Touring Information for Egypt’s Western Desert


It’s easy to book a competitive desert exploration in Bahariya or Siwa and (I’ve been told) with less choice while in Farafra Oasis also. You’ve been reading about our trip to Siwa Oasis, down to Barihariya and into the Black and White Desert. If it intrigued you and you’d like to continue on, here is one of Ahmed’s recommendations beginning in the White Desert Park:

– Day 1 Camp one night in White Desert Park;

– Day 2 Drive to Dakhla and spend one night in a basic hotel;

– Day 3 Enter the Great Sand Sea. Do a little sand surfing, take a camel ride and then drive two hours to a camp spot;

– Day 4 Drive to El-Kharga Oasis located in the Libyan Desert. Kharga is the southernmost of Egypt’s five western oases and has a few interesting sites. Visit Bagawat, one of the earliest and best preserved Christian cemeteries in the ancient world with 360 tombs and five main sights. Continue driving same day to Paris Oasis (really), also called “Baris” and then continue to camp in the dunes.

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Egypt oases map
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guide and driver at an Egyptian oasis

 

If you want to spend a little extra time around Paris Oasis, take a short excursion to Dush that was once a wealthy city due to the slave trade.

– Day 5 Drive to Luxor. Luxor is only another 210 km/130 miles away and if you leave at 8:00 a.m., you’ll be there around 12:30 p.m.

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Amun’s statue at Karnak, Egypt

 

You can easily add on whatever your heart desires once in Luxor. Sightseeing opportunities are endless. Take a Nile Cruise, visit the Temples of Karnak, Valley of The Kings, fly down to Abu Simel, fly up to Cairo…. As I said, endless…

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cliffs of the Western Desert, Egypt

 

The really big desert itinerary offered by Memphis Tours calls for 14 days in the area called El Gilf El Kebir. Gilf Kebir is a plateau in the remote southwest corner of Egypt and known for its cliff paintings and rock carvings.

To visit and camp in some of the oases by yourself, there are local buses that ply most of these towns. A bus from Bahariya to Farafra (or vice versa) will drop you off in the White Desert. A 7:00 a.m. bus from Kharga goes to Bahariya from where you can catch a bus to Cairo (another four plus hours away)… Again, endless possibilities. Just make sure you bring plenty of water, sleeping bag, food and firewood if you plan on camping in the desert!

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