THE BEST WAY TO ISRAEL
From LAX, nonstop service to Tel Aviv (starting point for this stay) is offered on El Al; direct service (stop, no change of planes) is offered on US Airways and connecting service (change of planes) is offered on United, Delta, Turkish, Air France, US Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, British and Iberia. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $1,148, including taxes and fees.
To call the numbers below, dial 011 (the international dialing code), 972 ( the country code for Israel), and the number.
WHERE TO STAY
Chan Hashayarot, P.O. Box 157 Midreshet Ben Guryon, Har Hanegev, 84990; 8-6535777, http://www.shayarot.com/English/. About $54 per person per night for meals and lodging in a tent in a Bedouin-run camp.
Kfar Hanokdim, P.O. Box 1568, Arad, 89100; 8-9950097; /www.hanokdim.com, firstname.lastname@example.org About $55 per person per night for lodging in a Bedouin-style tent and a camel ride. This camp was founded by a non-Bedouin, but it's staffed by Bedouin workers.
Khan Desert Ship, Golda Park, Negev desert; 8-6557318 or 052-3900020. http://my.weekend.co.il/Default.aspx?id=83&lang=en. The website is mostly in Hebrew, so contact Gil Travel, below, to book in English. Rates are based on your choice of activities at this commercially operated camp. Lodging in a Bedouin-style tent is about $25 per person per night, $8 for Bedouin hospitality demonstration, $34 for dinner, $14 for breakfast and $15 for a camel ride.
Genesis Land, Yisuv Alon, 90618; 2-9974477, http://www.genesisland.co.il. Another commercial operation that offers a Bedouin-like desert experience.
Travelers are encouraged to bring their own sleeping bags as well as blankets and pillows. Most tents are not private and often shared with other groups or individuals, so do not bring valuables with you. Public restrooms and shower facilities are provided, but travelers must bring their own towels.
TO LEARN MORE
These travel agencies have experience booking Bedouin desert experiences in Israel:
Gil Travel; 1511 Walnut St., Philadelphia; (800) 223-3855, http://www.giltravel.com; World Express Travel of Sherman Oaks, 18425 Burbank Blvd. No. 512,Tarzana; (800) 441-8908, (818) 654-2880, http://www.worldexpresstravel.com