Feynan Eco Lodge….a destination in itself. The lodge is situated on the western edge of the three hundred square metre Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature reserve that is about 3 hours from Amman.
It’s an area that is dedicated to protecting the landscape and over eight hundred species of flora and 449 different animals that are found within the area, some of which are threatened species.
At the entrance to the park, we have to stop and transfer from our bus to vehicles driven by the local Bedouins who will take us to Feynan.
Fascinated by the stark rocky landscape and questions from our driver in his broken english, our time on the bumpy road goes quickly and soon we see our oasis in the desert.
National Geographic Adventure Magazine has listed Feynan Eco Lodge as one of their top fifty eco-lodges in the world and it is not hard to see why.
Feynan takes its environmental responsibility seriously. Its policies advocate minimal damage to the environment. Solar power generates electricity that runs essential appliances, solar systems heat the water, water consumption is restricted and rubbish is recycled. At night, candles create a romantic atmosphere in the twenty six room lodge. The kitchen here prepares fresh vegetarian food that is grown locally.
But it is the people that make Feynan special. The staff are all from the local Bedouin communities. The lodge helps them to sustain their culture and generate income for the communities. Our drivers are part of this….they keep all the transfer fees they received to bring us to the lodge.
Local tourism is also encouraged to give visitors an insight into the Bedouin culture.
We spent a fabulous afternoon learning how to make shrak…the local bread that we had been eating at the lodge.
We head to one of the tents where a Bedouin women sits mixing the dough. One by one, the balls of dough are pulled over the upturned disc that has been heated over the fire. It only takes a few minutes and then we are eating…delicious!
From here we hike to the top of a nearby hill to watch the sunset. We pass the homes of Bedouin families who live in the valley.
The sunset is stunning…the stark landscape takes on a glow as the day disappears.
Have you stayed at an eco lodge?
This article is part of the 2014 A to Z Challenge: You can read all the posts here