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The Ancient Silk Road – Jordanian Desert
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The Ancient Silk Road – Jordanian Desert

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 12 people
Destination(s): Jordan  
Specialty Categories: Desert Expeditions   Archeology/History  
Season: November
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2800 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2800 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Tour Details:
- Grade: Easy – no experience necessary
- Dates: 10th – 24th November 2009
- Duration: 14 days
- Number of Participants: A minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12
- Accommodation: One night in a hotel in Amman all other nights camping in Bedouin tents
- Mode of Transport: From Amman we will travel by vehicle to the nearest road leading into the area. From here we meet with local Bedouin who will help us enter the area, carrying provisions and kit by camel.

Our expedition will uncover an ancient and forgotten part of the Silk Road trading route across Jordan. This route was abandoned around 300 years ago because so many of the trading camel trains were attacked and robbed; it was deemed too dangerous. We will explore and document this uncharted route cataloguing and photographing evidence of the stone markers and other archaeological finds in conjunction with Jordanian government archaeologists. We will also investigate and capture photographically the essence of desert wildlife and flora.

We will fly into the city of Amman and stay overnight in a hotel to prepare ourselves for the desert journey. The following day we travel by vehicle to the nearest road leading into the area. Here we meet with local Bedouin who will help us enter the area, carrying provisions and kit by camel. We then walk into the south eastern quarter of the Jordanian desert establishing camps on route as we explore the area thoroughly and immerse ourselves in the desert environment.

There is a need to adopt a flexible approach for the expedition as we will make our plans on a daily basis and according to our findings. We as your guides will keep you fully informed of our options and advise the team as to the best course of action. Travelling in such remote areas brings associated risks and these will be explained to you fully and a written risk assessment sent to you before we depart. But the risks are more than worth it!

Exploring and route finding; moving by foot with camels taking our equipment and gear; making camp where we deem necessary. Uncovering the secret track from Palmyra through the eastern desert of Jordan and down to Wadi Rum -the main Nabatean trade station.  This route was marked with stone cairns built at 5 - 6 km intervals, to ensure that caravans kept to this specific route. We will also visit the amazing Petra on our return route.

What should you expect:
- Weather: Jordan’s climate is mostly arid desert with the rainy season in the west from November to April. We will be in the desert area in the southeast so rainfall is unlikely, expect an average daytime temperature of 22 degrees and a night-time temperature of 16.
- Camp: Working with the Bedouin we pride ourselves on the standard of camping arrangements, and are privileged to have special camping permits for spectacular wilderness areas. We provide all services and supplies, including large Bedouin tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, carpets, water tanks, generators and even flushing toilets. We also operate a light-footed approach to nature making as little impact as possible and shipping out all our refuse.
- Food: On this expedition we will be fed fresh food that our Bedouin helpers will supply and prepare. Please advise us of any special requirements.
- Bird Species: There are 412 species of birds in Jordan, of which 2 have been introduced by humans, 86 are rare or accidental and 12 are globally threatened.
- Wildlife of Jordan: The harsh conditions of the desert wilderness, which covers most of the country, allow only an assortment of nature’s hardiest and most adaptable creatures to survive. As with most desert habitats, the majority of faunal life consists of insects, lizards, and small mammals.

However, a number of larger mammals can be found in the desert region, including the Asiatic jackal, desert fox, striped hyena, camel, rabbit and sand rat. The white oryx, which was hunted almost to extinction, lives on the open plains, while the mountain ibex is at home among rocky, mountainous crags. Both of these two species are relatively rare. Other species include: arabian oryx, caracal (persian lynx), crested porcupine, gazelle (dorcas, goitered, mountain, and persian varieties), golden jackal, hyrax, jerboa, marbled polecat, mongoose, mountain hare, nubian ibex, persian onager, stone marten, wild boar, wolf (arabian and indian varieties).

- There are inherent risks involved when really immersing yourself in a highly remote environment alongside wildlife. We have a continual briefing and practice system with comprehensive plans to evacuate individuals or the whole team if necessary. A full Safety Strategy will be sent to you before departure.
- So as to avoid any possible repayments and cancellations we accumulate the minimum number of expedition team members and then inform you of the best flight options. We will either have an Ice Warrior Guide on the same flight or meet your incoming flight and guide you through to our hotel in Amman.
- Insurance: Due to the extremely remote nature of our expeditions Jim McNeill writes a specific proposal for underwriters. For those living in the UK this is normally arranged through the British Mountaineering Council. The slight disadvantage with this is that you have to be a member of the BMC in order to qualify for the insurance which currently costs £14.97. Typical cost of the insurance is around £250. If you live elsewhere you will have to get insurance from your own country. Please contact us if you have any problems.
- Clothing: We will send you a separate clothing and personal kit check list where you can also place an order for purchase or hire of items.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Camping equipment
- Safety equipment - satellite phone, EPIRB, hand-held radios, shelters, etc.

Price Excludes:
- Flights to and from Amman and personal expenses
- Clothing and equipment.

Also see tour packages in:
Middle East   Jordan   Outdoor: Land Rambler   Desert Expeditions   Archeology/History