Bird watchers and animal lovers alike will be delighted by the bountiful bird and wildlife that can be observed in their natural habitat at the Azraq Wetland Reserve.

Located in eastern Jordan near the desert town of Azraq, the reserve is run and protected by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and provides an oasis for migratory birds flying from Africa to Eurasia.

Although the wetland basin is nowhere near the huge glittering expanse of water it once was due to urban use, illegal drilling and excessive pumping, with international support a rescue mission that began in 1994 has managed to restore a significant amount of the area with further goals to increase water levels by 10%.

Today, as the water returns so too does the birdlife, and in response special bird hides, boardwalks and observation decks have been constructed to allow visitors to bird watch at a safe and protective distance. The one-of-a-kind reserve includes several natural and manmade pools, marshland and a large mudflat known as Qa’a Al-Azraq.

The wetlands’ close proximity to the Shaumari wildlife reserve and Jordan’s desert castles makes it a great stop-off on a tour of the plethora of fascinating sites in the area.