Dead Sea, South, Arad
08-9950097 www.hanokdim.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Barr Cohen
‘For those who love camping – this place is fantastic everything is prepared for you – tent – activities- food – My family loved it!!’
In the Kanaim valley which is in the Judean desert, between the city of Arad and ancient Masada, lies Kfar Hanokdim. It is a green oasis shaded by palm trees and crowned with biblically inspired gardens. Click here for a map to get there.
Merely walking into Kfar Hanokdim reveals a picturesque scene. Bedouin tents comfortably fitted with colorful rugs and mattresses. “Divans” (i.e.: Function halls, suitable for dining, seminars and lectures) built from wood and local stone and decorated with carpets and fabrics woven from black goat’s hair. Desert style guest rooms amongst conveniently positioned shady seated areas.
Much thought and imagination were put in to creating an authentic Bedouin oasis, with buildings of natural stone, lamps made of salt crystals from the nearby Dead Sea, wooden furniture decorated with iron art work, colorful fabrics constructed with stone tools all contributing to the magic of Kfar Hanokdim.
Kfar Hanokdim, surrounded by the breathtaking views of the Judean desert, offers relaxed desert hospitality, a real break from daily life. The possibilities to have fun while staying in the Kfar (village) are varied and plentiful. Guests visiting the Kfar enjoy warm Bedouin hospitality accompanied by explanations of Bedouin life and culture. Great options include different kinds of receptions, various meals, after feast activities, camel treks, as well as the experience of staying in tents or lodges or cabins.
As the evening sets on the Kfar you can enjoy the peaceful desert calmness by choosing one of the plentiful areas called ‘Zoola’ or by simply sitting around one of the camp fires in groups or for personal reflection.
We have just returned from one overnight stay here and had such a fabulous experience!
We came with a group of youthful grandparents, and two families with kids ranging from 4 months to 10 yrs and everyone had the best time!
Firstly, we took the scenic route along the Dead Sea which was beautiful and then after reaching Arad you drive about 15 minutes into the desert and finally reach the only sign of life for miles – Kfar Hanokdim.
We parked our cars and helped ourselves to bedouin tea, coffee and lemonade while another member of staff came over.
We were shown to our rooms (we chose the cabins as better suited with the babies, although they also had succot/tent type accommodation for families), which were clean and rustic. Each room easily fit a bunk bed, another bed, a double bed and a cot.
We took 3/4 of the rooms in the area we were in – all leading to a common shaded outdoor area with a large table, plenty of seating, a fridge and freezer. Perfect for adult time once the children are in bed! Right near us was a shaded area with hammocks which the children had hours of fun swinging together on.
The peacefulness of the area was only interrupted by the birds and sounds of peacocks and camels not too far away!
The children could roam freely and go and see the camels, donkeys and horses on site and had a great time watching the animals.
We opted for a package that included dinner, camel/donkey ride and breakfast. The staff member appointed to us arranged our time for these (arranged so we would avoid eating at the same time as the large group who had arrived – who we really weren’t bothered by because of this and because our rooms were set back away from where they slept).
Our first ‘activity’ was a chat with a Bedouin who spoke in English to us all about life as a Bedouin and the traditions of weloming guests. He served us with tea and coffee in the tent and explained the meaning behind their traditions and their way of life.
Children aged 5+ and adults alike LOVED the Camel ride and the younger children – age 2+ enjoyed the same route on a donkey.
Dinner was a ‘traditional’ Bedouin meal which was really tasty although our fussy children only ate the pitta-type bread….!
The breakfast in the morning was great with plenty to choose from and even freshly cooked eggs all set up in a huge Bedouin style tent with breathtaking desert views!
All in all this was a fantastic experience which my children will be talking about for a long time – If you can deal with a bit of dust and rustic living, this is the type of family experience everyone should enjoy!