The Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is designed to breed and foster extinct animals as well as other endangered desert creatures. Located in Southern Israel, Yotvata Hai-Bar is about 30 minutes north of Eilat. Covering 3,000 acres, the reserve is home to various animals including oryx, spotted leopards and snakes. Yotvata Hai-Bar can easily be visited by car or with a tour.
History of the Reserve
Two addax at sunset in Yotvata. Image courtesy of MathKnight
The purpose of the Yotvota Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is to breed and nurture endangered and locally extinct animals and then reintroduce them to the Negev Desert. There is a focus on animals mentioned in the Bible but the animals are not exclusively from Israel or the Middle East, the reserve also cares for, and breeds animals from other habitats around the world. Some of the animals who make Yotvata their home are the Oryx, ostrich, sand cat, gazelle and Arabian wolf and birds of prey like the Griffon vulture.
Visiting Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve
There are three sections to the 12 square km park and if you have rented a car you can join one of the hourly tours in the Open Area section of the reserve where visitors drive through in their own vehicles. During the tour of this first section of the reserve visitors must stay in their cars. This open area is home to herbivores creatures which benefit from the acacia trees that grow here giving shade and food in the form of fruit and leaves.
Image courtesy of Sterna999 from Flickr
In the next section of a tour of Yotvata, the Predators Center, carnivorous animals are kept in enclosures, they include canines, felines and hyenas. The carnivores include leopards, wild cats, caracal, hyenas and foxes. Here you can see birds of prey and reptiles like snakes, lizards and rodents.
The final section, the Desert Night Life Exhibition Hall, is a dark room where visitors can observe the nocturnal behavior of animals which only come out at night like bats and barn owls. The day and night hours are reversed in this section so that animals are active when visitors come.
Sunday-Thursday and Saturday: 8 am-5 pm Friday and Holidays: 8 am-4pm During winter months, the reserve closes one hour earlier
Adult: 29 NIS
Child: 15 NIS
Discounts available for students, seniors and groups
Combination Ticket (Includes Predator Center)
Adult: 46 NIS
Child: 24 NIS
Discounts for students, seniors and groups
Overnight camping available for a fee.
The Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is 35 km north of Eilat off of Route 90.