Black desert Egypt
black desert Egypt if you take only one tour in Bahariya, this should be it. Again, begin in early morning, when the light is behind you and plays on the hills. Many people combine this tour with the White Desert and under no condition do you want to enter the White Desert for the first time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The light is wrong.
Sahara Suda (Black Desert)
° 2×2, 4×4
° all day
° easy to difficult km total km 4
Umm al-lffa N 28 17 295 E 28 47 459 8 8
Gebel Gala Siwa N 28 14 113 E 28 46 605 4.5 14.1 9.6.
Pyramids N 20 09 643 E 28 44 976 2.7 22.3
Gebel al-Nuss N 28 os 802 E 28 44 740
black desert egypt
Landscape is the main feature of this tour, and the landscape of Bahariya is dominated by dozens of small blacktopped mountains.
are part of a major fold that cuts sharply through the oasis in a northeastern direction from the westem to the eastern scarp.
Almost 200 meters (640 ft) thick, the fault begins 14 km (8.7 miles) northwest of al-Hayz and can be followed to Gebel Hafuf by a line of cup-shaped limestone hills.
Ball and Beadnell set the date of this faulting as post-Eocene, or Pliocene, when great upheavals created the landscape of Africa and Asia.
For centuries, the first of a series Of checkpoints lay 2 km (1.2 miles) outside Of Bawiti. Today only the posts remain. a kilometer beyond on the left, or east, side of the road is Bir Wali, a good place t0 stop for orientation.
The small mountain near the road straight ahead is the 125′ meter (400-R) high Gebel Hammad- AS you will see, it is actually to the left 0f the .4 mad, but at this point, before the road curvings, it appears to be on the right.
Local guides tell us that an old airport exists on top of this mountain and that it was used by the British to watch Darb Siwa for the advaming Germans during World War II.
They (game, just as expected, and that night the British put sugar and sand in their tanks, demobilizing them.
black desert egypt
On the left of me road, looking like the escarpment, is Gebel Hafuf, the largest mountain in Bahariya.
To the right, near the far escarpment, is Gebel al-Tibniya and Naqb Siwa. The naqb looks like a black snake climbing the escarpment in the distance.
At Km 6 is the road leading to the Valley of the Golden Mummies.
Gebel Hafuf- black desert Egypt
Gebel Hafuf is a narrLocated right between the Baharia and Farafra oasis, ridge-like hill of limestone, 15 km (9 miles) long and 72 meters (230 ft) high, located southeast of Bawiti.
Topped by dolerite and basalt tertiary volcanic rock, its black mass offers the best evidence of tectonic folding in the oasis.
Eight km (5 miles) beyond the checkpoint between Gebel Hafuf and the escarpment to the right of the paved road are a number of sand dunes known as Umm al-Iffa, Mother of Q18 Wper.
The area holds a number of tracks that were used by caravans, Including Umm al-Shaba, Mother of the Branch.
This is an excellent place to have Smile fun or to camp.
Some of the local groups hold parties here at night.
black desert egypt
Tomb of, René Michel
0nly 1.6 (1 mile) later, on the right, or West, side of the road, is the tomb of in.
SMICHCI. Michel was a French-speak- 0aieS\VlSS Who retired and came to the mn lil 1981.
He lived there and helpeding tourism in Bahariya by mak-lnto the desert.
which he thought The sh C Switzerland. He died in 1986. 011 road to his grave was recently 4 by government workers whowas a sheikh’s tomb.
Gebel Shahut-black desert Egypt
As you face the grave from the road look to your right. Behind is Gebel Shahut. There is an interesting legend about how this mountain got its name.
A man considered to be the best driver in the entire oasis and known for finding his way when other men got lost, got lost here. When he found his way back, the people named the mountain after him.
Now all the mountains are spread out for you in an almost straight line along the horizon.
We are approaching Sahara Suda, the Black Desert, a favorite safari destination for local tour groups. The ground to the right and left of the road is covered with black stones.
Weaving in and out of these mountains is great fun. Although a skilled 2×2 driver can manage most of it, there is a good chance the car will eventually get stuck.
Take a guide-they are not expensive and can tell you things you will never discover by yourself.
Gebel Gala Siwa
Gebel Gala Siwa is 4.5 km (3 miles) beyond on the right, or west, side of the road.
This pyramid mountain served as a lookout station for caravans coming from Siwa Oasis to the north.
When a caravan was expected, someone would climb to the top of Gebel Gala Siwa to observe Naqb Siwa, visible to the northwest.
Then, while the caravan was busy making its way slowly down the escarpment, the lookout would hasten to Bawiti to spread the news.
Gebel Miteili Radwan- black desert Egypt
Five km (3 miles) beyond Gebel Gala Siwa is a black-topped conical mountain on the len, or east, side of the road.
lt is named after a man who often traveled to Farafra before the creation of the road, Radwan used this mountain as a landmark to help him find the way.
A little under 3 km (1.8 miles) later are two mountains on either side of the road.
Tourists have named them the pyramids because when you stand between them, the one on the left, east, looks like Chephren’s pyramid with its covered top, and the mountain on the right, west, looks like the Step Pyramid by Nile cruise.
From a distance these descriptions do not apply.
Only 2 km (l.2 miles) later is a mountain called al-Zuqaq, the Alley. The mountain is not really al-Zuqaq, but marks the entrance to it.
Al-Zuqaq is a favorite off- road tour for the Black Desert. First, note the brilliant strata of colorful limestone at the base of the mountain: red, orange, yellow, and gold glisten within the white and beige stone.
Looking up at the mountain itself, on one side you can see a thin line of yellow sand reaching to the top.
Tourists climbing this mountain have created this path.
Safari groups enter the desert at this point and do a tour through the blacktopped hills, including a mountain called Masuda. Masuda is a good place to camp or to meditate.
Gebel al-Nuss, or al-Monsuf
Nuss means half and this mountain ig halfway to the end of the depression.
Two caravan roads run on either side of the road here: Darb Umm Shaba, an old Roman route, and Darb Tabla Amun, on the left, which continues south to a village with the same name.
At the end of this tour you can return to Bawiti or continue on to al-Hayz and
Farafra. Do not travel the desert at night.