The 6,250-acre Ein Gedi Nature Reserve sits along the Syrian-African Rift, not far from the Dead Sea. The reserve`s four springs - David, Arugot, Shulamit, and Ein Gedi - are literally the wellspring for a wealth of flora and fauna, providing a stark contrast to the parched desert environment all around. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve a nature reserve with world-wide import.
There are marked hiking trails along the rivers and streams as well as longer trails with steps leading to the top of the 400-meter-high Ha`etakim Cliff, which runs the entire length of the Dead Sea. In the winter, rainfall in the Judean Hills can translate into torrential flooding in the David and Arugot rivers. When there is a danger of flooding, hiking here is prohibited.
Thanks to its location, hot climate, and abundant water, Ein Gedi is a tropical oasis. The reserve has trees and plants of east African (Sudanian) origin. The lush vegetation on the riverbanks includes Euphrates poplars, trees especially fond of water and heat, which are found in oases in Israel and along the Jordan River.
Many animals are attracted to Ein Gedi`s water and luxuriant flora. Some are accustomed to the sight of hikers and therefore can be observed from up close. The Nubian ibex, which lives in small herds, was at one time considered an endangered species, but thankfully is now thriving. The reserve also has a significant population of Syrian hyrax. Other large mammals living in the Dead Sea valley are wolf, red fox, Afghan fox, and striped hyena. The Judean Desert has a very small population of leopards, an animal considered threatened in this region.
The Ein Gedi area has a wealth of reptiles and birds. The powerful chirping of Tristam`s starling, a black bird with orange-tipped wings, echoes through the reserve.
History of Ein Gedi
Ein Gedi`s plentiful water and hot climate were important assets in growing unusual plants and achieving good crop yields. Historically Ein Gedi`s dates were in high demand and its therapeutic and aromatic plants were renowned.
The oldest ruins found in Ein Gedi are from the Chalcolithic period (fourth millenium B.C.E.), when people in Eretz Israel first began to use copper. During this time, a lone temple, cut off from any settlement, was built on a rock facing the Dead Sea, not far from Ein Gedi Spring.
During the Byzantine period, the Jewish residents of the area built an ornate synagogue here, on view at the Ein Gedi Antiquities National Park. After the Arab conquest of the area, Ein Gedi was reduced to a small settlement.
Contact Information вапр
Restaurant, Place for barbecue