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Rock formations in the desert near Petra: in the past 15 years Jordan has become a paradise for travellers

Ruins and wildlife: Jordan by Matthew Teller

“You see them?” Ahmed Shaalan, ranger at the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, swung the safari jeep around and roared dust into pudding-bowl skies. His eyes were better than mine, but then I saw them too, beyond the jittery gazelles—Persian onager, a critically endangered subspecies of wild ass. For perhaps ten minutes we drove alongside the herd, all velvet flanks and don’t-care donkey eyes, before they…

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