Karak Governorate:
Discover the lowest nature reserve on the planet


You’ll find Karak located south-west of Amman, Jordan’s capital. It’s home to the lowest nature reserve on Earth, Mujib Biosphere Reserve, and the Fifa Nature Reserve and it boasts some truly majestic canyons.

Karak Governorate at a glance

  • The southernmost governorate stretching along the Dead Sea, with the Mujib Biosphere Reserve in the north and the Fifa Nature Reserve in the south

  • Hiking the Jordan Trail and the Ibex trail at Mujib Biosphere reserve

  • An abundance of wadis, gorges, and canyons with numerous opportunities for canyoning and climbing (e.g., Wadi Bin Hammad, Wadi Mujib, Siq Trail.
  • Birdwatching in both the Mujib and Fifa Reserves.

  • Local activities: basket weaving, jameed making, glass blowing.

River-filled canyons

At 410 meters below sea level, the Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest nature reserve on Earth. It surrounds Wadi al Mujib, a deep and majestic canyon that cuts through the rugged highlands and drains into the Dead Sea. The mountains in the Reserve are dissected by several river-filled canyons that offer the best river and adventure hikes in Jordan. 

Seasonal and permanent streams flow through many of the wadis, supporting luxurious aquatic plants in the riverbeds. The Reserve contains over 550 species of plants, eight species of carnivores, and numerous species of resident and migratory birds. The richest vegetation is found in the wadi beds, where there are Palm Trees, Wild figs, Tamarisk trees, beautiful Oleander shrubs, and the Reed bed along the river.

“Wadi al Mujib is a deep and majestic canyon that cuts through the rugged highlands and drains into the Dead Sea”

Animal splendor

The steep mountain slopes support several highly adapted mammals, including Rock Hyrax, the Eurasian Badger, and, most importantly, the Nubian Ibex, a large mountain goat. The Caracal, a medium-sized cat with black and white ear tufts, lives in rocky wadis. It is a mighty and agile hunter with excellent jumping power, known to catch flying birds in its paws. 

Mujib is also an internationally important passageway for migratory birds. Vast numbers of White Storks passed through every year starting from August, Black Storks, Buzzards, Honey Buzzards, Levant Sparrow Hawks, and much more. The globally threatened Lesser Kestrel breeds in the Reserve every spring. At least nine species of birds of prey are known to breed here, for instance, the Bonelli’s eagle, the Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, and the Barbary Falcon.


Fifa Nature Reserve

But that’s not all of the natural splendor Karak has to offer. The Fifa Nature Reserve, with its semi-desert system and high temperatures, is home to seven endangered plant and animal species, such as the Arak plant, lynx, and hyena. Flora and fauna have been able to survive the difficult conditions. The Reserve is home to 4% of all plant species and 8% of the animal species in Jordan. It is the world’s lowest elevation reserve, 426 meters below sea level. 

It is considered an essential habitat for many rare and endangered birds at the local and regional level, including the Nubian Nightjar, a nocturnal bird characterized by its large eyes that enable it to hunt easily at night. Large numbers of migrant birds pass through the area in spring and autumn.

“Fifa Nature Reserve is the world’s lowest elevation reserve, 426 meters below sea level”


Karak was once known as the Kingdom of Moab. After that, Karak was under the rule of the Persian Empire, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, and Ottoman Empire. You’ll find quite a few sites of crusades and important religious sites. The capital city of Al-Karak used to be a part of   the Kingdom of Jerusalem, established by the crusaders. The most considerable remainder of this period is the Karak Castle, the largest crusader castle in Jordan. Stick around for nightfall here. Karak Castle lights up gorgeously after dark. The cities are great, but nature overrules everything in the Karak Governorate.

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