Inside the Beduin tent

In collaboration with the Har Hanegev tourism association, the Beduin community will run special events in the upcoming months.

A goat and sheep herd (photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)
A goat and sheep herd
(photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)
The Negev is home to a unique community of tough and proud people, who were born in the desert and survived there over the centuries. The Beduin used to be a nomadic people and some continued to inhabit the land without borders, before the State of Israel was born.
Today, among the Beduin there is a new and developing source of income – welcoming tourists into their villages. On the Negev hills, between Sde Boker and Mitzpe Ramon, a few entrepreneurs have opened their tents to visitors. They are revealing their culture through the everyday life stories that take place in the desert surrounding them, inviting the public to meet, learn and get to know the Beduin – who are often ignored, or seen only as tent people on the side of the Negev’s highways.
In collaboration with the Har Hanegev tourism association, the Beduin will run special events in the upcoming months.
One involves workshops, including enabling visitors to make products from sheep’s wool, using the raw wool and transforming it into a fine thread, dying the thread and working with ancient Beduin tools. Looms are used to merge the multiple colors of different threads of sheep, goat or camel hair, to weave a carpet in the artistic style unique to the Beduin women. These carpets are so strong they can be used in the harsh desert conditions for many years.
Another workshop will focus on herbal medicine, another specialty the Beduin have employed successfully for many decades and continue to pass on through the generations – though they can now turn to our modern health system for problems their herbs don’t remedy.
Baking pita is fundamental for all Beduin, men and women alike. They use the hot ash of the bonfire, covering slabs of prepared dough deep inside the ash. After a few minutes, the ready pita is taken out and this hot and tasty treat quickly disappears into the mouths of satisfied guests.
Those who want to experience the nomadic life for a while can leave with the goats and go out into the desert, experiencing the complexity of herding for a few hours. Other outdoor activities include short trips outside the village to a cluster of rocks with beautiful, ancient drawings carved into the rock; overnight stays in Beduin guest tents are also an option.
The “ship of the desert” is also ready to load you on its hilly back for a camel- riding experience, to learn the ways of nature step by step. The Beduin tea and coffee experience will provide a refreshing break; after these activities, you will surely be hungry for some traditional Beduin nourishment.
At the end of the day, you will be surprised at the fascinating culture hiding just a few meters from the roadside. On the fourth weekend in January, many activities will be offered free of charge.
For details: