Things to do in Eilat, Dead Sea & the South

Nahal Basor – The Basor Stream

The Basor Stream

The Basor Stream (also known as HaBesor Stream) is one of the Negev desert streams. Nahal Basor makes its way to the Mediterranean Sea from the watershed in the desert near Zin (around 80Km) and is one of the longest streams in the Negev. Some researchers have suggested that this is the biblical Egypt Stream that acted as part of the southern border of Israel in some biblical periods.

The Basor Stream is actually a wadi — an Arabic term referring to an ephemeral riverbed that is filled with water only after heavy rainfalls.

The area is also a nature reserve with a surprisingly diverse vegetation. It is home to substantial riverbank concentrations of grasses, reeds, acacias, and large tamarisks. In the badlands, other plants such as storksbill, desert broom and moricandia can be seen. Wild orchids, meadow saffron and crocuses usually thrive during the wetter seasons.

Animals such as snakes, small rodents, wild cats (caracals), wolves, foxes and hyenas make their home in the area.

The Basor is one of the secrets of the Negev; locals may well make a special trip whilst visitors would probably justify a diversion on the way to Beer Sheva, IAF MuseumMitzpe Ramon, Sde Boker (Ben Gurion), Avdat or even Eilat. (Although there are more direct/faster routes to all these places).

two people walking in the bridge
The suspension bridge across the Basor Stream

The highlights of Nahal Basor are the deep gorge that is crossed with a 80m long pedestrian suspension bridge (pictured). It is really exciting to cross the bridge and at busy times a little unnerving as well. Our observation is that children especially will either love or hate the experience, but, that it is an experience none the less!

There is plenty of water in the Basor Stream and from the bank it is possible to spot turtles swimming. The stream ensures that there is plenty of green in this desert area and especially in spring this is a real treat for the eye (and for the camera).

On the far side of the bridge there is a natural viewpoint over the desert and the opportunity to explore pristine hard packed dunes and the gorges that were carved out by the water. It is possible to get a real desert feeling within a very short distance. Children will love to explore the gorges, try and slide down some of the ridges and to run “across the waves” going up and down the ridges and valleys.

a lake in the middle of a barren land
Being the largest stream in the Negev Desert, The Basor Stream reaches as far east into the desert as Sde Boker, Yeruham, Dimoa, and Arad/Tel Arad. In the picture is the Yeruham Reservoir.

There is a viewing tower at the entrance, allowing a good view of the area. Alongside the stream there is a pleasant walk that shows the contrast between desert and water. It is possible to walk a reasonable distance, but, many visitors will probably prefer to just sample this route especially in the heat. On the other bank there is a dirt road that leads to various reservoirs and views – again many visits could probably miss the drive.

Facilities include a picnic area, marked paths, several archaeological and historical sites and a memorial.

Please see Nahal Basor Photos for more photos.

Near to Nahal Basor

There are some wells dating back to Turkish and British times in the area. There is also the Eshkol National Park (on Route 241) which has been developed as a desert oasis with picnic areas, wooded areas and even a swimming pool. Nearby there is the Path through the Fields (drivable some in a regular car and some only to 4×4 vehicles between routes 222 & 232) which shows the taming of the desert for agricultural purposes very clearly.

There are many small kibbutzim and villages in the area offering accommodation and other activities.

Getting to Nahal Basor

Nahal Basor is on Road 222, very close to the junction of the 222 and 234 – Zeelim Junction.

From Zeelim Junction follow the 222 North West for 100 to 200 meters and follow the road signs.

Seasonally, the 234 can sometimes be closed due to flooding as one of the streams runs over the road. Even in mid-April you can get your tires wet – which can be a very cool experience for the children!

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