Glimpses - Hula Valley and Lake Agamon

Located in northern Israel, just 20 minutes south of Kiryat Shemona along Route 90 is the Hula Valley. Once a malaria-infested swamp, the valley covers an area of more than 15,000 acres.

Escaping Eastern Europe and making aliyah to Israel in the 1880's, Jewish families suffered terribly from malaria as they attempted to farm the marshland.

Following the re-establishment of the State of Israel, the valley was drained and converted into agricultural fields. Some 800 acres of the swamp, however, were set aside as wetlands to encourage the existing vigorous bird life, flora and fauna.

More recently, waters from Mt Hermon were again re-diverted to the area to create Lake Hula Agamon, which has also seen a return of many species of wildlife and plant life initially lost because of draining the valley.

Today, the area is thriving with water animals, including fish and water buffalo, and with an abundance of birds, and flora and fauna. Thousands of migrating birds from Europe descend on the area annually providing an unforgettable scene. The new lake is a favourite stop for thousands of Siberian cranes which are known to fly the three year journey just to visit Hula.

During the migrating season local farmers encourage the birdlife by donating three tons of corn daily, which is spread over a nearby field morning and evening, to which the birds flock, and thus the farmers avoid crop damage.