Sde Boker

Captivating history, beautiful views, and a peaceful atmosphere, in the charming Kibbutz of Sde Boker, providing a unique experience at the heart of the desert.
Tzin River Viewpoint, Sde Boker

Sde Boker: the ultimate Kibbutz experience.

The Kibbutzim are a unique cultural phenomenon, which you can only experience in Israel. Among them, Sde Boker is one of the most interesting and attractive to visit. As the former home of Israel’s first prime minister, and a place with incredible views all around, a visit to Sde Boker is a great chance to experience the combination of a unique culture and the stunning Israeli Desert.

Sde Boker, known as the home of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, is a kibbutz that is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Israel. With incredible hikes and views and rich history, it is one of the best places to visit for those who wish to learn about the kibbutz way of life and the history of Israel, among the beautiful and peaceful desert landscape.

The Story of Sde Boker

Sde Boker is actually divided into two different towns: Kibbutz Sde Boker, and the bigger Midreshset Ben Gurion.

The settlement in Sde Boker began as a small and isolated agricultural farm in the desert, which was built by an American Indian volunteer named Jesse Slade, who fought in Israel’s War of Independence, and who aspired to establish a farm in the same style as a cowboy ranch in Texas. After the war ended, a group of friends from his army unit was formed, as they aspired to establish a farm in the desert, in order to support the idea of developing the large uninhabited desert area of Israel.

In 1953, David Ben-Gurion and his wife Pola settled in Sde Boker, after his first resignation from the prime ministership. This move, which was intended to encourage more and more people to develop Southern Israel, has brought a lot of recognition and publicity to the small town of Sde Boker and has contributed a lot to its development. In the last years of his life, Ben Gurion lived in a modest hut, working the fields of Sde Boker.

In 1963, Ben-Gurion initiated the establishment of a seminary about 3 km south of the kibbutz, which became Midreshet Ben Gurion.

Today, Sde Boker is included in a small group of kibbutzim that still maintain their traditional kibbutz lifestyles.

Best places to visit in Sde Boker

Ben Gurion’s Hut in Sde Boker

The Ben Gurion Hut in Sde Boker has been preserved exactly as it was on the day of the death of the first Prime Minister of Israel in 1973. Today, it serves as a small museum, displaying his vision and lifestyle. The visit to the special and authentic complex reveals quite a few aspects of Ben-Gurion’s personality, lifestyle, and unique worldview as a person and as a leader. During the visit, you can learn about his work and his vision, and step inside a hut that hosted numerous heads of state and influential people from all across the globe. Visiting Ben Gurion’s Hut is a unique opportunity to learn about the habits and personality of a fascinating leader, who led a modest life and always led by example.

Opening hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 8:30-16:00, Friday and holiday eves: 8:30-14:00, Saturday and holiday: 10:00-16:00

Ben Gurion’s Tomb and the Ben Gurion Promenade

The Ben Gurion Tomb Estate is located near Sde Boker and is part of the Ein Abdat National Park. The tomb estate is spread over a large area, where you can see plenty of  Nubian Ibexes roaming free. The grave itself is located right next to a cliff, from which you’ll get a breathtaking view of the beautiful Tzin River. From here, you can also walk on the short Ben Gurion Promenade, for even more spectacular views.

Best hikes around Sde Boker

Nahal Havarim (Havarim River)

The popular Nahal Havarim is known for its impressive white limestone rocks, making it one of the most beautiful rivers in Israel. One of the attractive experiences of the route is walking along it on full moon nights, as thanks to the white limestone rocks, on nights of a full moon, the route is illuminated by the light of the moon, making it easy to walk at night and get a very special experience, with the incredibly quiet and peacefulness of the desert at night.

The length of the Nahal Havarim route is 3.5 km/2.2 miles each way. It is marked with blue trail markings. the difficulty level of the trip here is easy to medium, and it is very suitable for children, as the trail is mostly flat, and makes for a special adventure, especially at night.

The trip starts from the Havarim River car park, and from there we will go down to the river channel along the blue trail markings. At the beginning of the path, you will see a remnant of a rock-hewn cistern belonging to the Nebateans who lived here in the past. The cistern is one of the many types of cisterns around here, which were used to store rainwater, in order to support travelers of the famous Perfume and Incense Route. From there, continue along the blue-marked route, along the impressive limestone rocks on both sides. The route goes on until you exit the wide part of the path and reach the Serpentine parking lot – where you will turn around and go back in the same way.

Ein Avdat National Park

Ein Avdat National Park is located south of Midreshet Ben Gurion, a few minutes’ drive from Sde Boker and Mitzpe Ramon. The big, impressive Tzin River flows through the park, creating magnificent views of an oasis. In Ein Avdat, you can walk on several routes of different lengths and levels of difficulty, so the trip here is very suitable for almost everyone and is great for those who are looking for water activities in the desert. The two major trails here start from the main parking lot of the park and get to beautiful natural pools, where you can bathe and enjoy the peacefulness of the desert.

 

Search for posts and destinations

What would you like to find? Search here information and ideas about any location in Israel

Planning your trip to Israel?

Join our exclusive Facebook group for the latest travel tips, real-time updates, travel hacks, and connect with local experts & fellow Israel enthusiasts in our Facebook group