Established in 2010, the Yarmouk Nature Reserve spreads over a small area (20 square kilometres) of the hills beside Umm Qais. Overlooking the River Yarmouk, which marks the border between Jordan and Syria, it protects a swathe of deciduous oak forest (85 percent of Jordan’s surviving cover), along with two species of rare orchid, mammals including otters, hyenas, wolves and the threatened mountain gazelle, reptiles, fish and birds. The reserve also plans to capitalize on the presence of 100,000 tourists – most of them locals – who visit the area each year by offering environmental education, nature guiding on new hiking trails, mountain-biking, an eco-café and a nature shop selling handmade crafts from local communities. Check w rscn.org.jo or ask at the Umm Qais ticket office for the latest information.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Jordan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

The Middle East is a paradox. Located at the cultural crossroads between east and west, the region nowadays tends to make headlines for all the wrong reasons, b…

16 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
Middle Eastern majesty: 17 beautiful pictures of Jordan

Middle Eastern majesty: 17 beautiful pictures of Jordan

We chose Jordan as one of the top destinations to visit in 2016, and after looking at these stunning photographs from Picfair's best photographers, you'll und…

31 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month