Khuzestan province with an area of over 68,000 square km is located in south-western Iran.
This province shares borders with the provinces of Lorestan on the north, Ilam on the northwest, and Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari on the northeast. To its west is the Basra Province of Iraq. The existence of various lagoons, meadows, and beeches of the Persian Gulf in the southern parts of Khuzestan, coupled with lofty snow-covered mountain-peaks in its northern part, has blessed the Province with varying climatic regions.
Vast puddles have been formed due to the low altitude of the southern and southwestern parts of Khuzestan. These swamps are better known as Hoor due to having abundant and permanent water. These include Hoor al-Azeem, Hoor Mazraeh and Hoor Douragh.
Two important rivers flow through Khuzestan. The first one is Karoun, which has its source in the Zagros mountains, while the second one is Arvan-Roud, the confluence of the Rivers Euphrates and Tigris, which while flowing into the Persian Gulf, form part of the Iran-Iraq border. Both the rivers are navigable, especially Arvand-Roud through which large vessels ply in view of its connection to the high seas and international waters.
The other streams of this province are Zohreh, Jarrahi, Maroun, Khoor, Morghab, Seydoon, Bahman-Shir and Ramhormoz. Hot mineral water springs with healing effects, such as Ain-e Khosh, Dehloran and Ghorab, have made Khuzestan a centre of ecotourism. Among the other natural attractions of Khuzestan mention could be made of the vast and beautiful Shadegan International Lagoon, the Azadegan Plain, the Dezfoul forest parks, and the Shoushtar fountains.
Shadegan Lagoon is located near the city of the same name in southern Khuzestan, and is unique in terms of its varied fauna and flora. This lagoon is considered an ideal tourist site in view of its picturesque surroundings. In 1975 it was registered as the 6th international lagoon of the world. Around 300,000 hectares around the lagoon was registered as Shadegan Wild Life Refuge in 1972. Although it has seasonal input of sweet water, the salty water of this lagoon is permanent and abundant due to its connection to the Persian Gulf. One can observe only two types of vegetation and animals in this region. According to official statistics, 260 species of birds, of which 175 are migratory, live in this lagoon at various seasons of the year.
It is a beautiful sight to see these birds around the lagoon. Local people consider Shadegan lagoon very important in terms of ecology, economy, environment, and employment. Over 180 villages and 3 cities are located in the vicinity of the Shadegan lagoon. Locals in this region speak in Arabic and are very hospitable.