El Hayaen Ostrich Farm near Ofakim in Western Negev is a lovely attraction for families with young kids.
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El Hayaen Ostrich Farm is located not far from Ofakim and near HaBsor National Park (Eshkol Park).
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Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit
Interactive map of the area:
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Saturday: 10:00 – 16:00
25 NIS per person.
Children under the age of 3 enter for free.
Note: opening hours and ticket prices were updated in November 2022. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.
Events and Lodging
Before visiting El Hayaen Ostrich Farm, I wanted to mention that you can hold events (like weddings) or stay for the night at the farm. You can find additional details at the official site.
At Ostrich Farm
On one of the Saturdays of Festival Darom Adom, we drove to HaBsor National Park (Eshkol Park). And when we finished our visit there, we went to the ostrich farm, located less than a five-minute drive from HaBsor National Park (Eshkol Park).
This farm specializes in ostriches, but there are some other animals.
Note: for additional info about animals and wildlife, check out Zoos and Aquariums in Israel.
At entry, we received a small paper bag with food for ostriches.
But you have to be careful since they are not taking food very carefully. Ostriches tore many of the bags.
Besides ostriches, there are different farm animals (primarily chickens).
While there, I saw an informational sign with answers to two interesting questions. The first one: Do Ostriches bury their heads in the sand (when scared or threatened)? The short answer is no. It is an optical illusion. Ostriches are the biggest living birds, but their heads are small. When they pick at the ground from a distance, you might think they bury the head, but it hides behind a small hill.
The second question is whether ostriches are Kosher. The Book of Leviticus lists the ostrich as a bird that is forbidden to eat. Zoologists claim that the intention in The Book of Leviticus is to another already extinct bird. Nonetheless, ostrich is still considered as non-Kosher.
The Ostrich Farm is not big. There are probably a few dozen ostriches, and you can cover the whole farm in an hour. But, our visit was longer, about 1.5 hours. Besides the regular visit, we saw a magician performance (mainly for kids). Keep in mind that it was Saturday during Festival Darom Adom. Thus there were many people, and a show seemed obvious.
There is also a petting area and a small cafe.
Note: I read that there are sometimes tours, but there is no tour timetable. Thus if you are interested, ask about tours at the entrance.
It was a lovely experience, and the kids loved it. As I mentioned, this is not a big place, thus combining it with other attractions is a good idea. You can visit it after HaBsor National Park (Eshkol Park) or other places mentioned in the guide to Festival Darom Adom.
For additional info about nearby attractions, see Festival Darom Adom or explore the interactive map above.
Have you visited El Hayaen Ostrich Farm? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.