Jordan is an under-watched country compared to neighboring Israel, but here visiting birders have the opportunity to find and enjoy some very special birds in diverse habitats in relative solitude. Jordan is nestled at the northern edge of the Great Rift Valley, the vast corridor running from Africa to the Middle East that funnels migrating birds from their wintering grounds in Africa to breeding territories in Europe and Siberia and back again. Raptor passage can be spectacular, with Steppe and Honey Buzzards numbering in the hundreds of thousands, joined by Eastern Imperial, Lesser Spotted, Booted and Short-toed Eagles. Desert birding is an unforgettable experience, and a trip to Jordan should include birding sites such as the RAMSAR protected wetland of Azraq, the coast at Aqaba, the mountainous region of Dhana and any number of desert areas for specialities such as Dead Sea Sparrow, Sinai Rosefinch, Hume’s Owl, Syrian Serin and White-eyed Gull. Mammals such as Arabian Ibex and Rock Hyrax can also be seen, as can a truly wonderful, crystal clear star-filled sky at night. Add in the breathtaking ancient city of Petra - a UNESCO World Heritage Site described by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 28 places to see before you die – and you have a special trip to look forward to.