include the striking Syrian wolf, the caracal, a medium sized cat with tufted ears, and the striped hyena.
The park is also an important stopping point for birds migrating between Africa, Europe and Asia. More than 180 species of bird can be found here, and sometimes more depending on the migrations. Look for the birds that most commonly stop here, including white storks, honey buzzards and black storks. Bring along your binoculars so you can increase your chance of seeing them.
Hike along the trails to high summits, hidden watering holes and cascading waterfalls. Intrepid travelers can join challenging hikes that are only permitted with a guide. One such hike leads to the top of a waterfall with the help of a rope. At the end of your hike, jump into any of the refreshing pools or ravines. Lifeguards are stationed at the natural pools and visitors hiking to the waterfall will need to wear a life jacket. Be sure to bring a waterproof camera, as the views of the canyon are strikingly beautiful.
There is a fee to access Mujib Nature Reserve. Note that the park closes to tourists during the winter months due to rising waters.