Want something different in Egypt? Visit the White Desert
Not all attractions in Egypt have to be ancient ruins, lost cities, mummies and ubiquitous pyramids. There is an Egypt beyond the Nile and one of the most amazing attractions is the white sand desert. It is located in the Farafra Depression and is a landscape of an alien world. Egypt is a country where one can discover some of the deepest secrets of the Sahara.
Egypt is a country full of attractions and secrets – some of which are still abandoned (for example, a 3,000-year-old statue of Ramses II was only recently discovered under a Cairo slum). There are even lost cities that are still being discovered in Egypt – such as the lost ancient capital of Dazzling Atem which was only discovered a few years ago.
The White Sand Desert of Egypt – An Extraterrestrial World
“Formed by centuries of erosion and sandstorms, these unique calcium rock formations loom across the landscape like large, abstract statues. Some that look like food have been given names like ‘mushroom’ and ‘cornet de ice”, while others have inspired more grandiose designations, such as “the monolith” and “Inselberg”.planet alone
The park is famous for its stunning white chalk rock formations that have been carved into the landscape by millions of years of wind and sand erosion. Besides the chalk formations, there are also sand dunes, cliffs and Saharan oases. The White Desert is also the introduction to the Great Sea of Sand.
- National Park: The White Desert is an Egyptian National Park
- Cut: 3,010 km2 (1,160 sq mi)
The park is also a refuge for some of the wild animals of the Sahara (such as the endangered Rhim gazelle and the vulnerable Dorcas gazelle, others include Barbary sheep, foxes, sand cat and jackals).
- Wildlife: Gazelles, sand cats, Barbary sheep, foxes and jackals
White Sand is an alien landscape with its white sand often appearing like frosty snow in the desert. The most famous formation is Crystal Mountain. It is made entirely from crystal and even has a hole in the middle.
- Crystal Mountain: Made entirely of quartz
One of the most characteristic outcrops is called “chicken and tree” while another is called “chicken and mushroom”. One can travel very far and not find a natural formation as bizarre and eye-catching as the White Desert.
Visit White Sand National Park
The white sand desert is located a few hours from the chaotic and bustling metropolis of Cario.
If you plan to visit, consider spending the night camping in the desert with the Bedouin guides. In this way, we will be able to see how the monoliths change color and cast long shadows in the setting and rising sun. See how they turn into an orange-pink hue at dusk. At night, witness a ghostly, iridescent arctic-like glow under a full moon.
- Best day to visit: At dusk and dawn
- Best night to visit: At the Full Moon
If one is planning to visit, one should consider taking a guided tour.
2 Days White Desert and Bahariya Oasis Tour
This 2 Days Tour from Cairo provided by Marsa Alarm Tours includes one night of camping in the White Desert.
The tour includes not only the White Desert but also the Bahariya Oasis and the Black Desert. The tour begins with hotel pickup in Giza or Cairo and heads directly to the Bahariya Oasis approximately 350 km (200 miles) east of Cario.
The tour has plenty of coffee breaks and once at the oasis you will take a 4×4 jeep ride. After that, it’s time to go to the Black Desert (a name taken from the black powder covering the mountains, highlands and sand.
Lunch is served in the oasis of El Haize where one can dive into a hot spring famous for instantly reducing stress. There is even a local water museum to show people the importance of groundwater to desert dwellers.
After lunch, travel to the White Desert and be amazed by the millions of years of sculpture in the landscape (the area was once under the sea).
In the evening, watch the sky turn pink and then the deepest fiery orange and the rock shapes fade away. Dine with Bedouin staff and camp overnight.
- Activities: 4×4 driving and sandboarding
- Cost: From $180.00
- Duration: 2 days, 1 night
- Included: Meals, Transportation, Jeep 4X4, Sandboarding, Camping
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