The Land of the Lizards

Eilat also offers visitors a variety of remarkable natural sites. KKL-JNF, with the help of local city organizations and its Friends throughout the world, invites the general public to Lizard Land, an exceptionally crowded colony of spiny-tailed lizards.



Geographic location: Arava and Eilat highlands

Identity Card



Photo: Yaakov Shkolnik


Apart from its obvious attractions, Eilat also offers visitors a variety of remarkable natural sites. KKL-JNF, with the help of local city organizations and its Friends throughout the world, has developed and signposted these sites and it invites the general public to come and enjoy them free of charge. Lizard Land is an exceptionally crowded colony of spiny-tailed lizards (Uromastyx), a type of reptile that looks rather like a dry-land crocodile.

• Region: Southern Israel
 
• Geographical location: Mount Negev

• Notable sites in the park: The lizard colony

• Additional sites in the area: Holland Park, Eilat Bird-Watching Park

• Facilities: Lookout, Marked path

• How to get there:
From the Arava Highway (Route 90, between kilometer markers 14 & 15), turn eastwards towards the Arava Border Terminal (Route 109). After around 150 meters turn right along a surfaced road, then immediately left on to a good dirt road. Continue southwards on this road, and after 400 meters you will cross a conduit of Nahal Roded. Near the conduit is a signpost indicating the entranceway. Another entranceway can be found at the southern entrance to Lizard Land.

Projects and Partners Worldwide
Eilat Lizards Park was rehabilitated and developed thanks to
a contribution from friends of KKL-JNF worldwide, including Holland.


Photo: Dani Molcho

Lizard Land is the name of an area of some 140 dunam (approx 350 acres) located to the east of Route 90.
This site, which was formerly an illegal rubbish dump, is home to a uniquely large and crowded colony of spiny-tailed lizards. These reptiles can grow up to 80 centimeters in length and can weigh as much as three kilograms. Despite its threatening appearance – it looks rather like a miniature dry-land crocodile – the spiny-tailed lizard is primarily vegetarian. Its color varies from dark gray at low temperatures to pale yellow when the weather is warm.

Exploring the site
A red-marked dirt road departs from the entrance and makes its way between the two plots of ground devoted to the conservation of the spiny-tailed lizard.

KKL-JNF has provided the site with explanatory signs and surrounded the conservation plots with sections of tree trunks in order to prevent vehicles from encroaching upon them and destroying the lizards’ burrows.

Black trail markings have been used to indicate the footpath that branches off eastwards from the parking area on the main road and ascends to Mitzpeh Hardon (“Lizard Lookout”), a small hill that provides a view of the Arava landscapes, Lizard Land and Eilat Bird-Watching Park, which is located to the east.

The spiny-tailed lizard digs itself a burrow about one meter in depth that extends along an underground tunnel for up to twenty meters; here it hides from predators and raises its young. In their natural habitat, these lizards dig their burrows at a considerable distance from one another.

However, in this limited area that extends on both sides of the dirt road the lizard population is much denser, and in 2012 it comprised around one hundred burrows. The lizards would appear to have congregated here after their natural habitats were damaged or destroyed. They are most active in the warm seasons of the year.

Visitors’ conduct at the site
Visitors are requested not to enter the area delineated by the tree trunk fence and not to disturb the activities of the lizards – and please do not feed them! The food we eat is not compatible with their digestive systems and is liable to cause them harm.

To the Eilat Bird-Watching Park – close nearby
If you turn southwards from the path that leads to Lizard Lookout, after around 250 meters you will come to a “hide” that is used for concealment while bird-watching. Lizard Lookout is also a suitable departure point for a walk round the bird-watching park.