Exploring Egypt: The Black and White Desert

The black and white Desert

Clear sky, amazing rock formation and the best sand dunes. Egypt’s Western Desert.

You will wake up to the sunrise with nothing but the vastness of white everywhere around you when you open the window of your small tent and witnessed the magic.

The black and white Desert

Waking up to this amazing sunrise in the white Desert.

The Black and White Desert in the Sahara seemed the best option, as it is only 500 kilometres away from Cairo.

The black and white Desert

That is not snow, this is just the beautiful white Desert.

The road from Cairo to the Western Desert is smooth, it takes you slowly but surely from the busy capital to an imaginary Neverland where everything is white.

The black and white Desert

The road to the Western Desert is smooth, short, safe and magical.

How can a place be so magical?

The White Desert, which was designated a protected area in 2002, occupies a surface area of around 3,000 km2. On the road from Farafra and the Baharya Oasis, we were lost in amid fairy tale rock formation in the White Desert. Some rocks looked like animals, others like mushrooms, and others still were amorphous. My kids, with their imagination, perceived so many shapes that we adults could not see. “This looks like a stegosaurus,” and “that looks like a cloud,” while “that one looks like a baby racoon.”

The black and white Desert

The mushroom rock is a famous post card photo, and this is where we parked our cars and set up our tents.

Millions of years ago, the White Desert was submerged beneath ocean, and the white chalk that formed its rocks was deposited from this sea 80 million years ago. Amazingly enough, you can still see some sea fossils and seashells in the middle of the desert today.

The black and white Desert

Safari here in the western Desert is maybe the best in Egypt.

On your first day, you will do a lot of off-roading with our jeeps.

The sand dunes are so soft, they are the best you will have seen in Egypt so far.

The black and white Desert

Amazing rock formations in the white Desert, let your imagination take you to wherever you want to go or see.

You will watch the sunset, set up your tents, and gathered around a fire for an amazing four-course meal in the middle of nowhere under millions of stars. Afterwards, you can have Bedouin sweet tea and toasted marshmallows on the camp fire. And also you can take your dinner there, your hosts will start the entertainment with Bedouin music, dance, and listen to amazing songs, you will dance the night away.

The black and white Desert

The black Desert where you see the remnants of volcanic eruptions.

On the second day, you can do some hiking and a little exploring in the northeast of the White Desert, in an area called Aqabat, or “obstacles” in English. In the middle of this area lies the Mountain of Twin Peaks. Then you can have little rough drive to the ancient site of Wadi Al-Ubayid, or the White Valley.

The black and white Desert

It is almost impossible to sleep and leave this beautiful sky at the white Desert.

The Black Desert

Move to the Black Desert, which consists mainly of mountains formed primarily out of small volcanic rocks, which lay against a backdrop of orange and brown.

The black and white Desert

Amazing hike in Egypt’s Western Desert where the magic doesn’t stop.

You will find many beautifully shaped stones, evoking the images of flowers, butterflies and many more formations.

The black and white Desert

The Black Desert.

The Crystal Mountain

The highlight of the trip was the Crystal Mountain. Amazing looking crystals or barite stones.

The black and white Desert

A walk among the rocks, or a hike in the mountains at the Western Desert can clear the mind.

The black and white Desert

The Western Desert is the perfect safari destination.

The black and white Desert

Rock formations in the Western Desert.

The black and white Desert

The White Desert.

Practical information

The best time to go is between September and April. Some people prefer the summer so they can take photographs of the amazing Milky Way on moonless nights. 

What to bring

If you are going camping or on safari, try to travel light, a backpack with two sets of clothes, hiking shoes, sweat pants, and a swimsuit if you want to go to the springs. You can also bring a torch light and a power bank, a sleeping bag, a book, and music.

The black and white Desert

Moonless nights in the Western Desert.

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