Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Magdy Badrmany


Black and White Desert, Minimum of Two Days

This is the shortest of the desert safaris. You can leave your hotel in Cairo early in the morning, arrive in Bawiti in the Baharyiya Oasis for lunch, and load your luggage into my four wheel drive.

We travel through the Black Desert, spend the night in the White Desert, and have a look around next morning. We return through Crystal Mountain to the hotel, and you meet your van for a return to Cairo. It is a magical experience.

Trips can be arranged for small or large groups. In Winter (November to February) it is cold at night, but tents, sleeping bags, and very warm camel blankets are provided. Midsummer (June, July and August) is extremely hot and best avoided for all but the very hardy.

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Basalt pipes in the Black Desert

'Mushrooms' in the White Desert

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Setting up a 'one car' camp

White Desert vistas


Military permission is needed for this location

Night Falls over the Desert with Spectacular Sunsets
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Fennec Foxes Sometimes Visit the Camp

Iron Pyrites Weathers out from a Sea of Chalk

Siwa Oasis


Siwa is a spectacular oasis far into Egypt's Western Desert. You can travel there from Cairo but it will take about two days to do it safely, with a night in Mersa Matruh arriving in Siwa around lunch time on the second day. I can meet you there, and drive you around the sights of Siwa, with an evening trip to the sand dunes beyond. Then we can drive back to Bawiti and the Oasis of Bahariya as either a one or two day trip (the latter is recommended). You could then stay one night in the hotel at Bahariya, then take a one night safari into the Black and White Deserts, and a visit to crystal Mountain, returning to Bahariya by lunchtime to take a van back to Cairo.

I need plenty of notice for this trip as military permission is required. For this I need a photocopy of your passport sent to me at least one month ahead. On this trip you will follow the footsteps of Alexander the Great.

Views of Siwa

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Wadi Hitan - the Valley of the Whales

This location is quite close to Cairo and with an extra day can be included in a Black Desert and White Desert Safari. The 'whales' are Eocene amphibians, and huge skeletons of their spines weather out of rocky outcrops. There are dozens of very tiny sharks' teeth lying thickly in the sand in some locations.

Whale bones

Backbone Roots
Waves rearing overhead

No roads

Through the desert
The glinting in the sides of the hills are spills of fossilised pearly shells from an ancient sea.

Oasis Safaris, Gilf Kebir and the Great Sand Sea

I can take groups between the different desert Oases, so you travel through the Bahariya Oasis, Farafra Oasis, and down through Dahkla and Kharga Oases to Aswan, where a train is available to Cairo.

Longer safaris to the Great Sand Sea, Gilf Kebir, Sugar Loaf, the Lion Yardangs, the Ammonite Fault and areas further south and west towards Libya and Sudan can be organised according to the current security situation and advice. These are long trips, with all water, petrol and food carried for the group. Washing facilities are non-existant and the trips are for the adventurous. Please contact me for advice on these trips.