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Activities in Western Deserts

Deir EL Hagar temple Dakhla Oasis Egypt

Deir El Hagar temple Egypt

Deir El Hagar temple Dakhla Oasis, Egypt information, tours, booking

Deir El Hagar temple is a sandstone temple which located on the western edge of Dakhla Oasis, Egypt. Moreover, Deir El Hagar temple is just 10 kilometers from Al Qasr. Furthermore, Deir El Hagar temple located in the desert to the south of the cultivation. In fact, Deir El Hagar temple known as “Place of Coming Home” or “Set-whe” in Ancient times. Furthermore, the temple buried in debris and sand for many centuries. In fact, it was by the huge dune which can still seen to the south. Recently, Deir El Hagar temple uncovered, restored and reconstructed during the 1990. It was by the Dakhla Oasis Project with the Supreme Council of Antiquities and is now open to visitors. Deir El Hagar temple represents one of the most complete Roman monuments in Dakhla Oasis.

The isolated site was a festival temple rather than a cult temple. The cult temple more usually found in the center of a community. In fact, Deir El Hagar temple dedicated to the Theban Triad and to Thoth. The construction of the temple began during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero 54-68 AC. In fact, the cartouche of Nero can seen in the sanctuary. Furthermore, the temple built to encourage farmers to settle in the area. It is along with irrigation works, villages and the mud-brick Roman farmsteads. In fact, they still seen in the area which surrounds the temple. Nero’s successor Vespasian 69-79 AC added decoration to the sanctuary. And then, Titus (79-81 AC) added the porch.

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Finally Domitian (81-96 AC) decorated some of the doorways and the monumental gateway. Moreover, other Roman rulers contributed to the decoration. In fact, it was with the latest inscription in the temple which dates back to the 3rd century AC. Deir El Hagar temple building measures 7.3 meter by 16.2 meter. Moreover, the temple has a well-preserved outer mud-brick enclosure wall. It is where some remains of painted plaster still seen. The main gateway located in the eastern side of the enclosure wall. Moreover, there is another gateway to the south, in the temenos wall of the sanctuary. In fact, the gateway depicts many Greek inscriptions and graffito. They written by early travelers who wanted to record their visits to this sacred place.

During the 19th century, travelers began to visit Deir El Hagar temple. In fact, many of the visitors left their names incised high on the columns and walls of the porch. Moreover, an sign of the level of sand fill at that time. On a column in the columned hall, are the incised names of the ill-fated expedition. In fact, the expedition led by Gerhardt Rohlfs in January 1874. This expedition traveled to the west of Dakhla into the Great Sand Sea. In fact, they did not expect the size and extent of the huge sand dunes. After three days, they had to turn back and take a another route to Siwa Oasis. In 1874 Remale also cleared sand from the sanctuary. In 1908 Winlock published the first extensive description of Deir El Hagar temple.

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Moreover, during the 1960s, Ahmed Fakhry excavated in front of the porch. There is a processional way which leads from the main gateway up to the temple entrance. In fact, it still has remains of round mud-brick columns. The remains were part of pillared halls and flank the entrance. Moreover, a few small sphinxes found in this area can now seen in the Kharga Heritage Museum. The entrance to the temple is through a screen wall into the wide pronaos or porch which has two columns. A doorway leads to a small hypo-style hall containing four columns. The doorway in turn opens into a hall of offerings before the central sanctuary. The sanctuary flanked by two side-chambers. Furthermore, to the south is the staircase which gave access to the roof.

To the north, there is a storage chamber. The sanctuary itself decorated with a magnificent astronomical ceiling. In fact, it dates back to the rule of Hadrian (117-138 AC). Moreover, it painted reliefs including an arching figure of the goddess Nut. The figure represents the sky and the god Geb who symbolizes the earth. In the center of the ceiling, the god Osiris represented by the constellation of Orion. The other astronomical features represented by various deities. In fact, their task was to maintain the universe. Also depicted on the ceiling is a representation in the form of a sphinx, of the god Tutu. The fallen zodiac ceiling from the sanctuary re- assembled. In fact, it was for viewing outside the temple building. Such a scene is unique in temple sanctuary decoration.

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The west wall at the rear of the sanctuary gives prominence to the primary gods of the temple. In fact, the gods are Amun-Re and Mut. The south wall portrays the Theban Triad of Amun-Re, Mut and Khons. Moreover, it also portrays Seth, Nephthys, Re-Horakhty, Osiris and Isis, and Min-Re. The northern wall includes the Theban Triad. In fact, it is alongside the Heliopolitan creator gods, Geb, Nut, Shu and Tefnut. Here also is an important representation of the Dakhla god Amun-Nakht. Furthermore, there is an inscription from the sanctuary. In fact, the inscription denotes his earliest known visit to the oasis.

This desert god, shown at Deir El Hagar temple with his consort Hathor. Thoth is another deity which well represented in the oases. In fact, Thoth also seen with his local consort Nehmetaway. Remains of other still partly-buried structures surround Deir El Hagar temple. Moreover, there is a block field to the west of the enclosure. In the immediate vicinity, there is much evidence of agriculture in Roman times. In fact, it included pigeon-houses. To the north-west of Deir El Hagar temple is a Roman Period cemetery. In fact, it is where crude human-headed terracotta coffins uncovered.

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Al Qasr Dakhla Oasis Egypt

Al Qasr Egypt

Al Qasr Dakhla Oasis Egypt information, tours, prices, booking

Al Qasr or El Qasr or Qasr Dakhla is an Islamic town which situated to the north-west of Mut. In fact, Al Qasr is one of the fortified Medieval Islamic towns which seen in the oases. Moreover, Al Qasr is the oldest inhabited and the best preserved settlement of its type in Dakhla. Furthermore, Al Qasr rests on the Sioh Ridge. In fact, Sioh Ridge nestled beneath the pink limestone escarpment. The escarpment marks the northern limit of the oasis. In fact, Al Qasr means in English “The Fortress”. This Islamic town founded around the end of the 12th century AC. In fact, it was by the Ayyubids over the remains of an earlier Roman Period settlement.

During this time, the fortified town was the capital of the oasis. Moreover, it constructed in a defensive position. In fact, it was against marauding invaders from the south and west. Furthermore, the Islamic town streets divided into quarters. The quarters closed off at night by barred gates. In fact, it was like the Medieval town of Mut. The narrow covered streets changed little since Medieval times. Moreover, a three-story mud brick minaret rises 21 m above the mosque of Nasr El Din. In fact, the minaret also erected during the Ayyubid Period and is one of the landmarks of the town. Moreover, the minaret is the only part which remains of the original mosque. In fact, the rest of the building destroyed and rebuilt in the 19th century. The present mosque contains the mausoleum of Sheikh Nasr El Din.

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Wooden lintels over the entrances bear inscriptions from the Quran. Moreover, there is a Madrasa (School) which attached to the mosque. In this school , they teach the scriptures to the young boys. In fact, it now renovated and still used as a school and a public meeting place. The School and the restored house of Abu Nafir are open to visitors. In fact, Abu Nafir house is tall typical of the Medieval Islamic period. Moreover, the house features heavy carved wooden door. Furthermore, the house built over remains of a Ptolemaic Period temple. In fact, the house and its door jambs depict hieroglyphs, presumably from re-used blocks. Al Qasr town features cool dark twisting alleyways as a respite from the scorching heat of the sun. In fact, these alleyways offer views of many carved beams and lintels.

The carved beams and lintels decorate the entrances to houses. The Islamic town features an old inscription which dates back to 1518 AC. In fact, this inscription located on the Beit Ibrahim. Recently discovered kilns from a pottery factory. A corn-mill shows that the Islamic town had a thriving community since antiquity. The town still has around 700 inhabitants. Many of them follow the traditions of craftsmen from a time gone by. Today the town renowned for its traditional earthenware pots and palm-leaf basketry. Yet, villagers who move out of the old town no longer allowed to return. In fact, no new building allowed there. The Ministry of Antiquities hopes to turn their deserted houses into a tourism feature.

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Archaeological study and restoration took place in Al Qasr for the past few years. In fact, it was under the auspices of Dakhla Oasis Project. The Islamic Al Qasr Project directed by Professor Fred Leemhuis who was from Groningen University. In February 2006 Professor Leemhuis found proof of his theory. In fact, the theory is that a Roman fortress existed beneath the present medieval town. It was when a chance trick of the light showed up courses of Roman-sized mud bricks unseen. Archaeologists have documentation from Kellis of an unknown place named as Takastra in Greek. They can now surmise that Takastra may in fact be the Roman camp over which Al Qasr built.

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Lake Marun Bahariya Oasis Egypt

Lake Marun Egypt

Lake Marun Bahariya Oasis, Egypt information, tours, booking

The Lake Marun located in Bahariya oasis in the Western Desert, Egypt. In fact,  the Lake Marun is one of many salt lakes which scattered all over the Western Desert of Egypt. Moreover, the lake used as a hot spring which can recover many diseases such as Rheumatoid. In fact, Bahariya oasis located about 375 kilometer southwest Cairo. It is about four to five hours driving from the capital of Egypt. Nearby to the lake is Gebel Al Dist or the mountain of Al Dist. Going to this mountain will let you get the most fascinating photos of the lake as it overlooks on it.

Moreover, Lake Marun known as an important stopover for migratory birds. Furthermore, the lake is also a perfect spot for stunning sunset photos. So many hotels nearby in the major cites of Western Desert can arrange over day tour to the lake. We as Egypt travel Link also can organize this tour for you. In fact, the area of the lake not inhabited. That is why a guide to accompany you highly recommended. Moreover, the lake is near to the Black Desert and The White Desert as well. So, it indeed is a good starting point for many adventures tour programs. Moreover, a relaxation on the lake considered a good idea.

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Crystal Mountain Bahariya Oasis Egypt

Crystal Mountain Egypt

Crystal Mountain in Bahariya oasis, Egypt information, tours, booking

The Crystal Mountain located 160 Kilometer from Bahariya oasis in Western Desert, Egypt. In fact, the Crystal mountain is an huge hunk which made up of sparkling quartz crystal. The mountain is a ridge which includes a unique structure. Moreover, it made of calcite crystal which combines altogether. In fact, it creates a striking ridge standing up out of the desert. The Crystal Mountain is an ancient Paleo which pushed to the surface of the earth. In fact, the crystals themselves are quartz. Moreover, the mountain located 90 kilometer from Farafra Oasis.

Furthermore, it sands on the edge of the White Desert. The black iron and basalt pebbles give way to the sand-blown chalk formations. In fact, they loom on either side of the road. The crystal mountain is a small natural arch in the rock . It glitters calcite crystal walls making it a perfect place to pose for photos. The geologists call it an exhumed cave which has stalagmites and stalactites. In fact, they thrust upwards by earth movement. With time, it lost its roof to erosion and has almost weathered away. The calcite crystal developed in Paleo caves of Khoman chalk. Moreover, the crystals have almost an oblong or square-like shape. If they were green, these groupings would look much like Krypton of Superman fame. Yet, these crystals are clear or cloudy white.

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Be sure to see the natural crystal arch which formed in the ridge. It is high enough that you can stand under it. Watch the crystal formations which spring up in the desert all around the mountain. Crystal Mountain only reachable through specialty tour. In fact, most of hotels in the larger cities nearby can arrange a tour for you. Of course we also can do it for you. Please, don’t break off the crystals on the mountain. In fact, these crystals take many years to form and breaking them will ruin a piece of history. Moreover, don’t not pick up the pieces of crystal which scatter the landscape. In fact, if every tourist took away a part of the mountain, there will be soon no mountain which left to see.

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English Mountain Bahariya Oasis Egypt

English Mountain Egypt

The English Mountain Bahariya Oasis, Egypt information,tours, booking

The English Mountain located in Bharaiya Oasis in Western Desert, Egypt. The mountain also called Gebel Al Ingleez which is the Arabic translation of the English name. In fact, the English Mountain located near to El Bawiti city. The mountain named this because it used by the English Soldiers during the World War I in 1916. In fact, the English Mountain was the residence of the soldier during this period. Moreover, the mountain still has some remnants of their buildings. Furthermore, on the top of the mountain are the ruins of soldiers cabins. It was under the command of Captain Williams.

Williams chose this spot to be as fortress for soldiers against Libyan Troops. Moreover, who tried to conquer the Oasis at that Time. The mountain indeed is one of the amazing places to visit in the Western Desert. Moreover, it is a good point to explore the White Desert and the Black Desert as well. Furthermore, the mountain located in an attractive region. The region is one of the most popular regions for adventure tours. In fact, it features diverse landscapes and unique rock formation.

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Gebel El Dist Bahariya Oasis Egypt

Gebel El Dist Egypt

Gebel El Dist Bahariya Oasis, Egypt information, tours, booking

Gebel El Dist or El Dist Mountain located in Bahariya Oasis in Western Desert, Egypt. In fact, Gebel El Dist is has an impressive pyramid shape. The mountain has symmetrical sides and pointed peak. That is why it called the Pyramid Mountain. The mountain is visible from most of the oasis. Moreover, the mountain is 100 meter away from Gebel Maghrafa and 17 kilometer away from the town. Furthermore, the mountain features a local landmark and famous for its fossils. In fact, dinosaur bones found here in the early 20th century. It disproved the previous theory which says that dinosaurs only lived in North America.

Moreover, some remains of a giant specimen of paralititan stromeri found in the mountain. In fact, it was by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. The discovery of this huge herbivore stood on the edge of a tidal channel when it died. In fact, it was 94 million years ago. Moreover, it makes likely that Bahariya oasis was once a swamp like to the Florida Everglades in the US. Gebel El Dist mountain indeed is a challenging 1-hour climb to the top. If you did it, you will have impressive views of the oasis, desert and thousands of palm trees.

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The Black Desert Bahariya Oasis Egypt

Black Desert Egypt

Black Desert Bahariya Oasis, Egypt information, tours, booking

The Black Desert located in Bahariya Oasis in the Western Desert, Egypt. In fact, the Black Desert is just four to five hours driving from Cairo. Moreover, the desert situated near the the White Desert. In fact, the desert is in stark contrast which has volcanic shaped mountains. The mountains resemble a scene from a Star Wars movie. Furthermore, the mountains and floors scattered with small volcanic black stones. Moreover, they lie on the orange and brown colored sands.

The desert offers a great chance for people to climb the soft peaks with lovely views. They also can take some picturesque photographs. The desert is a “passing through” point because it has no facilities around. In fact, the desert totally uninhabited. The landscape of the desert is of secluded plains with the dunes. In fact, the desert comprises different sizes of formations. The desert mountains are more like volcanic cones rising out of the desert. Moreover, the desert extends from South Bawiti to 70 kilometers in the direction of Farafra.

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The black hills and rocks stand as a compelling evidence of volcanic activity. That is why the region called by its current name. In fact, the black desert name refers to the vast expanses of quartzite and Aldoloret. Moreover, the desert also has iron and other igneous rocks. In fact, they thrown with lava when those small volcanoes rebel. The Egyptian government announced the region of the Black Desert as nature reserve in 2001.

In fact, it was because of its richness and biological diversity. The desert indeed is a scientific international research area. The second largest structure of a dinosaur in the world discovered in its mountain. In fact, it was near the mountains on the borders of the desert. Furthermore, there are some remains of fossilized bushes. In fact, they indicate that the Egyptian desert was a home to many animals even dinosaurs.

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White Desert Farafra Oasis Egypt

White Desert Farafra Oasis Egypt

White Desert Farafra Oasis, Egypt information, tours, booking

The White Desert located to the north east of Qasr Al Farafra in the Western desert, Egypt. In fact, the White Desert is famous for its spectacular scenery. There, the chalk white landscape strewn with alien shapes. Moreover, boulders of brilliant white thrust up from the surface of the desert. Furthermore, they intensify by the clear light of noon and shine like the gold at sunset. They also blacken and shrink in a cloud filled sky. The White Desert comprises many of the formations which given descriptive names. The formations sculpted by the harsh desert winds into weird shapes. In fact, these shapes change over time. The shapes include monoliths, mushrooms, ice cream cones and tents. They also include crickets, as well as the majestic conical flat topped inselbergs .

The White Desert was a sea-bed and the sedimentary layers of rock formed by marine fauna. In fact, it was when the ocean dried up in the remote past. Later, the White Desert had savanna with lush green areas and lakes full of fish. In fact, it was ideal hunting ground for pre-historic man. And that is why it was a habitat for many roaming herds of elephant, giraffe, gazelle and other animals. Today, the landscape of White Desert formed by the plateau which broke down. The plateau left harder rock shapes standing while the softer parts eroded away by wind and sand. In some parts the chalk surface still has the appearance of delicate wind ruffled waves on water.

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The White Desert became a natural wonder of Egypt. Moreover, it became a protectorate which known as the White Desert Park. The desert has designated routes which must followed when driving in 4WD vehicles. The outer parts nearest the road known as the Old Desert and can reached in a normal vehicle. If you would like to visit the White Desert, then you must choose an overnight camping Safaris. You will witness the drama of both Sunset and dawn. The new tracks laid out to guide vehicles through the most famous desert landmarks. In fact, the first field is a giant of mushrooms which followed by an ancient lone Acacia tree.

The White Desert has another famous area which known as “The White House”. In fact, it is an enclosure of rocks which surrounded by gleaming white chalk fields. Nearby, there is a narrow entrance to a deep cave which penetrates the rock. Beyond this in the “New Desert”, the landscape becomes even whiter. In fact, the New Desert only accessible by 4 WD or camel. The boulders which crowd together, are higher and larger. Moreover, the weird shapes appear everywhere. In fact, they might remind you of a chicken or a hawk. They also may remind you of a troupe of dancers or an old men who wear a hat. The shapes change constantly as the light changes and you move around them. Once the sun begins to set, they turn a softly glowing pink.

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A night under the stars in the White Desert indeed is an unforgettable experience. As the sky turns pink, then the deepest fiery orange of the rock shapes fade. Moreover, the silence will be all around. Sit around a small fire and enjoy a meal of chicken, rice and vegetables. You will really feel like nothing has ever tasted so good. If the moon is near full, the white chalk rock shapes glow. It is like ghosts in the darkness under a sky which still filled with bright stars. In fact, there will be no need for artificial lights. The silence is immense and there is a feeling of unreality as though walking on the surface of Mars.

You roll out a sleeping bag on the soft sand and crawl inside. Lie side by side with your companions. Do like a row of mummies gazing at the brilliant stars tracking their path across the skies. A desert fox may drop by to clear up scraps of food. He will vanish again into the darkness an leave only paw prints as evidence.

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Shaw's Cave Gilf El Kebir Egypt

Shaw’s Cave Gilf El Kebir

Shaw’s Cave Gilf El Kebir information, tours, prices, booking

Shaw’s Cave located in the Gilf El Kebir in the Western Desert, Egypt. In fact, Shaw’s Cave also known as Magharet el Kantara. Moreover, Shaw’s Cave is easy to reach from Dakhla Oasis. Furthermore, Shaw is the much broken southern part of the Gilf El Kebir plateau. In fact, it discovered during the 1935 expedition which led by W.B.K. The expedition also discovered two broad Valleys, the Wadi Wassa and the Wadi Firaq. These wadis later used as a short cut during World War II. Rupert Harding Newman was a member of this expedition. He discovered a series of rock paintings in a small rock overhang. In fact, they are on the col separating the two wadis, almost on level with the top of the plateau.

The overhang in Shaw’s Cave forms a low shelter. Moreover, the paintings in Shaw’s Cave depicts cattle and a homestead scene. In fact, they located about 40-50 cm above the ground. Furthermore, they are in an almost continuous line along the rear of the shelter. The discovery published by Shaw in Antiquity in June 1936. It was under the name of “Rock Paintings in the Libyan Desert”. Moreover, Shaw published one photo and a few drawings. In fact, the complete site published by Giancarlo Negro and Yves Gauthier in Sahara 9 in 1997. Till this day, this is the only rock art site in the South-eastern of the Gilf El Kebir in Egypt.

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Gilf El Kebir National Park Egypt

Gilf El Kebir National Park

Gilf El Kebir National Park information, tours, prices, booking

Gilf El Kebir National Park is about 7770 square kilometer. The park located in the southeast corner of Western Desert, Egypt. In fact, the park is a sandstone plateau in New Valley Governor-ate. Gilf El Kebir National Park features rocky surface slopes which covered by sand. It is because the Great San Sea to the north encroaches on the plateau. Moreover, the area is arid and supports wild sheep which known as the Weedan. Furthermore, the National Park also comprises small birds such as the ubiquitous White-crowned Black Wheat-ear.

The area also features ancient rock art attests to a radically different environment in prehistoric times. In fact, it depicts many pictures of several types of big cattle. Gilf El Kebir National Park lies in the heart of the eastern part of the vast Sahara Desert. That is why it gets some of the most extreme climates on Earth. Moreover, it is the driest places on the planet. Furthermore, the area is totally rain-less. In fact, the annual average rainfall amount hardly reaches 0.1 mm. Additionally, the geological aridity index/dryness ratio is over 200.

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The solar energy received at the ground evaporate 200 times the amount of precipitation received. In fact, rainfall may fall every twenty years in the National Park. The Name of the area given to the plateau by Prince Kamal El Dine Hussein in 1925. Actually, it hand no local name. Moreover, Gilf El Kebir National Park is famous for its rugged beauty, remoteness and geological interest. It also famous for its dramatic cliff paintings-pictographs and rock carvings-petroglyphs. In fact, they an earlier era of abundant animal life and human habitation.

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