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The Little Prince Would Love Ein Gedi’s Baobabs

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At a kibbutz alongside the Dead Sea, a botanical paradise flourishes, including species of Saint-Exupéry’s ‘upside-down tree’

Adam and Eve may have been exiled from the Garden of Eden, but at least a few of their progeny were fortunate enough to return. These lucky souls live at Kibbutz Ein Gedi, founded on the desert slopes of Judea in 1953 as the first Jewish settlement on the site in more than 1,400 years.

Like their counterparts in the Negev, and the Israelites who preceded them at Ein Gedi, the new settlers toiled vigorously to make the desert bloom. Along with date palms and grapefruit they planned to sell in the local markets, the young farmers industriously planted flowers in little plots right outside their doors. The gardens succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, and agricultural institutes from all over the world soon began bringing specimens to the kibbutz to determine how they would fare in the desert.

The results were incontestable: A unique combination of climatic conditions combined with smart irrigation produced foliage that was more successful at Ein Gedi than in its original African or Mediterranean home. So luxuriant and diverse that it was proclaimed an International Botanical Gardens in 1994, Kibbutz Ein Gedi is, today, a veritable paradise boasting well over 1,000 species of plant life and a unique botanical aura.

Visitors are welcome in the Botanical Gardens, despite their proximity to the kibbutz members’ homes. Enjoy the view as you walk through the kibbutz: to the east the Dead Sea peeks out from beyond foliage of mammoth proportions, shining a brilliant, incandescent blue; to the west stark brown desert cliffs stand tall against a bright sapphire sky, providing a striking backdrop for the lush green of the kibbutz gardens.

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Read the full article over at The Times of Israel

 

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Testimonials
Dear Aviva and Shmuel , Just a note to thank you for all of your help on our trip to Israel. Aviva .. your great ideas for the day we were on our own plus your help in booking everything was really helpful and made our first night and day very exciting .Shmuel ..apart from the fact that the kids thought you may actually be one of Supermans cousins .. we really had a fantastic trip. What you managed to show us in Jerusalem considering William is only 8 was amazing. Both the kids loved the water tunnel ( even after a small initial scare !). The day doing Masada ,En Gedi and the Dead Sea was really the most exciting day for us all . Our Israeli friends who came over to join us from Tel Aviv said there was no way they would have been able to fit in so much. Everyone loved it !
Regards, David Glazer .. (and Joel and William)

the Glazer Family