THE BLACK IRIS
Jordan Wildlife Holidays with Greentours Black Irises, Anemones, Orchids, Birds and Petra
Jordan’s long and rich cultural history is evident at the many fantastic archaeological sites reaching their zenith in magnificent Petra, yet Guidebooks suggest that a tourist’s most abiding memory from a visit to this warmly welcoming country will be its beautiful natural environment.
Crusader Castles dominate hilltops providing great backdrops for photographs of those memorable Irises. The Black Iris is Jordan’s national flower and it must have been an easy choice! The spectacular blooms are never completely black but are shot through with purples, blues and pinks imbuing the blooms with a lustrous velvety appearance. Actually there are five black Irises, Iris nigricans, the ‘real’ Black Iris, Iris petrana from the land of the Nabateans, very local Iris atrofusca from Mount Nebo, rare Iris bostrensis from the Syrian borderlands and best of all, the marvellously variable and very impressive Iris haynei. There’s blue Iris aucheri and even a purple and white one – Iris bismarckiana. A triumvirate of scarlet blooms, Anemone coronaria, the almost identical Adonis palaestina, and the immaculate Turban Buttercup, give a red glow to terraces in the olive-laden hills that rise high above the River Jordan. Cyclamen persicum and Rustyback Fern inhabit limestone crevices whilst delicate white Bellevalia eigii, various Leopoldias, wine-red Salvia hierosolymitana, powder-blue Trichodesma boissieri and seas of blue and lilac-pink Lupins occupy this flowery landscape. Lovely Orchis galilaeae and Ophrys bornmuelleri can be found amongst commoner orchids such as Anatolian Orchid, Pink Butterfly Orchid and Ophrys umbilicata. White-throated Kingfishers, Little Green Bee-eaters, Rock Hyraxes, Hume’s Tawny Owls, Orange-tufted Sunbirds and improbably blue Sinai Agamas are just some of a varied fauna. Nubian Ibex and Tristram’s Serins inhabit Dana’s spectacular landscape of desert wadis and juniper-dotted hills. Pretty Sinai Rosefinches will mark our progress down the extraordinary Siq, the water-worn gorge caused by tectonic movements which split the mountain in two, and which provides the entrance to magnificent Petra, one of the world’s most stunning historical sites.
Flowers, Birds, Reptiles, Landscapes and Historical Sites.
Quite easy, no more than three or four miles in any one day, and always at a slow pace.
Included in the Price
All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in Jordan. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature, including insurance, are not included.
Minimum is 4 and the maximum is 15. Only one leader will accompany a group of 8 or less.
We start and end this tour with a night at the pleasant Miriam Hotel in Madaba, just half an hour from the airport. We’ve four nights in the hills above Jerash at the comfortable 3-star Olive Branch Hotel where a particularly good chef will keep you well fed. Moving south, we’ve four nights in modern well-furnished rooms at the light and airy Edom Hotel, situated in a privileged position right by the gates at Petra. On the extension we’ve three nights at the Bedouin-style Bait Ali Desert Camp in cool well-equipped chalets. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.
UK return flights are direct from London Heathrow to Amman. Add-ons are available from various UK airports*. Indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
Mostly warm, clear and sunny in the day, and cool at night. Occasional rain on the northern hills.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Flower, bird and mammal checklists are available.