Kfar Hanokdim: Desert oasis

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

Located near Arad, Kfar Hanokdim is nearing 25 years in operation this year.

Situated in a valley not far from Masada’s western entrance (most people are used to driving to Masada from the Dead Sea, but it can be reached via Arad), it has the same parched desert landscape that looks like a spread of landscape on Mars. Kfar Hanokdim itself is a kind of oasis in this area, with dozens of palm trees ringed by numerous Beduin-style tents, interlinked “lodges” and other accommodations. It has grown haphazardly over the years, and now sports an ecology desert learning center that hosts groups, as well as a rock-sculptured fountain, dozens of camels in a pasture and a small petting area with goats for children. Peacocks roam the grounds.

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