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A Trip To The Banias

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The nature reserve is full of wildlife. From Shir HaShirim‘s praises of the area (4:8), we learn that lions and leopards once inhabited the region. Lions are now extinct but leopards can still be found. Jackals and wild boars are active during the night, and in the day many Hyraxes frolic along the shores of the stream since they love the sunlight. There are swamp lynxes and porcupines, Mt. Hermon field mice, rodents, and bats.

Falcons are seen flying high above, and on the ground flocks of rock doves congregate. Cetti’s Warblers, Sardinian Warblers, blackbirds, woodpeckers, Winter Wrens, and Graceful Prinias are also found. Various types of fish can be seen in the stream, among them haffaf, hillstream loach, acanthobrama, tilapia, Damascus barbell and longhead barbels. Other aquatic life includes black-shell melanopis, freshwater gastropod, crescent shaped mollusks, and snails.

Directions: Drive on Road 90 and turn east on Road 99. The entrance to the Banias waterfall area is located about two kilometers east of Kibbutz Snir, and the Banias Nature Reserve with its springs is located about three kilometers east of the Kibbutz.

About the Author: Originally from south Africa, Vardah has been living in Eretz Yisrael since 1974 and the more she learns about our glorious Holy Land the more she gets to love this prime property that Hashem has given to the Jewish People. She is studying to be a tour guide and hopes with the help of Hashem, through this column to give readers a small taste of the land.


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