The Uniqueness of Israel
The Best Places to See Israel’s Incredible Wildlife
Israel today is famous as the start-up nation, and there is no doubt that it is a hub of technological innovation. However, not everything in Israel is hi-tech and you should be sure to explore other aspects of the country as much as possible while on your gap year. Israel is actually home to an amazing range of wildlife thanks to the hugely diverse environments contained within the tiny country. With everything from the desert to lakes and forests, not to mention marine life, there is a bit of everything to be seen. If you are interested in wildlife, then be sure to check out some of these hotspots while on your gap year.
In the south of the country, not far from Eilat, is the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve. It is a 3,000-acre area that is home to an amazing range of desert animals. The nature reserve also runs a fascinating reintroduction program that aims to bring back species that were once common in the area but have unfortunately disappeared. You will be able to see onagers, which are a type of donkey, as well as Arabian oryx, a type of antelope. It is also possible to see addax as well as the planet’s biggest bird, the red-necked ostrich.
You can then carry on a bit further down to Eilat to see an amazing range of marine wildlife. There is a fantastic aquarium where you can see coral reefs, sea turtles, and even some sharks. You can also visit the Dolphin Reef, a sea pen where it is possible to get close to wild bottlenose dolphins for a unique up-close experience.
Heading back north is Makhtesh Ramon, which is a location you will definitely visit during your gap year. The crater is known for its multi-coloured sand but it is also home to some amazing animals. You may spot gazelles, ibexes, and even a striped hyena. It is also home to onagers, so you will have the chance to see them even if you can’t make it to the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve.
Right up at the other end of the country is the Hula Valley, a must visit location for anyone with even a passing interest in bids. The beautiful area sees hundreds of different species visit it each year as part of their migration from Africa to Europe and then back again. Among the many different species you are likely to spot are herons, pelicans, cranes and other waterfowl. However, the wildlife isn’t restricted to birds, you may also see water buffalo, jungle cats, the Hula painted frog, and far more. It is a stunning area and one that is certainly worth a visit.
In the middle of the country, close to Jerusalem, is the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. The area is full of stunning water hikes that are perfect in the hot summer. While enjoying the views, the streams, and the pools, you may also spot wolves, foxes, Nubian ibexes, and various different types of birds.
Even if you are not a great nature lover, try to keep your eyes open while in Israel and there is truly an amazing amount to be seen.