A Lodge in Dana Park

Where: Feynan, Giordania

Who: Ecohotels


 Nearby villages women sell handcrafts and work in the lodge

A place where Mediterranean and arab-indian continent biodiversity mix up: it's Dana BIosphere, protected by the Royal Society of Conservation of Nature and Bird Life International, the most important Jordan nature reserve. Here, crossed bushes populated by rare birds and desert fauna, passed rocky wadi, in the dunes, the mud walls of Feynan appear, squared like a medioval fortress in the Lawrence of Arabia desert, lighted only by candles and the moon.

You might think it is a mirage. The Feynan Ecolodge was built in 2005 by renowned architect Ammar Khammash at the western edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, is owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and is the first of its kind in Jordan. Before the lodge was built, the land was utilised as a campsite by archaeologists conducting studies and digs in the area. The RSCN developed the campsite into an ecolodge to provide economic opportunities for local communities and generate revenue for the conservation of Jordan’s wild places. In September 2009, EcoHotels took over the management and operation of the lodge, offering travellers an unparalleled opportunity to experience Jordan’s wilderness, meet its native people and explore its ancient history, with minimal impact on the environment. Beyond the wodden door corners with pillows, library, terraces, bedrooms with enormous with psaces, lit by candles and fire. A small shop sells soaps, leather and silver objects, all made by locals and by the villages women.

The manager Hussein and the guides have thousand of ideas: they are keen on taking tourists to the park, to the neolitic village, to the roman ruins, to the rock pinnacles, in torrents and magic nights with music. In line with EcoHotels’s mission and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature’s (RSCN) policies to employ staff from local areas and communities, Feynan Ecolodge has an almost entirely local team working onsite. This helps create the uniquely authentic atmosphere in the lodge, while generating much needed income for surrounding communities. In addition, the candle-making and leather workshops on site give women in the community the opportunity to work to help support their families and showcase their art. All revenue generated from transportation to and from the lodge goes directly to the 40 or so drivers from the local Bedouin community. This revenue supplemental income to these drivers' families.



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