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The Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Camp

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Welcome to the Kfar Hanokdim – a Bedouin resort that stands lonely in the barren Judean desert of Israel. You’ll find it in the Kana’im Valley between the city of Arad and the archaeological treasure known as Masada (the fortress the Jewish people escaped to when Rome destroyed the Jewish temple in 70 AD).

When I heard our group would be staying at a Bedouin camp, I was intrigued. It sounded adventurous and mysterious. We arrived to see this Bedouin village sitting in an oasis of palm trees and beautiful naturalized landscaping. Bedouins inhabit this land living in tents, herding goats, sheep, and camels. In Arabic, bedouin means “one who lives out in the open, in the desert.”

Camel/Donkey Rides

Kfar Hanokdim offers camel and donkey rides (and longer camel treks) led by Bedouin guides. The camel rides are fun – and even funnier to watch as people position themselves awkwardly on either side of the camel hump. To dismount, camels drop down to their front knees rocking riders forward rather violently, then go fully to the ground with their legs underneath them. A unique experience.

Accommodations: Private Lodges

Our lodging was exotic and beautiful.  Some in our group stayed in private lodges walled in thick, colorful blankets made of goat’s hair. The lodges encircled a communal patio area with lots of seating. A quick climb leads to an elevated veranda that offers incredible views of the desert.

Private Guest Rooms

Below is the entrance to the lodging my husband and I stayed in. It opens to a common area in the middle that invites gathering and conversation. This area was kept warm and snug with walls made from thick, luxurious goat’s hair blankets and a thatched roof.

Entrance to common area at our abode

Our personal guest room had real walls, a bunkbed, queen-sized bed, twin-sized bed, coffee/tea station, air-conditioning, and a bathroom with modern amenities. Very comfortable. Rustic wood furnishings, colorful rugs, natural iron artwork, and lamps/ceiling lights made of salt crystals from the Dead Sea all added to the exotic feel.

Into our private room

Bathroom with modern amenities

Landscaping outside our guest room

Welcome Reception

Our group was welcomed with a reception where we were served Bedouin spiced tea and instructed in Bedouin culture by the owner of the resort. He taught us about Bedouin hospitality and shared the story of a Bedouin family who provided lodging and a hearty meal to a stranger. The food they shared was the last bit of food they had – but they shared it gladly. Bedouin tradition requires generous hospitality – even for enemies.

Hospitality Hour

Bedouin Tea

Bedouin Dinner

Dinner is served with guests seated on the ground around a circular tray (Sania). The meal consists of a rice and vegetable dish served on pita breads, various salads, and grilled meats. This is not McDonald’s!

Bedouin Dinner

Breakfast

In the morning, you can enjoy a Bedouin breakfast of Arabic salad, pita bread, Bedouin tea, Turkish coffee, tahini, humus, omelets, cereals, and a variety of cheeses.

Activities

There are other activities to enjoy at Kfar Hanokdim. Our group didn’t experience any of these, but they’re available for those who want them: a desert coffee house, bonfire, musical performances using exotic instruments (with explanations of ancient desert culture), DJ dance parties, massage, yoga, stargazing, and workshops on desert survival, drum rhythms, belly dancing and medicinal plants of the desert. The Kfar Hanokdim is a perfect location for private events. You can rent the entire village for your event or just part of it – closing off your section from the rest of the village.

Solitude

While you’re at the Kfar, be sure to make time to sit in solitude at the edge of the village overlooking the desert. Notice the ground beneath your feet and consider the Israelites who wandered across the desert surface for 40 years with Moses. With nothing to break its path, feel how the wind whips cold across your face. And enjoy the tranquility of Kfar Hanokdim.

Lisa~

7 Comments

  1. shianwrites says:

    You guys went on an adventure. Beautiful pictures. What a beautiful life. :-)

  2. Candace says:

    This is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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