Western Desert Oasis 8 Days/7 Nights
Cairo is the city of dreams. It is everything that one would want and expect of such an ancient city. It has one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world as well as vibrancy, color, stunning architecture, labyrinths of narrow, bustling streets, quiet corners where people drink tea and smoke the water pipes watching the world go by and the ever-buzzing bazaars where you will be swept up in the moment.
El-Wahat El-Bahariya; or El-Bahariya is a depression and oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt. It is approximately 370 km away from Cairo. The roughly oval valley extends from north-east to south-west, has a length of 94 km, a maximum width of 42 km and covers an area of about 2000 km². The valley is surrounded by mountains and has numerous springs. Bahariya Oasis, an unspoilt refugee, isn’t only the place where you can sense adventures through desert safaris and excursions, but it is also the place that will take you on a journey through the mysterious life of the Pharaohs. It is home to most antiquities and relics that belong to the 26th dynasty that is also known as the Saite Period. One of the major archeological sites to visit is Alexander the Great Temple . Another interesting monument is the largest Ptolemaic necropolis dedicated to the Ibis bird, an object of religious veneration in ancient Egypt. The Valley of the Golden Mummies is a must see site too.
El-Farafra; The Farafra depression is the second biggest depression by size in Western Egypt and the smallest by population, near latitude 27.06° north and longitude 27.97° east. The peaceful Farafra oasis has a distinctive charm of its own. It is the nearest oasis to the white desert , marking the perfect sanctuary for a tranquil holiday among the white creamy desert and its gigantic rock formations. In Pharaonic times, Farafra was known as Taiht, the Land of the Cow. The oldest part of the oasis lies on a hillside in a serene context next to palm orchards near the hot sulphur springs . If you want to be introduced to the nomadic culture, Qasr Farafra is waiting to be discovered.
El Kharga Oasis is one of Egypt most modern and bustling oasis that still retains the allure of the desert. As soon as you arrive there, the tang of dates will assault your nose and the sight of the date palms will capture your eyes marking the typical oasis mirage. Pottery is one if the crafts celebrated in Kharga, so when you are there don’t miss visiting the various shops selling ceramic products as well as the pottery factory. You can also get some good bargains at Kharga’s lively bazaar or souk.
Dakhla Oasis, one of Egypt’s most remote oasis, is a splendid refugee that is surrounded by a wall of colorful rock formations and fertile cultivated areas scattered between sand dunes within the area, offering natural magnificent scenery. If exploration is what you seek, then you can’t miss visiting Dakhla’s numerous thrilling villages that are waiting to be discovered. Dakhla is also abundant with charming natural springs, one of which is Ain Al Qasr springs , In addition to several lakes, and fish ponds .
Luxor is a city on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt. It's on the site of ancient Thebes, the pharaohs’ capital at the height of their power, during the 16th–11th centuries B.C. Today's city surrounds 2 huge, surviving ancient monuments: graceful Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple, a mile north. The royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are on the river’s west bank.
Day 1: Cairo (D) Arrive at Cairo airport where our representative will meet and assist you at the airport, transfer and check-in at the Hotel, overnight at your hotel.
Day 2: Cairo (B.D) After breakfast our friendly guide will accompany you to the awe-inspiring Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza to be transported back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. Free evening (Optional Cairo by Night).Overnight at your hotel.
Day 3: Cairo/Baharia (B.L.D) In the morning our representative will pick you up from the hotel to start our safari trip by cars 4WD, Visit the “English House”to watch the sunset over the desert.The English house which was a lookout post during World War I is today in ruins, but it's location on "the Black Mountain" give a unique panorama view over the northern part of the Baharia Oasis. Overnight in Baharia Oasis.
Day 4: Bahriya/White Desert (B.L.D) At Baharia Oasis we will visite • Alexandre the great temple • The tomb of Zed Amon Ef Ankh • The tomb of his son Bannentiu • The ancient Roman spring Ain Bishmu. The early morning is for visits around Baharia Oasis. There are several ancient temples in the oasis, The most famous is the one that has the cartouche (Pharaonic name presentation) of Alexander the Great. Unfortunately the combination of wind, location and time has eroded these temples and there is today not much left to see. We are going to visit the museum with some of the amazing "Gold Mummies" found here just recently. Further two ancient Egyptian tombs, first the tomb of Zed Amon Ef Ankh and then the tomb of his son Bannentiu. Before starting our journey deeper into the desert, we will visit the ancient Roman spring Ain Bishmu and see how the ancient irrigation system could provide enough water for the farming land. Back to your four-wheel car, the journey goes south - but we can't leave Baharia before visiting the Crystal Mountain and the Black Desert with it's many black topped mountains. Please remember when coming to places as the Crystal Mountain: "Take nothing with you, leave nothing behind". Out of the Baharia depression and down the escarpment to Farafra Oasis, one will soon start to see smaller white chalk cliffs - a forewarning of the adventure ahead. The white cliffs "grows" going south - and suddenly you are in the White Desert . If any destination can be called "magic ", then it's the White Desert. The Governorate of Wadi Gedid work today together with the Egyptian Ministry of Environment on protecting the White Desert through making it a National Natural Preserved area. Before the magic night under the stars, in this one of the greatest treasures of our planet - we will visit the "El Bahr " Cave with wall paintings from prehistoric man. The name "El Bahr" come from the word "sea" as one here find remains from the ocean once covering this area. Ostrich eggs and other fossils have also been found here. Overnight in camp in the White Desert.
Day 5: Farafra/Dakhla (B.L.D) Today we will visit • Morning dive in the hot spring of Bir Sitta • take a tour in Farafra Oasis. • The old Islamic town of Qasr Dakhla After a magical, but often cold night in the White Desert, a morning dive in the hot spring of Bir Sitta is a most welcome start of the day. Farafra, or the "Land of the Cow" as it was named in Ancient Egyptian times, was up to recently the most remote human settlement in the desert. So remote that it was not long time ago when a representative of the Oasis had to take his camel and ride to Dakhla Oasis to find out what day they should perform their Friday prayers, as the inhabitants had totally lost track of the days. Today the inhabitants are "mixed", as farmers have immigrated from the Delta and the Nile Valley. We will see the old city as part of the new agricultural areas of Farafra during our visit.From Farafra we drive south towards Dakhla Oasis . In this huge green farming oasis we will visit:The old Islamic town of Qasr Dakhla in it's desert-medieval style, built on top of a city from Roman times. Mut, the center of Dakhla is still using it's Ancient Egyptian name after the goddess of Waset (Luxor), and here we will visit the remains of the old city Qasr Mut. The small but important Ethnographic Museum in Mut give aunique glimpse inside the traditional culture of the oasis. Plan of a traditional house, locally produced items as dresses, jewelry, rugs and more. The village scenes with clay figures by the local artist Mabrouk are our wide screen in to this culture. The local culture itself have it's wide screen "out of" the culture in the next house, as that's the local cinema. Further visits will take you to the "Temple of the Rock " and the Colored Mountain. Overnight in Dakhla.
Day 6: Dakhla/Kharga (B.L.D) Today we will visit • In the morning we visit The unique "upside down" mastabas • Museum where artifacts from the whole of Wadi Gedid's Ancient Egyptian • The Amon temple in HibisAfter breakfast we will visit the unique "upside down" mastabas (burial monuments from the Ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom) found close to Balat. Important monuments, as the governors of Dakhla buried here show the importance of the Oasis already in times the Pyramids where built in the Nile Valley - some four thousand years ago. Then it's time to say goodbye to the beautiful Oasis of Dakhla, and start our drive towards the last oasis for our desert journey. This is the Kharga Oasis, the center for the Governorate of Wadi Gedid - a Governorate responsible for 40 percent of Egypt's land area.Kharga - Visits in Kharga will of course have to include the Museum where artifacts from the whole of Wadi Gedid's Ancient Egyptian, Christian and Islamic periods are exhibited. The Amon temple in Hibis is one of the only two temples known built during Persian rule of Egypt (26th Dynasty). The inscriptions on the later built Roman gate give very important understanding about Roman imperial rule in Egypt. After Christianity came to Egypt with St. Mark the Evangelist, the Christian community was in periods under hard prosecutions from Roman rule with thousand and thousand of martyrs. Many fled to the desert for protection. Kharga was one of these places and the result of this is that we in Bagawat got one of the oldest and best-preserved Christian cemeteries in the world.Hibis temple, On top of a hill close to Hibis lies the Roman temple-fortress Nadura, a typical lookout as the English House visited in Baharia - apart from the fact that Nadura was built nearly two thousand years earlier. Overnight in Kharga.
Day 7: Kharga/Luxor (B.L.D) • The old market area of Kharga. • The village New Baris We cannot leave the center of Kharga Oasis before you got the opportunity to visit the old market area of Kharga. The market is mainly serving the local population, but as visitor you will first of all be able to see the real desert market. Then it will always be items as hand-woven baskets that are good items to have back from the journey, and your "souvenir" will be a small contribution to the local industry as well. Especially Dakhla and Kharga have many beautiful and locally produced crafts as the mentioned baskets (most made from palm leaves), mats, rugs, pottery, some jewelry (silver work basically), local dresses and the traditional hats made of palm leaves in Dakhla.Before leaving the oasis depression we will drive south passing many villages also belonging to Kharga Oasis. Of newer history the village New Baris is of special importance, as it was here the word renowned architect Hassan Fathy tried to build a village for the oasis. Now close to deserted, it still have the mark of a grand idea and a beautiful architecture built on local traditions and in local material. The counterpart to New Baris is Hassan Fathy's New Gourna in Luxor.Leaving the area where the prehistoric Nile was flowing, we are driving east towards the Nile and the famous Nile Valley - or should we rather say the "Nile Oasis" Fact is that the thin valley is a long Oasis surrounded by waste deserts on both sides. The Western Desert (before named the "Libyan Desert") - which we have traveled, and in East the "Eastern Desert" (formerly the "Arabian Desert") which cover the area all the way to the Red Sea. Overnight in Luxor.
Day 8: Luxor/Cairo (B.L) After a good breakfast we will visit some monuments from the times of Ancient Waset or (Theben which the Greek called Luxor later). Then will be transferred to Cairo for your departure flight back.
- Meals: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner as per daily itinerary.
- Transportation: the entire itinerary from by 4WD land Cruiser maximum of 5 pax per car.
- Tented camp: • Spacious, well ventilated dome tents including mattresses, blankets, sleeping bags • All necessary cooking gear, kitchen utensils, mugs and glassware • Fire grill and cooking stoves.
- Accommodation: Best hotels in the relevant locations.
- Food & beverages: Picnic lunch or at a local restaurant, on board of the 4WD 300 cl mineral water at disposal per day.
- Visits and excursions: All entrance fees and permissions for all visits as well professional Desert guides.
- Insurance: All cars and participants joining our tours are insured against accidents.
- Participants should bring: Hats, sun glasses, Sun cream, Prescription medicine, Passport’s and copies, Sandals, Bathing suits, Sweat shirts and trousers for night time, Shorts and t-shirts for mornings, Scarf, Flash light, Depending on the location, expect basic conditions and some long driving days.
- Tour leader should be notified of any special medical requirements (Diabetes, Blood pressure).