After you have drunk the chocolate milk Yotvata is famous for, you are ready to visit the wild life reserve, called Chai-Bar in Hebrew. Here you will find native animals of the desert area. Some already extinct in Israel. There are two parts to the park, one dedicated to carnivors. They are fenced for obvious reasons. Here you can see a leopard, a desert fox, wolves and more. The bigger part of the reserve is the house for such animals as oryx, wild donkey, ostrich and more. Some of these animals were freed in the Ramon Crater area as part of a program to bring them back to Israel deserts.
On top of these two parts there is also a dark room for nocturnal animals.
like what I've said, Yotvata Road Side Inn and Shop is the famous stopver of travellers who want to have a pit stop and to refresh and relieved themselves at the rest rooms here, plus many christian pilgrims who do pit stop and buy last minute supplies or souvenirs and taste the dairy products before either staying in Eliat or proceeding to South Sinai in Egypt to continue their Pilgrimage as Yotvata is a popular Rest ans Recreation Stop in the Negev desert as it lies only 41 kilometers south of Eliat along Highway 90.
the Yotvata Road Side Store is a popular stop for Travellers going to Eliat or goind across the border into Aqaba in Jordan or the South Sinai in Egypt. The Store is your last stop before crossing over the border to Taba in Egypt if you are on a Holyland Pilgrimage like us and you can buy whatever you need in this huge store like bottled water, packed fruit juices, canned foods, package foods, the famous Yotvata Ice Cream and Dairy Products, souvenir items, magazines, newspapers, toiletries and a lot more.
opens: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm everyday
What to buy: all the necessary items you can think of like food, water, toiletries, first aid kits, batteries, napkins, souvenir items, food and a lot more
What to pay: not a drain on your wallet
The claim to fame of the Yotvata Kibbutz is their Diary farm and Industry. the kibbutz started out with just 4 cows in the 1960's and people were in disbelief as this is situated in a desert but eventually their Dairy Farm Grew and now has more then 700 heads of Cattle that produces large amounts of milk that supplies nearby Eliat Resort town with most of it's dairy products and also the major supplier of dairy products in Israel. they have a variety of Dairy Products like fresh milk, yogurt, cream fresh, full cream milk, Ice Cream, Chocolates and a lot more at the Yotvata Store in the Kibbutz.
according to wikipedia:
And then came the initiative to found a dairy that would provide milk to Eilat, which was expected to grow rapidly. Breeding milking cows in the desert was considered an impossible mission. In 1962 the dairy was founded, with four cows, the member who led the vision and the operation was Ori Horazo (1939-1966). The members tried to get funds from the Jewish Agency, but failed. Eventually, they received funding from the Israeli Trade and Industry Minister, Pinhas Sapir. In the first year, the dairy produced 500,000 liters of milk. By 2008, it was producing 62 million liters a year and controlled 63% of the Israeli dairy beverages market (making NIS400 million a year), and 49% of the fortified milk market (making NIS 250 million a year). It employed 130 workers and had 700 cows. The dairies of Kibbutz Yahel, Lotan, and Ketura provide milk for Yotvata.
After a long trip from the Qumran Area and on a pit stop to Yotvata before going to Egypt, we found out that the Yotvata Dairy products made here in the Kibbutz are really good and are very popular around Israel, in fact, the Kibbutz has a factory named Yotvata Dairies, which is the largest local Dairy Company in Israel, which makes local Israeli Ice Cream products, gelato, chocolates, milk, yogurts and a lot more, and they have a shop inside the road side store that sells these yummy goodies and you can choose you favorite Ice Cream flavor or gelato, all of which are kosher, and one scoop is 8 NIS and 2 scoops is 16 NIS and three scoops of it at 19 NIS!
If you are travelling along the Barren Negev Desert going to Eliat ona vacation or hopping to Aqaba in Jordan or snorkelling at the Beaches of Nuweiba or Dahab or Sharl Al Shiekh in the South Sinai of Egypt, the famous rest and recreation stop is at the middle of the desert, about 41 kilometers nirth of Eliat, which is the Yotvata Kibbutz, which has a large Shop, ice cream house, hotel, rest and recreation area just beside the Highway 90. Yotvata Kibbutz is popular due to it's dairy farm business (in the middle of the desert!) and yummy ice cream products as this is tha major produce of the kibbutz.
Fondest memory: Yotvata Road Side Shop has all the things a traveller needs and they have really good dairy and ice cream products!