Wadi David

Nature Reserve in Ein Gedi

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve’s most accessible – and popular – pools and waterfalls are situated along Lower Wadi David (Nahal David Tachton), ie the area downstream from David’s Waterfall (Mapal David; one hour return). The entrance pavilion has bathrooms where you can change into your bathing suit, free lockers (ask staff for a key) and free cooled drinking water.

The refreshments counter and adjacent shop sell sandwiches, ice cream, snacks and drinks, including espresso. If you don’t have an empty bottle for water, ask staff for one that’s on the way to being recycled.

To get to Upper Wadi David (Nahal David Elyon), which is significantly less crowded, head up the trail that climbs the south wall of the canyon. A bit past tiny Shulamit’s Spring (Ma’ayan Shulamit) is a T-junction: go right and you’ll head down the slope to the section of Wadi David above David’s Waterfall, including Dodim Cave (Lovers’ Cave); hanging a left takes you to a Chalcolithic Temple (3000 BCE), the pools of Ein Gedi Spring (most of whose mineral water is diverted and bottled by Kibbutz Ein Gedi) and, near the base of Wadi Arugot, an archaeological site known as Tel Goren (7th to 8th century BCE).

Wadi David can get crowded, especially on Jewish holidays and on days when raucous coach loads of schoolkids are around. The first 400m of the trail, to the first waterfall, are fully accessible to wheelchairs.