Experience the true desert oasis of Ein Gedi near the Dead Sea. Splash in the natural springs, visit rocky caves and climb the trails. Two main streams flow through Ein Gedi – the David and Arugot Streams - both originating from natural springs, bringing to the oasis some of the freshest and most nutritious water in the world. Two other natural springs - Shulamit and Ein Gedi - combine with the David and Arugot streams and supplying the area with enough fresh water for both agriculture and commercial bottling.
Ein Gedi's vegetation is a unique blend of tropical, desert and Mediterranean plants. The weather conditions also make Ein Gedi a meeting and mating ground for a wide range of mammals, many of which make their way from the arid desert region nearby in the hopes of finding food and shelter. Birds flock to Ein Gedi for the same reasons, with more than 400 species of birds in situ during migration seasons, making Ein Gedi a birdwatcher's paradise. The oasis became a state-operated nature reserve in 1972, and close monitoring by local park rangers and environmental specialists have kept Ein Gedi's delicate ecosystem intact.
In the Bible
Ein Gedi has been known by its present name since biblical times. Biblical references to the oasis are numerous and often related to times of war or as a place of hiding. The most notable scriptural reference to Ein Gedi pertains to David, where it is said that David hid from King Saul in the caves of Ein Gedi, saving himself from certain death.
The Kibbutz and Botanical Gardens
Kibbutz Ein Gedi is one of the wealthiest and most successful in the country, employing the fresh water of the nearby springs for use in agriculture and dairy farming. The kibbutz also offers an array of tourist attractions, ranging from cycling, hiking and walking tours to a spa and their homey B&B at the kibbutz.
The Ein Gedi botanical garden is home to 25 acres of rare flora and fauna, from tropical trees found in the Brazilian rainforests to species of cactus originating in the deserts of South America. It’s a wonderful stop on any Israel tour.
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