SKVEG 006: 12-Days Tour of Egypt Desert

Egypt Desert

This 12-day adventure safari takes you to the finest tourist attraction sceneries in Egypt: Cairo, Giza Pyramids, Alamein, Marsa Matrouh, Bahariya Oasis, Crystal Mountain, Dakhla Oasis, Karnak and Luxor Temples, the WW II Museum and Cemetery, Siwa Oasis, Farafra Oasis, Kharga Oasis, and Hatshepsut Temple.

Day 1: Cairo

Welcome to Cairo! On arrival at Cairo International Airport, you’ll be welcomed by our representative and then transferred to your hotel within Cairo City in an air-conditioned coach. Dinner and overnight at your Hotel.

Day 2: Cairo City Tour

After breakfast in your hotel, we will embark on a full-day tour of the Pyramids of Cheops, Chefren, Mykerinus, Sphinx, Valley of Temple, the Egyptian Museum. Dinner and overnight in Cairo.

Day 3: Cairo and Alexandria

After breakfast in your hotel in Cairo, we’ll start our journey to Alexandria, Egypt’s second biggest city after the capital city Cairo and the largest seaport that serves about 80% of all of Egypt’s imports and exports.

Alexandria is a very important tourist resort. In ancient times, Alexandria was one of the most famous cities in the world. It was founded around a small pharaonic town c. 331 BC by Greek Macedonian king Alexander the Great. It remained Egypt’s capital for nearly a thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641 AD when a new capital was founded at Fustat, later absorbed into Cairo.

Alexandria was known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), the Library of Alexandria (the largest library in the ancient world) and the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages).

Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbour of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhakotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Our tour of Alexandria will take us to the Qaitbay Citadel, built in the 15th century by Sultan Qaitbay on the spot of Alexandria’s ancient lighthouse, the Grand Montazah Palace, which combines Turkish and Florentine architectural styles, the Alexandria Library and the Roman cemetery cut out of the rock. Overnight in Alexandria.

Day 4: Alexandria and Siwa Oasis

After breakfast in your Alexandria hotel, we’ll take you for a tour of Alamein, the site of a great battle during WW II, and visit the WW II Museum and Cemetery. We’ll later head to Siwa Oasis for overnight.

Day 5: Siwa Oasis and Bahariya Oasis

You have breakfast in your hotel before we embark on a full-day tour of Siwa Oasis. The Siwa Oasis or Siwah is an oasis in Egypt, located between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea in the Libyan Desert, nearly 50 km East of the Libyan border, and 560 km from Cairo.

Our tour of Siwa Oasis will take us to the ancient tombs in the Mountain of the Dead as well as the Oracle Temple (also known as the Temple of Amun). The Oracle Temple is found in the mostly abandoned village of Aghurmi in the Siwa Oasis. It’s known as the Temple of the Oracle because of Alexander’s visit when he conquered Egypt.

It is actually one of two temples dedicated to Amun at Siwa, the other being Umm Ubayda. It sits atop a flat rock, and is a spectacular sight. Built during the 26th Dynasty (though the Oracle’s origin is reputed to be much, much older), this temple and its Oracle flourished well into the Greek and Roman periods.

We will later head to Bahariya Oasis and for overnight in a hotel.

Day 6: Bahariya Oasis

You have breakfast at your hotel in Bahariya Oasis and then take a tour around Bahariya Oasis. Bahariya Oasis is approximately 300 km away from Cairo and the least technologically advanced Oasis in the country. Located in Sixth of October City Governorate, it has an art museum and the main agricultural products are guavas, mangos, dates, and olives.

There is also the ruin of a temple to Alexander the Great located within the Bahariya Oasis. It is believed by some Egyptologists that the Greek conqueror passed through Bahariya while returning from the oracle of Ammon at Siwa Oasis. Excavations of the Greco-Roman necropolis, known as the Valley of the Golden Mummies began in 1996. Approximately thirty-four tombs have been excavated from this area

We will take a tour around the old village and see the groves of palms and fruit trees. Then take a trip to the ruin on a hill, “the English House” at sunset and enjoy the panoramic view. Overnight in Bahariya.

Day 7: Bahariya Oasis and White Desert

After breakfast in your Bahariya Oasis hotel, we will leave for a tour to the White Desert, passing through the Black Desert and the Valley of El Haize with its hot spring.

We will stop to see the quartz crystal at Crystal Mountain and the volcanic rocks in the Valley of Agabat. We will camp at the White Desert and enjoy watching the stars at night.

The White Desert begins about 45 km North of Farafra. The desert is truely white, in clear contrast with the yellow deserts elsewhere. Many of the organised trips out here include overnight stay out in the desert. The nights are preferred because it gets a character reminding of an Arctic landscape.
The rock formations of the desert are often quite dramatic, and you should not miss out on the weird rock balancing on top of a white pillar.

There are no sorts of settlements or amenities in the desert. Your chances of eating here and spending the night is however big — many who come out here do so as part of a guided tour which includes a night under the open sky, as well as food. Dinner with Bedouin entertainment.

Day 8: White Desert and Farafra Oasis

After breakfast, we will head to Farafra Oasis. The oasis of Farafra is a triangular-shaped fertile depression to the North-West of Dakhla and roughly mid-way between Dakhla and Bahariya, with the impenetrable Great Sand Sea bordering the region to the west.

Since 1958 Farafra has been part of the Wadi el-Gedid or ‘New Valley’, but in ancient times it was known as Ta-iht or the ‘Land of the Cow’. This name probably came from the region’s association with the cow-headed goddess Hathor, known for her nurturing qualities.

The largest depression in the Libyan Desert, measuring around 200km long and 90km wide (at Qasr el-Farafra), this oasis currently has the lowest number of inhabitants in the New Valley, but ambitious plans by the Egyptian government for dozens of new communities in Farafra will signify the end of this remote and peaceful oasis.

Farafra’s ancient history is clouded in mystery. Ta-iht is mentioned in texts from the Pharaonic era – in the titulary of a Dynasty V official and in the story of ‘The Eloquent Peasant’, which relates to the reign of King Khety of Dynasty X.

A list of localities in Luxor Temple names the oasis as a source of dates and minerals during the reign of Rameses II, while an inscription by his son Merenptah at Karnak Temple, tells of the occupation of Farafra by Libyan troops during his Dynasty XIX reign. At Edfu Temple Farafra is mentioned as the third of the Seven Oases, ‘. . . Ta-iht at the north-west of Kenemet’ (Dakhla).

You will see the palm groves and hot springs and later visit the local artist Badr’s unique mud brick museum as well as the old village of traditional mud brick houses. Later in the day, we will drive to the lush Dakhla Oasis surrounded by rose-colored cliffs. Overnight in Dakhla.

Day 9: Dakhla Oasis

You have breakfast and then we set out on a tour around Dakhla. Also called the “inner oasis", the Dakhla Oasis is one of the seven oases of the Western Desert of Egypt (part of the Libyan Desert). Dakhla Oasis is located at 350 km from the Nile Valley and is also situated between the oases of Farafra and Kharga. It measures some 80 km from East to West and about 25 km from North to South.

It is a very lush region brimming with orchards and produce, and this is nothing new, for 10,000 years ago, when the climate here was similar to that of the African Savanna, it was teaming with buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, zebras, ostriches and hartebeests. There was a vast lake here, and on its southern shores were also human communities.

Our tour will take us to the Roman Temple Deir El Hagar and the Roman burial ground Mezzawaqqah. We’ll later head to Kharga Oasis for overnight.

Day 10: Kharga Oasis

You have breakfast and then visit the local sights at Kharga Oasis. El-Kharga Oasis is about 550Km from Cairo, but it is nearer to Luxor than any other Egyptian town, and was called the Oasis of Thebes by the Ancient Egyptians. There are several monumental sites here, the most important being the Temple of Hebes. It is situated 3Km north of the Oasis, and was dedicated for the worship of the Triad of Thebes, Amon, Mut and Khonso, dating back to the 26th Dynasty.

The Kharga Oasis must be one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially at sunset; everything you see at this “green island in the middle of a yellow ocean of sand”, is natural. Whether you are sleeping under the stars, or just relaxing between the high palm-trees, you will find a feeling of integration with the environment.

Overnight in Kharga.

Day 11: Kharga Oasis and Cairo

After breakfast, we’ll drive back to Cairo for overnight.

Day 12: Cairo and Depart Home

After breakfast at your hotel, our driver/guide will transfer you to Cairo International Airport for your flight back home.