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Some of the features of the
Arava Flyways

One of millions of our guests each year!


On arrival, all Bird Watching guests receive a brochure giving background on the area and the different birds that can be expected at any time of the year.

The cover of the current booklet
All the illustrations have been drawn by our tour guide James Smith.  James has been a serious birder for more than sixteen years, combining his interests and talents in artwork and birds into a career.

In 1992, James took 2nd place in the "British Birds" bird illustrator of the year competition and followed it up with several illustration projects in Israel.  These included Dr. Yossi Leshem's book "Flying with the Birds" and a set of ten postage stamps on the "Songbirds of Israel", which have been in circulation for the past four years.  The "Songbird" stamps were later chosen to represent Israel at the 9th Asian Philatelic Exhibition in China in 1996.

More recently James worked on the up-grading of the CD-Rom guide to the "Birds of Europe" published by Birdguides Ltd.
Great grey shrike

In Israel, much of James's field experience has come from a series of International Bird Migration surveys organized by the Society for the Protection of Nature in the north of Israel and by the International Birdwatching Center of Eilat in the south.

A Great Horned Owl photographed on Lotan

In addition, James has traveled Israel extensively, leading tour groups throughout the the country for several years in search of birds.  Since teaming up with Kibbutz Lotan, James has led over forty tours in the past three years.

booklet illustration

One of the exciting and special features of the Bird reserve that members of Kibbutz Lotan have established just south of the Kibbutz perimeter fence. The reserve includes blinds overlooking microclimates like the pond, the rocky desert, and the alfalfa field.

the bird reserve site

The main objectives of the reserve were set out as follows:

  • To build within a small area, a uniquely beautiful environment, in balance with the ecology of the area, that will make a positive contribution to the habitat quality of both migratory and resident birds.
  • To create a safe haven for feeding, resting and breeding birds. 
  • To provide another nature reserve to encourage educational tourism and recreation in the southern Arava.
  • To educate visitors from abroad as well as Israelis (youth and adults) to value the unique desert ecosystems of our area.
  • To demonstrate our attempt to reconcile human settlement with the fragility of the environment.  The focus on the birds reflects global ecological questions because of their dependence on multiple habitats for their survival.
  • To ensure maximum participation of the Kibbutzniks in order to create a communal expression of our commitments to environmental values.
pond blind built with recycled materials
  • For further information, please feel free to email us: click here


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