Great Desert Loop (oazy Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla i Kharga).
This is one of the greatest tourist routes in Egypt, available only recently. The first trips to the desert were possible in the 1980s. The trek begins with Asyut, Cairo or Luxor, and then desert trails lead through four oases: Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla i Kharga (Baharija, Farafra, Dachla i Charga).
Increasingly, Egyptian and foreign travel agencies offer the possibility of organizing a desert safari. There are different options: old style safari, where he drives off-road cars, he sleeps in tents and has no contact with the 21st century, except GPSs, video cameras and digital cameras. Another option is two or three days in the desert and rest in a hotel in one of the oases.
The smallest of the Four Oasis, Northern Oasis – Oaza Bahariya (dim. baharija) the Oasis of Bahnasa is also known (Wahet el-Bahnasa). In ancient times it was called the Little Oasis (Oasis Parva). It lies depressed in length 100 km i ok. 40 km wide, the ends of which are marked by high slopes of black rocks. In length 18 km, and the width 9, and he lives here 6 thousand. people, living by growing and selling dates, olives, citrus and onions; and poultry farming (turkeys). The size of the cultivated land is related to the amount of water, therefore additional drilling is planned.
Under the pharaohs, Bahariya was an important agricultural and wine-producing center, it also supplied basic mineral resources. Currently, excavations are underway in many places. Finding in 1996 r. The Valley of the Golden Mummies (Greek-Romanian district) testifies to the richness of the oasis. The valley is inaccessible to tourists due to archaeological works. The local branch of the Department of Antiquities exhibited four mummies from the famous valley in its building in Bawiti. Three of them are in gilded linen carton, and they wear plaster masks on their faces (two gold-plated). The whole family is here: parents with a boy and a girl. The woman's head turned towards her husband, what was supposed to mean, that the spouses were close to each other. Breast plates were placed on the mummies of adult women, on which the breasts were modeled during the Greco-Roman period. To the south of Bawiti, tourists come then, when they go to the White Desert. Some of them deviate from the road and watch the Black Desert (Sahara Suda). The desert area is covered with basalts and rocks containing black quartzite and iron. Hence the surrounding landscape is black and very dark. The dominant color of the desert comes from the former volcanic activity, whose lava has solidified on the sand accumulates. There are two signal masts here, from where many groups start to the White Desert and Agabat.
Halfway between the oasis of Dakhla and the oasis of Bahariya lies in a fertile depression the triangular oasis of Farafra, strewn with the sands of the Great Sands Sea. From 1958 r. is part of Wadi el-Gedid – Of the "New Valley”. Those coming from the Bahariya oasis usually stop at the Crystal Mountain (Gebel el-lzaz), ok. 25 km before the escarpment by a modern road, going down to Naqb as-Sillum. The small top is mostly a quartz crystal, and from its top there is a wonderful view of the surrounding area. At the center of the quartz ridge is a natural human-sized arch, called by the locals Hagar el-Machrum (Skata with a Hole), many crushed crystals lie around it. From here, all-terrain vehicles go past the characteristic Twin Peaks on the trail to Agabat. This is the Arabic name given to rocks that resemble a sugar head, surrounded by crumbled chalk and sand, in which cars often get stuck. The torn terrain turns into the famous White Desert stretching on both sides of the road (Sahra el-Bayda). The chalk has eroded into monolithic sculptures – sails – with unusual camel-like forms, lamparty, And you, ostrich, hawks. Imagination itself suggests names and associations, and the forms lit by the midday sun shimmer with gold, and at dusk with a pink fading to purple. In the moonlight, they look like frozen icebergs. At dawn, you can see herds of gazelles. It's such a popular place, that during Christmas and Easter it is difficult to find a place for a camp.
Oaza Dakhla (Inner Oasis, El-Dakhla, dim. dachla) lies approx. 750 km southwest of Cairo in the Depressed Western Desert 122 m below sea level. Its lush green palm groves and gardens contrast with the ocher and pink rocks of the surrounding desert. Dakhla – except for Fayoum – is the largest and most populous oasis in Egypt, where he lives passed 200 thousand. people. It has great water resources, and over 520 natural springs, ponds and ponds. Like other great oases of the Western Desert, it is included in the irrigation plans for its area (New Valley). The local inhabitants grow dates for export, citrus, mango, peaches and apricots, vegetables. They also breed livestock, especially poultry. There are phosphate mines in the vicinity of the oasis.
Mut, main oasis town, it is a bit neglected and awaiting future changes. For now, it's a tangle of medieval streets, above which the ruins of a medieval citadel rise, from where is the best view of the whole city. South of Midan Gama you can see the ruins of the ancient city of Mut el-Kharab (Mut Ruined, dim. mut elcharab), discovered by Europeans in 1894 r. and dated to the reign of Shoshenko I., III and IV (XXII dynastia). The ruins of the temple indicate the cult of Set and Mut during the decline of the power of the pharaohs. It was an important center of Mut worship not only in the Western Desert. The Temple of Set is in poor condition, and the decorated blocks have Thotmes III cartridges, Horemheba, Psusennesa I, Psametik and the Ptolemaic rulers.