Al Mujib Nature Reserve

Al Mujib Reserve is the lowest 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 410 meters below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Kerak and Madaba mountains to the north and south, reaching 900 meters above sea level in some places. This 1,300-meter variation in elevation, combined with the valley’s year- round water flow from seven tributaries, means that Wadi Al Mujib enjoys a magnificent bio-diversity that is still being explored and documented today. Over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of permanent and migratory birds have been recorded until this date. Some of the remote mountain and valley areas are difficult to reach, and thus offer safe havens for rare species of cats, goats and other mountain animals.

Visiting Wadi Mujib – The trails

The best way to discover Wadi Mujib is hiking the amazing reserve trails. Depending on the difficulty, there are three types of wet trails usually open from the beginning of April to the end of October: Siq Trail, Canyon Trail and Malaqi Trail. If you do not want to get wet, you can hike the Ibex Trail instead. This trail is open all year long.

The Siq Trail
Opening: April 1 – October 31
Grade: Easy to moderate
Duration: 2-3 hours guided or self-guided
Itinerary: Hike from Mujib Bridge Reception upstream to the large waterfall that links the Siq trail with the above Malaqi Trail and Mujib Canyon Trail.

Mujib Canyon Trail
Opening: April 1 – October 31, except during Ramadan
Grade: Challenging to difficult
Duration: 4 hours, guided only
Itinerary: From the Mujib Bridge Reception hike through the nearby white hills until the Mujib dam and descend into river Mujib. With the help of trained guide, abseil the waterfall flowing into the Siq trail continue downstream to the visitor centre.

The Malaqi Trail
Opening: April 1 – October 31, except during Ramadan
Grade: Challenging to difficult
Duration: 7 hours, guided only
Itinerary: From the Mujib Bridge Reception hike through the nearby white hills until the confluence with the Hidan River and descend into river Mujib. With the help of trained guide, abseil the waterfall flowing into the Siq trail continue downstream to the visitor centre.
The Ibex Trail
Opening: Year-round, except during Ramadan and according to weather conditions
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 3-4 hours, guided only
Itinerary: From the Mujib Bridge Reception drive south to a steep ascending trail into the nature reserve to the ranger station. From the ranger station hike down to the visitor centre. Optional detour up the mountainside to Riyash Castle. Ideal during winter and spring season.

Exploring the Siq

The most popular trail within the Mujib reserve is the two-hour long trail along the Siq, a narrow canyon carved into the sandstone by the water. The trail starts from the Visitor Center and goes upstream up to a beautiful twenty-meter high waterfall. Since the water stream is at times intense, visitors are provided with comfortable life jackets that allow remaining easily afloat. The staff of the centre is also present all the way to help in the most difficult points.

From the Visitor Centre, climb down the stairs to the riverbed and start walking upstream. After a few hundred meters the gorge narrows, the walls 60 meters high loom on the sides while the water level begins to rise and the current progressively increases in intensity. In the stretches with strong current, there are ropes and iron stairs to help the climbing. Being inside this canyon is exciting, the high surrounding cliffs are multi-colored and the music of the water crashing into the rocks accompanies your hike.

After about two-thirds of the trail, the water level lowers and the path becomes easier. The gorgeous waterfall at the end of the trail makes you forget the effort of the walk. Relax here and let the tiny fish in the stream massage your feet.

The way back is double the fun. Lie down on your back and let the stream gently carry you. You can look up to the sky over the Siq, as the life jacket will not let you sink. You can also jump and slide down waterfalls and water slides.

Al Mujib

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