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our desert
our desert
a crossing point
Desert Ashram is located at the crossing point between the Arava and Southern Negev, on  the Hayun Plane, between Menucha Ridge and Hamada Hills, and the Ketsev Stream. The area is characterized by layers of dark flint on light colored hills of soft chalk, dotted with acacia trees in the stream beds. There are many jeep trails around, in the streams Zihor, Paran, Znifim, Girzi, Vardit and Barrack, and towards the western border around Mount Carcom. The Ashram is a convenient starting point for these trails as well as for attractions in the Arava, with a jeep road leading there through Shitta and Yahel streams.
The area is extreme desert, with very few water sources: Znifim Cistern, below a small waterfall in Znifim Stream (on the margins of Znifim valley), the Hyun Cisterns in Hayun Stream, a bed that runs through sandy red soil, which after flash floods turns to a 50m long pool, and Girzi Pits – a cluster of man made pits in the Girzi stream bed, which once served the Bedouins of the Al-Achiwat tribe. These are temporary water sources, which fill up on flood waters during winter. The Shittim Ashram is also situated on the National Israel Trail.

Among the animals in the area, most prominent are the Negev Deer (this is one of its most important population clusters), Wild Ass (which has been returned to the Negev during the 80's) and Spiny-Tailed Lizard, and the birds Sand Partridge, Chukar Partridge and Arabian Babbler. If you're in luck, you'll see the Arabian Oryx and Houbara Bustard, two extremely rare species in the wild. Night animals that roam around here include Red Foxes, Sand Foxes, wolves, and the rodents Egyptian Spiny Mouse, Arabian Gerbil and Wagner's Gerbil.
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