In the book “Badolina” by Gabi Nitzan, Badolina is a tiny kingdom in a secret place that advocates freedom, love, happiness and optimism. Indeed, it seems to be the perfect name for this magical campsite that hides beneath Kibbutz Ein Gedi, a short distance from the sea and from Nahal Arugot. A capsule of nature in which you can easily forget everyday life and feel that you are in a kingdom entirely dedicated to happiness, love and optimism.
Close to Nature
The Badolina campsite is located in what was once the kibbutz’s equestrian ranch. After the ranch was closed, a large, straight area remained, with the most beautiful view in the area, filled with good karma from beautiful memories. The campsite overlooks the Dead Sea on one side and the kibbutz’s date plantations and a nature reserve, on the other. Behind, it is hugged by a hill which turns your gaze to the sea. The feeling is of a secret place which is hard to see from the outside, but when you’re there an endless, spacious beauty will appear before you.
Sleep Like Kings & Queens
In the book, the objective of the king and queen in Badolina is to make every person feel like a king or a queen. And here, too, no efforts have been spared in making your stay pampered and comfortable. The place offers two accommodation options and very soon, they will be joined by a third and very interesting option…
Accommodation in a private tent – the center of the campsite has a flat area of land, dotted with young date trees and solar lighting poles (which can be turned off if you prefer total darkness). In this area you are invited to pitch your own private tent. Recommendation – if you set up your tent in the easternmost area, the next morning you can watch the sunrise without even leaving the tent. If you have not brought mattresses, you can rent on-site.
Capsules – eight round wooden buildings, each containing a double bed with pillows, mattresses and in winter, a blanket. Soon, air conditioners will also be installed. The capsules are suitable for couples who want all the fun that nature has to offer, while still being able to sleep like kings and queens!
What Else Does the Kingdom Offer?
The campsite has a shared kitchen with lots of refrigerators, two sinks and worktops. There will soon be an oven and microwave as well. In addition, there is a toilet and shower building, whose cleanliness the Badolina site is proud of and, indeed, when we visited the place, it was remarkably clean and tidy. It is important to note that the toilets and showers are shared by men and women.
The most addictive part of the site, which will be very difficult for you to leave, is the shared public space. It has fun seating areas, a snooker table, games, a bar with hot and cold drinks and excellently-priced food (currently shakshuka, hummus and pizza) and the highlight – sprinklers that spray you with a cool mist, to make the experience perfect.
Where to Hang Out
If you want to leave the kingdom for a short while, you have plenty of options. First, the campsite is just a few minutes’ walk from the ancient synagogue and Nahal Arugot, so even families who prefer to avoid travelling on Saturday can easily reach the stream by foot. In addition, on weekdays you can obtain a bracelet which will allow you access to the pool at the nearby Ein-Gedi Hotel. You can also enter the kibbutz at no charge – the kibbutz has been declared a botanical garden and is full of spectacular vegetation brought in from all over the world. The kibbutz also has a dining room, a convenience store and children’s play facilities, all of which you are more than welcome to use. Other options only a short drive away include; Masada and Ein Bokek Stream (travelling south) and Einot Tzukim Nature Reserve and Qumran National Park (travelling north). Of course, for very fit walkers there are many other hiking possibilities in the Judean Desert and Dead Sea regions.