The first thing that comes to mind at the mention of the name, Jordan, is either the sneakers or Michael Jordan, the former basketball player. Don’t worry, we are not judging you, Google would do same and that’s probably because the country’s official name is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, an Arabian nation in the Middle East.
Jordan is a country rich in culture, history, amazing cuisines, colourful adventures and everyone who visits would be rewarded to all or most of the aforementioned. Describing the wonders it holds won’t do any justice but adding it to your 2019 must-visit locations definitely would!
Jordan gives 80% Morocco vibes as it’s pretty much a travellers’ haven with so much to see and do. If you fell in love with Morocco in 2017/2018, then you’ll love Jordan even more.
Jordan is a country that is often misunderstood, mainly because of its location; the two popular views are that it is an unsafe and solely religious location-The former because it shares borders with Syria and Iraq and the latter because it shares borders with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and Lebanon. Let’s just say Jordan is surrounded with good and not so good people. The country’s stability can be seen in its currency which is the 4th most powerful (ahead of the almighty U.K’s pounds sterling
Don’t leave Jordan without doing 5 of the following:
1. Float in the Dead Sea
Not only do you get to float without doing anything, you also get to immerse yourself in the lowest point of the earth. The Dead Sea is a life wonder, so salty life can’t thrive in there, hence why it’s called the dead sea. Most resorts provide mud stations, where you can slam the mud treatment all over yourself, leave it for about 15mins before washing off in the dead sea for full healing value (Well, that’s what I was told lol).
2. Visit Mars
Yes I mean it, visit Mars like Matt Damon in the Martian without actually hopping into a rocket. I’m kidding but the redish Wadi Rum desert with will give you some Martian vibes, without the Mars creatures of course. It is home to the Beoudins (the nomads in Jordan) and you can look forward to their local dinner called Zarb (bbq under the ground). You can also look forward to a jeep ride to explore the wonders Mars has to offer as well, towering cliffs, striking red dunes and impressive canyons are the things to look forward to.
Camp under the stars, chilling by the desert fire and enjoying an authentic dinner of Zarb are a few others.
If you’re one of the people who travel with their seasoning and spices, then you wouldn’t need to do this for your Jordan trip, because most of their chefs definitely learnt how to cook in Nigeria, LOL. They actually have major culinary schools in Amman too. The influences come from Mediterranean and Middle East, delicious and plentiful. Meals starts with Mezze or small plates including traditional humus, baba ghanoush and small meat plates. Main course could be Mensaf, a traditional dish of lamb and yoghurts served with rice.
4. Visit the Lost City – the most famous destination in Jordan, Petra. An ancient Nabetean city that was once a focal point of the trade between Africa, the Middle East with Europe and Asia. The most iconic spot here is the treasury building from the last crusade movie by Indiana Jones, and of course, there are unending ‘Instagrammable’ locations you’ll come across. What’s more? Visiting Petra means you’ll have just ticked off one of the 7 wonders of the world.
5. Aqaba homes the Red sea with spans across 6 other countries, best for snorkelling and diving the crystal clear waters with the most amazing coral reef gives an unforgettable experience
6.Wadi Mujib- Follow the Siq trail here, through the canyon filled with water from the Dead Sea, which means you’ll definitely float naturally.
7.Get to visit more than one county
The strategic location of Jordan means, you can combine your visit with other countries, for little or nothing. I flew into Tel Aviv, Israel and crossed by foot (Arava border) to Jordan and flew back home from Jordan. An interesting combination is also Nigeria-Egypt-Jordan-Lebanon-Nigeria.
8. Visit the city’s capital Ammam, the country’s capital w built on 7 hills with sites which date back to the 13th century such as The Roman citadel. The Souks and famous malls such as TAJ mall are a shopper’s delight.
Overall, the people, would make you fall in love with their country. I fell in love with the hospitality Moroccans gave, but I think you’ll even fall even more in love with the Jordanians-From simple acts of kindness like offering directions to extending invitations to an authentic Jordanian meal in their homes.
Getting to Jordan
There is currently no embassy in Nigeria for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The visa is however very easily provided by agents in Jordan and all you need to do is purchase an experience package from them, send your passport data page and they will do the rest. The only clause to this, as far as I know, is that they accept mostly group trips (but hey! money rules the world so if you’re offering to pay your Jordanian agent a fortune, he just might pull out that visa for you!).
The visa is provided on entry (it’s pretty much like a receipt; you’re however required to keep it safe as you wouldn’t be allowed to depart the country without it).
There are currently no direct flights into Amman, the city’s capital. Your cheapest option is Egypt air (N200, 000 to N250,000 range), Emirate, Qatar and Turkish airlines (all within the N300, 000 to N450,000 range)
Accommodation is largely dependent on your budget and the towns you want to visit. The cheapest accommodation is in the capital, Amman (starts from N25, 000 per night) Aqaba and Petra (starts from N35, 000 per night) and the dead sea (5*) is the best experience and you should budget up to (N60,000 per night)
Jordanian currency is the 4th highest in the world and that’s quite interesting for a country that doesn’t produce oil.
1 JD is equal to N510
Average decent meal – 15JD
The cheapest way move around is by public transport or by uber app, services.
Public transport options- You can find bus time tables and options in the link inserted below:
The easiest however is by private transport. Your driver automatically becomes your guide; 2 for the price of 1? Yass! With private transport, you get to see the most important parts of Jordan in 6 days (the farthest distance you might face is a 4-hour trip from Aqaba to Amman, thanks to the crazy traffic.)
Car Hire is another option, if you don’t mind driving in new/unfamiliar terrain, the roads signs are also in English and Arabic so you can’t miss it.
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