The large pine forest that stretches from Ajlun towards the north is a unique environmental resource, for it is the southernmost complete pine forest in the world. The area's cool forests, beautiful picnic areas, and extensive walking trails attract visitors throughout the April-October season, especially from the Gulf and other warmer regions of the Middle East.
The combination of the invigorating forests, clean air, cool summer temperatures, easy access from all northern Jordan, and a series of major antiquities sites make this a leading tourism destination, for both international and domestic tourists.
The Ajlun Campsite is located at the edge of the forest in the reserve. It occupies a large grassy clearing, enclosed by oak, pistachio and strawberry trees, and offers beautiful views of the reserve and beyond. There are 10 four- person tented bungalows available and nearby showers and toilets. The Ajlun Campsite opens from the 1st of April till the 31st of October.
Ajlun Nature Reserve
The Ajlun Nature Reserve is located in the Ajlun highlands (North of Amman). It consists of Mediterranean-like hill country, dominated by open woodlands of oak and pistachio trees. The Reserve was first established in 1988 when a captive-breeding program for the Roe Deer was initiated.
The Reserve (13 sq. km) is located in an area named Eshtafeena. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature has set up two hiking trails and provides a special area for camping.
Ajlun's woodlands consist mostly of oak trees, interspersed with pistachio, pine, carob, and wild strawberry trees. These trees have long been important to local people for their wood, scenic beauty and, very often, for medicine and food.
The Roe Deer is adapted to forest habitat, and feeds on a variety of trees, shrubs and grasses. The rich Mediterranean-like forests that covered the Ajlun 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 Ajlun in 1988, from a similar habitat in Turkey, and their numbers are now increasing.
The Persian Fallow Deer is another species that was once common in Jordan. This animal probably became extinct by the turn of the century although measures are in place to ensure their return to the local countryside. This species of deer derives its name from the old English word "falu," meaning "brownish-yellow," which describes the color of its coat.