Azraq is a unique wetland oasis in Jordan’s eastern desert. ‘Azraq’ means ‘blue’ in Arabic and relates to the many pools and seasonally flooded marsh lands as it was known as a ‘sparkling blue jewel’ in the desert. Azraq is a great place for bird watching as a wide variety of birds stop here on their migration routes between Europe and Africa, while some species stay for the whole of the winter. The best times to visit Azraq is Autumn and early winter to see the migratory birds or in the spring when the rains turn the marshland into a beautiful sight with over 2000 species of wild flowers.
A Roman wall and bird hide can be visited along a short walking trail as well as other trails leading visitors through the marshes. A perfect place for nature lovers.
Shawmari Nature Reserve is a breeding centre for some of the most endangered and rare wildlife in the Middle East such as the Arabian Oryx, Ostrich, Onagers and desert Gazelles. Visitors can take a safari trip through the reserve or spend some time in the observation tower to try and spot the different animals. The breeding enclosures also act as a small zoo, making it a great day out for families with small children.
Where to stay?
Azraq lodge – a converted 1940’s British military hospital is close by, a great base to explore all of the eastern desert.
Both Azraq and Shawmari reserves can be visited on a one day trip from Amman