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Asir National Park

Asir National Park

 

Incorporating mountain, desert and seascapes, this is one of the great national parks of the world in terms of size and beauty, as well as in ecological importance and archeological interest

 

Opened in 1401H (1981) the park was the first of its kind created in the Kingdom. It covers an extensive tract of land from west of Abha in the mountains, through the Tihamah Plain, and ends at the Red Sea Coast.

 

The park incorporates six recreational areas totalling 2,000 hectares. The main access points are at: Al Hadba, Al Qara, Al Sudah. Dalgan, The National Park Visitor center, Abha, Prince Sultan Park and Toor Al-Masqah Park.

 

In the valleys during winter and spring, wild flowers carpet the valley floor, and apricot groves fill the air with blossoms. Higher up the mountains, red foxes, hyraxes, wolves and hamadryas baboons roam among the rocky hillsides. There have even been sightings of the endangered Arabian Leopard.

 

This is a home of birds too - Partridges, Magpies, Warblers and the prized raptors like the Barbary Falcon, Kestrel - even the nearly extinct Long-legged Bustard has been seen.

 

The park includes Jebel Sawdah, which at 2,910 metres is the highest point in the Kingdom. It's a towering presence, with the juniper trees rippling down it's sides to the valley.

 

In order to preserve the historical use of the mountain as a tribal campsite, the park authorities have created hundreds of family camping areas. They are individually secluded, fully equipped with barbecue areas, running water, parking and toilet facilities in order to control the wear and tear on the natural resources.

 

The Administration and Visitors' Center is located halfway between al-Qura'ah in the south and al-Soudah in the north.

 

Perched on the edge of the escarpment the center is part showcase and part museum. It has seven exhibit rooms including a $1.5-million visual presentation of the park's habitats, and climaxing in an outlook over a vast panorama of majestic peaks, Wadi Dila, some 3,000 feet below and, on a clear day, the sparkling waters of the Red Sea.

 

 

Source: SCTA