Yesterday, we arrived late to visit Azraq Wetland Reserve, another RSCN project. They did not allow us to park there overnight, so we drove a few minutes to their lodge, where a friendly receptionist managed to get permission from the manager to stay there.

The Azraq Basin comprised a vast area of mudflats, pools, and marshlands, which led to the establishment of Azraq as one of the most essential oasis towns in the Levant. However, the wetlands have almost disappeared since the mass pumping of water to the thirsty capital city of Amman. Thankfully, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has worked to preserve and restore the remainder. So, we consider the 🎟️ of 8 JOD / person as a donation, not an entrance fee, because you can’t see much there on the 1.5km Marsh Trail through the reserve.

Although just 10% of the original wetlands remain, about 300 species of resident and migratory birds use the wetlands during their winter migration from Europe to Africa, including raptors, larks, warblers, finches, harriers, eagles, plovers, and ducks. A few buffaloes also wallow in the marshy environs, and jackals and gerbils are occasionally spotted in the late evening. The best time to see birdlife is winter (December to February) and early spring (March and April). Large flocks of raptors steadily arrive in May. Ultimately, however, bird populations depend on the reserve’s water levels. As the water continues to be pumped out quicker than it is pumped in, the future of the oasis remains in jeopardy.

Parking location – Azraq: 31.834948N 36.820492E (🚻)