Al Farafra Oasis, Egypt Information, tours, prices, booking
Al Farafra Oasis is a small town which located in Western Desert in Egypt. In fact, Al Farafra Oasis is about 627 kilometer from Cairo. Moreover, it is 174 kilometers from Bahariya Oasis. The oasis has a special importance for tourists and the tour operators as well. In fact, Al Farafra Oasis is the starting point for many tour programs in the Western desert. The tours include the White desert, the Black desert and the Crystal mountains.
Al Farafra Oasis history:
In fact, Al Farafra oasis passed through three main phases in prehistoric times. It was when the oasis had a set of heavy rains. In that time, the oasis attracted many inhabitants to live there. Moreover, Al Farafra oasis was the connection between the Libyan Desert and the Egyptian desert. In fact, there were many trading routes between the Western Desert and the Nile Valley. That is why the oasis was one of the most important transit points for the caravans. Al Farafra called "Ana Akhet", or the land of the cow as a symbol of fertility. It was in reference to the ancient god Hathour. Moreover, it well described as the city of conquest or invasion because of its remoteness.
Furthermore, Ramses II used to import the stones from Al Farafra Oasis. In fact, it was to construct his temples in Luxor. Yet, no mining locations discovered in the oasis. The oasis comprises some monuments which left by the Romans. In fact, they are Qaser Al Farafra, Qaser Abu Monqar and some other rock-cut tombs. There are also the ruins of a Roman Temple. In the Coptic time, Egyptian Copts used to escape from the persecution of the Romans. In fact, they went to Al Farafra Oasis and the other oasis as well. The Copts left some ruins in the oasis which proves that they had a kind of civilization there.
Further details about Al Farafra oasis history:
After the Arab conquest of Egypt, the trade of dates and olives flourished. In fact, it was between Al Farafra oasis and the Nile Valley. Camel caravans used to carry the goods and products of the Al Farafra to Dierot in the Nile valley. The caravans go back to the oasis full of cloth, tea, and all the products of the Nile Valley.
Al Farafra Oasis today:
Today Al Farafra has a population of more than 20 thousand people. Yet, most of them originate from the Nile Valley and they came to the oasis to work as farmers. There is also an important agriculture project in Al Farafra. In fact, it covers more than 10 thousand Hectares near a well called Bir Qarawein. The capital and the most important town in Al Farafra Oasis is the city of Qaser Farafra. This is the most ancient part in the oasis. In the 19th century, Qaser Al Farafra was the only city which inhabited in the Western Desert. In fact, the population was about only 200 people in that time.
Many tourists choose Al Farafra Oasis today because of its quietness and warm weather. People from the United States and from Europe come to the Oasis to escape the cold weather in their homeland. They also visit Al Farafra to enjoy the wonders of the Western Desert.
First Time in Farafra Oasis
The oasis located 320 km northwest of Dakhla and 174 km south of Bahariya. In fact, the oasis the smallest and most remote of Egypt's Western Desert oases. Moreover, the oasis relies on the agriculture of dates, palms, sunflowers and guava. Female visitors to Farafra's hot springs should respect the local tradition. They should restrict their bathing to the afternoon.
- White Desert: At sunrise and sunset you can see the formations of the White Desert take on the colors of the sky. You don't have to miss this breathtaking vision of purples, oranges, and pinks. Day trip can organized from Al Farafra to the white desert.
- Qasr Al Farafra: It is the home to the ruins of an old Roman fortress. In fact, it built to protect this part of the desert caravan route.
- Wadi Hanas: Heading 55 km northeast from Al Farafra, you'll reach the "Hanas Valley". In fact, it is a fabulous natural spot which dotted with Roman springs. Moreover, it surrounded by the lush greenery of palm groves.
- Crystal Mountain: At a certain point in the desert the floor begins to change. So, you can see quartz crystals scattered like stars. The rock formations in this part of the desert are actually crystal formations. In fact, the largest of it, is the crystal mountain with its large hole in the middle.
- Foods: As in most Western Desert oases, eating options limited in the oasis, but available! The town's main restaurants and cafes located at Al-Qasr's main street. They serve traditional local dishes and snacks. In fact, they include kebabs, roasted chicken, ful, and Falafel (ta'ameya). Farafra's hotels offer their guests a wider and more diversified menu.
- Tourist information: There is no tourist office in the oasis. If you're looking for information it's better to contact the one in Dakhla Oasis.
- Keeing safe: While exploring the Western Desert, stay within reach by activating the roaming service in your mobile phone. You can buy an Egyptian phone line from any of the local telecoms operating companies.
- Money: Banks and ATM machines are available in Al Farafra Oasis.
Getting to Al Farafra Oasis
There are bus trips from El Torgoman station in Cairo to Al Farafra oasis. In fact, they organized by West Delta Bus Company. For more information, contact: West delta: +20 2 5582 2576, +20 2 1318 2414. El Torgoman station: +20 2 2576 558.