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ECO & NATURE

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The Wadi Mujib Gorge.

The growing demand on water consumption in the region has seen the natural inflow to the Dead Sea diminish rapidly over the past years. So much so, that there is a risk of the sea drying up altogether within the next 50 years. This would be a devastating loss, not only for tourism and the economy, but also for the loss of the Dead Sea’s unique properties, the surrounding environment, and its flora and fauna.

To combat this critical situation, plans are being made to transport water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. The operation, known as ‘Peace Conduit’ - since it involves the cooperation of Jordan, Israel and Palestine - aims at bringing 1.8 billion cubic metres of water annually to the Dead Sea.

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) is deeply involved in the protection of wildlife and habitats within the area and has received international acclaim for its pioneering work in developing nature-based businesses for local people.



Mujib Nature Reserve

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Sedimentary build-up at the point where Wadi Mujib meets the Dead Sea.

The Mujib Nature Reserve is the lowest-altitude nature reserve in the world, with its spectacular array of scenery near the East coast of the Dead Sea. The reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge which enters the Dead Sea at 410m below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Karak and Madaba mountains to the North and South, reaching 900m above sea level in some places. This 1,300m variation in elevation, combined with the valley's year-round water flow from seven tributaries, means that the Wadi Mujib enjoys a magnificent biodiversity that is still being explored and documented today.

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Sure-footed Nubian Ibex.

Over 420 species of plants, 102 species of permanent and migratory birds, and10 species of carnivore including the Red Fox, Blandford Fox, Hyena, Jackal, Wild Cat, Caracal, Badger, Mongoose, Wolf and Arabian Leopard have been recorded to date. Some of the remote mountain and valley areas are difficult to reach, offering a safe haven to various species of cats, goats and other mountain animals.

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The Caracal.

Mujib's sandstone cliffs are an ideal habitat for one of the most beautiful mountain goats in the world, the Nubian Ibex. The natural Ibex herds have declined over the years due to over hunting, prompting Jordan's Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature to establish a captive-breeding programme for the Ibex within the Mujib Nature Reserve.

Mujib is also home to carnivorous species such as the Caracal, a medium-sized cat distinguished by its black and white ear tufts. An agile and powerful hunter, the Caracal can be spotted in action in the rocky valley of Mujib, using its amazing jumping power to catch airborne prey.



Visitors' Facilities
 

There is a campsite containing 5 large tents, a bathroom, and barbecue grills for visitor use. Visitors are asked to bring their own sleeping bags, drinking water, and food. The price of a night's stay here costs 10 to 20JD, depending on the accommodation and the number of people sleeping in the tent.

Camping is not permitted outside of this area. The carrying capacity of the camp is 25 persons per day. Visitors will walk up to the camping area and the Reserve car will carry their luggage. You should note that the tents are only erected on demand - you must pre-book - and then only if there is a minimum number of 5 people.



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The curative properties of the Dead Sea have been recognized since the days of Herod the Great over 2,000 years ago.

The Dead Sea is 80km (50 miles) long, approximately 14km (9 miles) wide. The northern and larger part is very deep, reaching at one point a depth of 430m (1320 feet). The southern bay is, on the contrary, very shallow, averaging hardly a depth of 4m (13 feet).

The water level of the Dead Sea is dropping by about a 30cm (1 foot) per year. It is being diverted by Israel and Jordan for industry, agriculture and household use. Scientists predict that the sea may be dried up by the year 2050.

Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the Dead Sea area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zaboiim and Zoar.