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Discovering The Egyptian White Desert

I had always dreamt of going to Egypt one day. It was because a lot of people told me a lot of things about the great Pyramids- one of the most intriguing man-made structures on earth. Like many others, stories of pyramids and Egyptian mummies have always fascinated me. But none of those stories ever described the glory of the vast deserts of this mystic land.

Fulfilling the lifelong dream, we landed in Egypt in March this year. Just few days before the trip, when I was looking for interesting things to do in Egypt other than pyramids, I came across a blog telling about camping in White Desert. 2 mins into that blog post, I knew that this was the adventure we couldn’t miss.

white desert

We landed in Cairo at 6:30 in the morning, and directly got onto a long 6 hour ride to Baherya Oasis. Just one hour into our journey, we were in the extreme desert landscape. I have been to Thar desert in Rajasthan, but this was a completely different experience. There is no sign of water, vegetation or any humans for hundreds of kilometers.

white desert

After 6 hours of treacherous ride, we reached Baherya Oasis. It was hard to imagine a small village with green farms and animals could exist, so deep inside the desert. We had our lunch their and some rest.

bahareya oasis

habareya oasis

From Baherya, we set off on a 2 hour off-road drive in the desert which is hard to describe in words. So you had better see it yourself in the video..  🙂

The desert landscape holds many surprises for you. In that 2 hours ride , we passed through black desert, a mountain of crystal stones, and a natural hot spring. When we reached the white desert, everyone was awestruck by this bizzare landscape in the middle of nowhere.

After reaching there, our expert guides set up a makeshift tent there, and explained the dos and don’ts of desert. It was amusing how they asked us not to venture too far from the camp while finding the perfect rock to use as cover for nature’s calls.

white desert camp

They cooked us a really amazing dinner. Even being an Indian vegetarian, I thoroughly enjoyed the food. We all sat around camp-fire, while the guides played folk music.

white desert camp bonfire

For some time, I also wandered around alone appreciating the beauty of the natural formations in dark. It was an experience which I can’t describe in words. It was like meditation.

It was a perfect evening with delicious food, camp-fire, Egyptian folk music and interesting conversations in a beautiful place. We slept under the open sky watching the twinkling stars. In the middle of night, I woke up and saw a desert fox roaming around us sniffing the leftovers of our food. It was hard to even think that an animal could survive in such a harsh landscape. But nature works in mysterious ways, and we really experienced that in the most amazing way. It was a night to remember.

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