A fascinating tour to get to know the world of desert agriculture, which was the major life source of the Bedouin tribes in the Negev. The desert agriculture integrates traditional agriculture with technological advance.
The tour starts at a meeting point in Dvira junction, in Alon gas station. Recommendation: to allow the group to be organized and have a breakfast in the gas station.
The tour lasts an entire day. The tour is suitable for groups, workplaces, women empowerment groups, schools and tourists, seeking to be personally familiar with the Bedouin culture in the Negev.
How to collect water in the desert agriculture
The traditional agriculture was based on growing herds, producing dairy and meat products, growing vegetables and traditional herbs. During the visit, we shall hear an explanation about the orchard with its fruits and vegetables, and the food for the cattle.
Desert agriculture is dependent upon the grace of heaven. We shall learn how the Bedouin tribes cope with draught years, and with rainy years, how they developed methods to store the rainwater, and to irrigate the vegetables sown in the spring and the fruit trees in the orchard. The methods of water preservation served the Nabataea tribes, and the Bedouin learned from them. Today, even the Jewish National Fund (JNF – KKL) uses these methods, or similar ones, when planting orchards in the Negev.
Azbut - The Migrating Shepherds
We shall visit the migrating shepherds in their tents in Azbut, as they migrate in search for herding and water sources. A walking tour will be integrated with a hospitality in the migrating tents. We shall get to know the individuals who choose to keep migrating even today. We shall hold a meeting with the shepherds and their cattle – the sheep, lambs, goats. It is possible to pet and shepherd the cattle.
Lunch will be served in Salem's tent in Rahat – a Bedouin Hafla, Mansaf Maglubeh
The Mansaf is a "large tray" for four diners.
In the menu:
Rice with five types of vegetables, slowly cooked, with layers of rice, pieces of chicken with spices, "Farika soup", Bedouin vegetable salad, eggplants, cabbage, hummus, pickles, special sauce for the Maglubeh, Bedouin pita bread, various cold drinks, coffee and tea, and special home-made sweets for dessert.
Sitting in a tent on mattresses with pillows, carpets and rugs (you can also dine next to modern chairs and tables, upon request).
The tour can end by a visit to Rahat or by a bus tour along Al-Hazan Stream
Option 1: A short tour around Rahat – the Largest Bedouin City in the world
Rahat is the first and largest Bedouin city in Israel and in the world, and it integrates an urban settlement with the Bedouin tradition. The city is divided according to tribes, families and neighborhoods. The tour is conducted around town, and includes a visit in the educational system, in commercial centers, in the city center, where you can see the public transport system. It shows the integration of the agriculture and the city, and presents the "Greenhouse" agricultural project, side-by-side with the developing industrial zone in Rahat, where there are flourmills and advanced industry. The tour includes a detailed explanation about life in the city from its beginning and until today.
Option 2: A Bus Tour along Al-Hazan Stream
Along AlHazan stream, which pours into the Gerar river, a scenic route. These days, they begin working and preparing a park along the river, to separate the older parts of Rahat to the expansion "Mithamim". The eastern part of the stream reaches the industrial area of "Idan HaNegev", common to Rahat Lehavim and Bney Shimon Regional Council.
* During the bus ride and throughout the tour you will hear explanations about the various Bedouin settlements, their traditions and customs.