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Neve Tzuf Forest: A trip to the first declared nature reserve in Israel - Walla! tourism

2023-06-08T18:23:18.881Z

Highlights: In 1922, the British declared Neve Tzuf Forest in Samaria a protected nature reserve in order to preserve its flora and fauna natural diversity. During the trip, you will walk through a beautiful forest where the diverse Mediterranean woodland grows. In the right season you will also see beautiful orchids and wild boars, foxes, badgers, hyenas and wildcats. The reserve has a Mediterranean grove with a special and natural concentration of Jerusalem pine inside it.


In 1922, the British declared Neve Tzuf Forest in Samaria a protected nature reserve in order to preserve its flora and fauna natural diversity. Details in Walla! tourism


You have probably been to many nature reserves in Israel, but have you already visited the first nature reserve declared in Israel (already in British times)?

Orel Steinbaum, the training coordinator at the Ofra Field School of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, recommends that you go for a walk in the um Safa Nature Reserve and Neve Tzuf Forest, where there is a variety of animals, a Mediterranean grove and a special and natural concentration of Jerusalem pine.

In 1922, the British declared the forest a protected nature reserve, in order to preserve the natural diversity of its flora and fauna. In addition, they planted additional trees in order to create a flourishing and special reserve. During the trip, you will walk through a beautiful forest where the diverse Mediterranean woodland grows - oak, cypress, kettlebell and Jerusalem pine, spiny boat and latem, in the right season you will also see beautiful orchids. If you're quiet, you'll see wild boars, foxes, badgers, rock fuel, hyenas and wildcats, jackals and more, and above you a huwai or eagle will circle in the sky.

Diverse Mediterranean woodland. Blooming in the um Safa Nature Reserve (Photo: Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Shira Ziman)

The reserve has a Mediterranean grove with a special and natural concentration of Jerusalem pine inside it (Photo: Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Shira Ziman)

Choose between 2 routes

When you arrive, you can choose between two short hiking trails: east - marked black and about 1,200 meters long, western - marked green and about 700 meters long.

Black Trail
Black Trail voters will find its beginning at the northwest end of the parking lot. The trail is mostly wide with views of the Mediterranean woodland typical of Samaria and from time to time you can see the hills of western Samaria to the north and east of the reserve. After about a kilometer of walking, the black trail turns south, with the intention of returning to the parking lot. Those interested can walk to Ain Quabish, located just northwest of the Black Trail, and return back to the Black Trail. The trail ends in the parking lot. In late winter and early spring, different species of orchids bloom among the trees.

Green Trail
Those who choose the green path will find its beginning at the northwest end of the parking area. Walk northwest and pass two buildings on the way. These are mandatory structures erected at the disposal of the forest guard. The green path passes oak trees, some of which were planted here by the Jordanian government, which continued the British actions in preserving and developing the forest. In the 70s, a plan to establish a settlement among the forest trees was approved. After a long and well-publicized struggle by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the plan was abandoned and the forest remains to this day as a nature reserve without construction. The green path circles the western hill and returns to the parking lot after about 20 meters.

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Near the parking there are picnic tables where you can stop for rest (Photo: Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Shira Ziman)

How do I get there?

Um Safa Forest Reserve is located east of the settlement of Halamish (Neve Tzuf). Drive on Route 465, about 800 meters east of the entrance to Neve Tzuf, and about 200 meters west of the entrance to the Elisha Preparatory School is the access road to the reserve. A signposted reference to "Neve Tzuf Forest". Near the parking there are picnic tables where you can stop for a rest. Write in Waze: um Safa Forest Nature Reserve.

The blood of the Maccabees in the um Safa Nature Reserve (Photo: Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Shira Ziman)

We went on a trip

Difficulty: Easy
Length of the route: 2 km
Who is it for: Families and nature-loving people who want to go to an unknown
reserve Recommended period: All seasons
Accessibility: Getting to any vehicle is possible, walking is usually on dirt paths Equipment required: Binoculars for the end point are recommended Registers in Waze: Circles
of comments: The trip to Judea and Samaria requires prior coordination with security officials

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  • Neve Tzuf

Source: walla

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