Desert Flora & Fauna
One of our favourite desert tours involves a visit to the lesser known side of the Ramon Crater and the Negev Mountain Range where the Asiatic wild ass or Onager can be found.
Photo credit: © Alon Yasovsky
Look out for the beautiful wild creatures – camouflaged in the desert scenery by their wonderful sandy, blonde coats. These animals once thrived in the desert steppes of Mongolia, Russia and the Arabian Peninsula. Today they only survive in small, isolated populations, including the Negev desert. For nature lovers who are feeling brave, we’ve got something just for you! Setting out after dark, once the desert skies are filled with stars, your guide will take you for a night adventure with a sting!
Many desert animals and insects are nocturnal and in the summer months you will be certain to find scorpions which glow luminously with the help of UV flash lights. Look out also for the larger mammals – foxes, hyenas or wolves. Desert birds include several species of birds of prey including vultures, eagles, kites, buzzards, falcons and kestrels, as well as regional specialities such as Western Reef Heron, Macqueen’s Bustard, the enigmatic Hume’s Tawny Owl Spotted, Black-bellied, Arabian Warbler, Streaked Scrub Warbler, , Nubian Nightjar, Blackstart, Namaqua Dove, three species of Wheatears, White-eyed Gull, Desert, Crowned and Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse Bar-tailed and Hoopoe Larks, Desert and Trumpeter finch and many more. With the right guides many of these species can be found year round. Finally, few people realise just how stunning the Northern Negev Desert is during Spring – amazingly it is filled with flowers such as bright red anemones, cyclamen, and irises. If you go to the right spots at the right time, you will see carpets of wild flowers stretching literally as far as the eye can see. It is a gob-smacking site to see in the middle of the desert!
Marvellous time. Loved every minute. Wish I could have visited more but time was short. Our tour guide was fabulous.
Carol K, Los Angeles
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