Imagine a space so desolate that not even a boulder or a bush troubles the 360-degree horizon. Now add a carpet of ancient black volcanic rock, unnavigable even by camels. And finally, factor in a ravaging heat so overpowering in the summer that the ground pulses before your eyes and mirages appear in the distance. Welcome to the Eastern Desert!
Look closer and there are treasures to be found here. At Azraq, there are swaying oasis reeds of an improbable wetland beloved of migratory birds. At Shaumari, you can go on safari to spot oryx, returned from the brink of extinction. Throughout the region, a string of intriguing ruined forts, hunting lodges and caravanserai (merchants’ inns), collectively known as the ‘desert castles’, wait to be discovered by the intrepid. There's a lot more to Jordan's far east than first meets the eye.