Egypt White Desert Safari. Our first real adventure in Egypt (not including getting lost in Cairo’s souq which was an adventure in itself) was to the Bahariya Oasis (the White Desert). We met a couple at our hostel who told us about their Safari through the White Desert and made it sound like so much fun. They went trekking, camping and slept under a blank of stars. They loved the food and even got to feed desert foxes by the camp fire. We asked the hostel staff about it and they were able to book us a 3 day, 2 night Safari for only $100 per person, including all meals and transportation to and from. We left the next morning.
See Itineraries : Western Desert Safari Itinerary
African Safari – Egypt’s Western Desert Oases
Egypt’s Western Desert Oases Safari is not like the typical wildlife safaris found in South Africa. Instead of seeing lions, giraffes and elephants, you experience the surreal and spectacular desert landscape of Egypt’s four oases: Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga. The White Desert is located in between Bahariya and Farafra and is best reached from Bahariya, stopping at the Black Desert, Crystal Mountain and El Agabat en route.
From Cairo, Bahariya is easily reached by a 4-hour car drive (5 hour bus ride) west. The Bahariya Oasis is surrounded by black hills and is best known for the Bedouin village and it’s medicinal and restorative thermal hot springs. The Black Desert is a half an hour drive south from Bahariyya with the White Desert being another 90 minutes south from the Black desert. Crystal Mountain and El Agabat are pleasant stops and visits in between the Black and White Deserts.
Our Trip to The White Desert
We were picked up from Cairo at 8am and arrived Bahariya Oasis just in time to have a traditional Bedouin lunch in the village. We met our Bedouin guides and discussed the details of our tour, such as campsites, meals and hiking plans. Then we were off to the desert. The first stop was the Black Desert, then to Crystal Mountain and El Agabat, making our final destination of the White Desert in time to enjoy the sunset. Each desert, site and stop were amazingly beautiful. Each so unique and in contrast from the other. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought we were exploring new and different worlds at each stop.
The Desert Landscape
Beautiful, surreal, and breathtaking, the Black and White Deserts are both eye catching and stunning yet very different, like night and day. The range of small mountains covered in layers of black powder and dolerite volcanic materials is in stark contrast to the stretches of chalk white “sand” and wind-carved rock formations of the White Desert. Free yourself in the vast open desert and see what shapes and figures your imagination can construct. Is that towering mushroom? Lollipops? Its a chicken!
The changing glow of the sunset and sunrise on the white rock formations was completely enchanting. The reflect of the moon on the entire open space of the desert was no let down either. The white sand was cool to touch so we would walk barefoot day and night when our guides said it were safe. It was a great way to cool you down during the day too.
Campfire, Campsite and Sleeping Under The Stars
Everything needed for the campsite is provided and prepared by the Bedouin guides. They prepared dinner, the campfire and made sure we were comfortable with the sleeping arrangements. Mattresses and sleeping bags are provided, along with tons of thick wool blankets to stay warm during the cold winter night. There were no tents, or roof, or anything above your sleep area, so you are literally sleeping under a blank of bright stars.
The stars and moon are very bright. So bright that I woke up in the middle of the night thinking that a light was turned on. The glow of the White Desert at night is really beautiful. It was very peaceful experience and pictures cannot do its landscape any justice.
At night, after dinner, we would hang around the campfire with tea and hear stories of the villages, locals’ life and traditions. The Bedouin guides would even sing genuine traditional Bedouin songs which were so cool to hear and dance to. It was an amazing lifetime experience to have dinner and camp under the desert’s night sky. We were hoping to feed some wild desert foxes but we weren’t so lucky – the ones we saw were afraid of people.
A Must Experience Adventure For Any Trip to Egypt
I can’t recommend a trip to Egypt’s Western Desert enough. It is unlike any camping or safari trip I’ve ever experienced and I will never forget its beauty. We were able to explore the Black Desert, Crystal Mountain, El Agabat and the White Desert, all amazingly beautiful and so unique from the other. The food was fresh, plentiful and deliciously cooked by our guides with the pleasant hummings of traditional Bedouin songs. Most memorable were sipping tea by the campfire waiting for the sun to rise over the serene desert. Sleeping and awaking under the stars is another top memory never to be forgotten. Photos will never be able to do these places justice – so go and experience it yourself!
Egypt Western Desert Safari – Tips and Best Time To Go
See Egypt Western Desert Tips and Q&A for Best time to go, how to get there by bus or car, items to take with you and other Egypt White Desert Safari Travel Tips