Want to experience what life was like in a tent made from goat and camel hair? These types of tents are likely similar to the ones in which Abraham lived as he moved throughout the land of Israel, and the ones in which the Israelites dwelt as they wandered through the desert. The Bedouin people also lived (and some still live) like this. They have opened up many locations throughout Israel where locals and tourists can come, see, and experience their culture, which is similar to Old Testament times.
If you’re not afraid of a bit of dirt, then this type of experience is for you. It is fun, unique, bonding, and most importantly, it gives a snapshot of what life was like for those who dwelt like this—perhaps notable biblical characters.
Who are the Bedouins?
The Bedouins are a nomadic, Arab people group. They live in familial tribes throughout Israel—primarily in the desert. The Bedouins trace their heritage back to those who traded and traveled on the ancient Spice Route. They are known for their outstanding and selfless hospitality, good food, and knowing the secrets of survival in the desert. Keep your eyes open as you drive through the Negev and you’ll see tribes dwelling alongside the road or Bedouin shepherds out with their livestock. Today, the Bedouins don’t wander like they used to; they stay in a fixed location with slightly modernized tents.
A Bedouin Experience
The Bedouins have created special tents and locations designed for visitors to experience their ancient lifestyle. Different locations vary in how modernized and luxurious they are. The most common experience involves a large tent in which you and your group will sleep on mattresses. When it is time for dinner, a traditional meal is served; the items usually include a chicken and rice dish, salads, special bread, hummus, and more. The meal is traditionally eaten by hand while sitting on the floor mattresses and the food is on a low table. It is truly a wonderful experience! After dinner, everyone gathers around for hot tea and storytime. As you sip your tea, the Bedouin host will tell you about their way of life and his family’s story.
Most Bedouin experience locations offer camel caravan rides and individual camel rides. If you are with a group, you will choose a partner and be assigned to a camel who is tied to the camel in front and behind him, creating a caravan. The scariest part is when the camel gets up and sits down, but don’t worry, the camels know what they are doing. This will enhance your experience and help you understand what ancient travel felt like.
Originally posted at Sar-El Tours.