The Negev – the largest desert in Israel and part of the Sahara Desert ecoregion is located at the crossroads between east and west throughout recorded history. Crossed by the ancient spice trails connecting the Sahara region and Europe, and where tribes of nomads lived and still live, their stories and human landscape combining with the remarkable desert scenery.
Our excursion starts in Sdeh Boker, where Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion lived and is buried, and which is a central part of his vision of making the Negev desert bloom. From there we will continue down to the Tzin canyon, the largest of the Negev canyons, to a beautiful nature preserve called Ein Ovdat and there, after a short walk, we will be able to see a lush spring in the heart of the barren wilderness.
From there we will go to the lost Nabataean city of Ovdat, a place where for hundreds of years there existed a city belonging to the Nabataeans, a tribe of nomads whose expertise was trade along the Incense Route. During our visit we will also, try to understand what became of them.
Later on we will visit the Ramon Crater, a singular natural geological occurrence in which we can enter deep into the earth and see the world created millions of years ago in a breathtaking landscape. Along the crater we will be able to observe the geological phenomena of sands colored by various minerals, prehistoric fossils, and even find the time to have a peaceful cup of mint tea in a Bedouin tent.
The lost cultures of the Negev desert