The White Desert is located between the Bahariya and the Farafra oasis. Most safaris into the desert are arranged between the three locations.
Sightseeing at the White Desert
The White Desert covers an area of about 6,000 square kilometers on the southwest of Cairo. It is a place that no visitor to the New Valley should miss. It gains its amazement form its white sands, in contrast with the yellow sands elsewhere. The Massive weird rock formations in white, cream color are the main attractions of a desert white in color.
Watching a desert white is like traveling to the other end of the world. Considerably high chalk-colored hills make the white desert look like an Arctic landscape with icebergs. However, it is remarkable how deep blue the sky is there.
What makes the white desert part of Egypt travel adventure is its state as an open museum for geographical phenomena, fossils, and wild life. It is a natural reserve not only for being a desert white in color, but also for being the land of rare plants, acacia trees, calcified trees, and springs. The white desert is the home for many animals on the verge of extinction. There you will watch the Egyptian gazelles, white gazelles and rams.
It hosts monuments that go back to the era before the Christ and the Roman era. The white desert is also the location for rare caves, graveyards, as well as mummies and carved inscriptions.
Bahariya Oasis is set in a depression of 2000 square kilometers, surrounded by black hills. Bahariya is known for its hot spring wells and incredible monuments.
The Roman Fortress
The Roman Fortress is the largest in the Western Oasis. It hosted large numbers of soldiers and local rulers who undertook the responsibility of protecting Egypt against the desert attackers and securing the trading routes. The fortress is mostly built of Mud bricks.
The Roman Palace
Near the Roman Fortress, visitors will find a structure of a Roman Palace covering four acres of land. The palace has a maze of mud bricks surrounded by walls putting the visitor in Egypt travel adventure. These walls were decorated with hunting paints and various colored plants. The Roman Palace is believed to have been the residence of the local Roman ruler.
The Wine Factory
The Win Factory was discovered in 1988 near the Roman Palace. Its structure is much like that of the Roman baths. The existence of a hot spring directly under the area suggests that the structure might have included a bathhouse as well.
Walls are built of mud bricks and covered with a thick layer of plaster, probably intended to prevent the grape juice during fermentation from socking into the walls. The Factory has many rooms, the largest of which was probably used for receiving, cleaning and sorting the grapes. A number of small rooms were used for the phases of processing.
The remains of a Coptic church built on the classical basilica style are found near the Roman Fortress. It was probably built at the end the 5th Century AD. The church has whitewashed walls and two floors with staircases.
Beside this basilica, remains of a much older building are found. This building is believed to have been a place of Christian worship.
The Valley of the Golden Mummies
The Valley of the Golden Mummies is one of the major discoveries in the Bahariya Oasis making it a prominent Egypt travel adventure. It is the largest cemetery of its kind. The 2000-year-old cemetery was discovered in 1996. In first season of excavation started in 1999, four tombs where found with 108 mummies. The mummies were covered with gilded or painted coffins; some wore golden masks and jewelry. The tombs include as well wine jars, coins, pottery and amulets for use in the afterlife.
In the second and third seasons of excavation (2000/2001), ten tombs with 125 mummies were discovered. The mummies in some of these tombs wore golden masks with uraeus -the spitting cobra- as a symbol of sovereignty.
The Farafra is located 45 km south of the White Desert. It is characterized by its simple life and isolation from the complicated life of the city. In the Pharaonic times, it was called Taahat (the land of the cow). Most of the inhabitants there are Bedouins living in small mud-bricked homes. Houses are mostly painted blue and decorated with landscape, bird, and animal sceneries. In the center of Farafra, you will find remains of palaces built of clay, plain tombs of rock, and remnants of a Roman temple at the area of Ein Bess. Visitors, as well, must not miss enjoying the hot springs of the Farafra.