Reserve was first established in 1988
and is located in the Ajloun Highlands
in northern Jordan, around the village
of Umm al-Yanabi' north of Ajloun. It
is a area of rolling hills covered by
dense woodlands of evergreen oak, interspersed
with pistachio, carob, and wild strawberry
trees. The trees have been important to
local people for their wood, scenic beauty,
and quite often for medicine and food.
These woodlands are like the original
forest animals, including herds of wild
captive-breeding programme for the locally
extinct roe deer was initiated and an
enclosure has been built on site, so they
can be released into the forest in the
near future. The roe deer is adapted to
local forest habitat, and feeds on a variety
of trees, shrubs and grasses. The rich
Mediterranean-like forests that covered
the Ajloun area provided an ideal habitat
for millennia. However, deforestation
and desertification over the past 200
years led to the decline in numbers of
the roe deer. Three roe deer were introduced
to the captive breeding enclosure in Ajloun
in 1988, from a similar habitat in Turkey.
Today, there are sixteen roe deer at Ajloun.
The Persian Fallow Deer is another species
that was once common in Jordan. This animal
probably became extinct by the beginning
of the 20th century and its re-introduction
is now being pursued
International declared the area an Important
reserve (13 square kms) is located in
an area named Eshtafeena. The reserve
management provided a special area for
camping and has set up two hiking trails
viewpoint trail: (2 km), taking 1-2 hours,
leading from the campsite to the summit
of a nearby hill overlooking the reserve.
The area surrounding the trail is rich
in wildflowers in the springtime. It is
an excellent spot for a picnic. Not far
from the campsite an old stone wine press
is found. The return trip goes past the
breeding enclosures of the roe deer and
back to the Visitors' Centre.
trail: (8 km), taking 4-5 hours, passing
across heavily wooded valley and ridges,
inside and outside the nature reserve.
This highly scenic trail passes through
villages and olive orchards and offers
beautiful panoramic views to the West
Bank and Syria. There are steep scrambles
en-route that demand a reasonable level
is one and a half hours from Amman. From
the Amman-Jarash Highway turn to the old
Jarash road marked by a sign reading "Ajloun
and Jarash". Turn from this road
to the Ajloun road (marked by a road sign).
Follow this road to Ajloun where you will
find signs indicating the way to the reserve.