Best time to go: Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November)
Best for: Religious and Archaeological Sites
Petra, the jewel in the crown of Jordan`s antiquities, has been declared by popular ballot one of the `new ` Seven Wonders of the World.
The wind and occasional flooding has shaped the landscape of the magnificent wind-blown desert of Wadi Rum into a cyclorama of pillars and rock arches – a fit arena for the spectacles of history played out here. Visit The Citadel and Archaeological Museum in Amman. With a selection of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the remains of an Umayyad city and fine views of the Roman amphitheatre, it is a fascinating attraction to visit.
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Official Name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Capital: Amman (AMM)
Currency: Jordanian Dinar (JOD)
Language: Arabic. English is widely spoken.
Dialling code from SA: +962
Time Zone: UTC / GMT +2 (Same time as South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: Last Friday in March to last Friday in October: UTC / GMT +3 (1 hour ahead of South Africa)
Side of the Road: Right
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Both round European-style two-pin plugs and square British-style three-pin plugs are used
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated. Mains water is heavily chlorinated; therefore travellers prefer bottled water which is widely available. Water is a precious resource in Jordan and visitors should attempt to conserve and not waste water.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. Dehydration is a common health problem for visitors.
Customs: As a predominately Islamic country, dress should be conservative (Western women are not subject to the clothing customs, but should avoid revealing clothing). When visiting more traditional parts of the country and outside the main cities, women should keep their arms, legs and heads covered. Shorts are generally not worn by men or women. Although two-piece swimsuits are acceptable in hotel swimming pools, one-piece swimsuits are preferred in the rest of Jordan. Swimwear should be reserved for the beach and poolside. Respect to religious customs should be shown during the month of Ramadan, when eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset should be done discreetly or in private.
Local Offences / Laws: Nude and topless sunbathing is prohibited. The consumption of alcohol in public is prohibited. In some places, photography is prohibited – if in doubt, it is best to ask. Homosexuality is illegal.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Credit cards are largely accepted, but smaller stores will prefer cash payments. Dehydration is common among visitors. There is a low risk of terrorist attacks. Care should be taken when travelling to the Israel and Iraq borders.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Jordan by people 18 years of age and older without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g of tobacco
• 1L of alcohol
• 1 or 2 opened bottles of perfume
• Gifts up to the value of JD200
There are extensive duty-free shops at the airport, both in arrivals and departures, and at every border crossing by land. Within 14 days of your arrival in Jordan, you can also go to the Duty Free Shop on Tunis Street, near 4th Circle in Amman, to buy your permitted allowance of cigarettes, alcohol and other luxury goods without paying duty. Bring your passport with you.
Prohibited Imports: Narcotics, firearms and ammunition, and pornography
Prohibited Exports: Antiquities (classed as items dating from before AD1750)