Egypt White Desert Tour Surreal Experience [REVIEW] — Is It Muslim Solo Travel-friendly?
Egypt is an unrivaled place when it comes to its natural wonders and historical heritage, which are the primary reasons why visitors come to visit.
It is full of so many things that tick off one’s bucket list: the Giza Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum (where most mummies are laid), the Red Sea Holiday experience, and so many sites that showcase the great civilization which influenced our world today.
However, often overlooked in the country’s vast, spectacular offerings but should be on every adventurous Muslim Solo Traveler’s Egypt bucket list is the White Desert National Park.
Read on to know all about this Muslim Solo Travel-tested Egypt White Desert Tour, and all the things you can expect if you choose to venture into it!
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The White Desert in Egypt
The White Desert (located in the White Desert National Park of Farafra’s northeast) is a spectacularly remote area covering about 300sq km west of Farafra, between Nile Delta Valley and the Libyan Border.
The desert here showcases a variety of mountain ranges and breathtaking desert landscapes you’ll never get to see in other parts of the world. In other words, the landscape here is surrounded by bizarre rock formations that look almost alien-like in the landscape.
To simply talk about it would not be enough to justify just how gorgeous The White Desert is. Hence, here are some photos that will showcase a fraction of the Egypt White Desert Tour (because only by being there can one truly know how magnificent is the country’s gem!)
The most famous site in Egypt’s Western Desert region is the White Desert of Farafra— an ancient seabed turned into the desert with white chalk formative natural monuments it is known today.
What city is the White Desert in Egypt?
The White Desert (also known as Sahara el Beyda) National Park is located 45km north of the town of Bawiti.
Disconnected from civilization: As you go into one of the most remote parts of the country, you will slowly lose any forms of connections with modern-day civilizations (cell coverage, internet). Be prepared!
The Bahariya Oasis
If you’re coming from Cairo, the journey begins with a private car/van transfer that lasts about 6 hours before a stopover in Bahariya Oasis, where you’ll meet your Egypt White Desert Tour Guide.
Bahariya Oasis is a huge area that covers about 2000km². It is one of several large depressions situated west of the Nile, deep enough to reach underground water. Hence, becoming a source of life to people around.
The area is surrounded by several lodges and homes of the traditional bedouin people.
Bahariya Oasis also showcases the remnants of ancient life of the Egyptian Bedouin people, who primarily reside in Bawiti.
Did you know? Bawiti is, by far, the largest settlement in Bahariya Oasis, with about 30,000 residents. Bawiti was where I stopped over for some Bedouin lunch hospitality before we continued our adventure to The White Desert.
This comes with Eish Baladi (Egyptian bread), Koftah, Sakshouka, and Gebna (cheese).
Depending on your tour of choice, Bahariya Oasis Tour (to the natural hot springs) may be included or can be arranged for your extension.
The Black Desert
The Black Desert is the first stopover (1 and a half-hour from Bawiti) upon the beginning of your Egypt White Desert Tour.
From a glimpse, the views here are so strange, where you’ll see mountains and hills covered with black-colored sand dunes.
Here, you can see Jebel Al-Marsous–the most famous mountain in this part of the desert.
You’ll get to listen to the guide sharing the history of volcanic eruptions of this very mountain and the region.
Crystal Mountain and The Agabat Valley
One of the highlights of the Egypt White Desert Tour is the Crystal Mountain and The Aqabat Valley. The view here looks so different compared to the previous stopover at the Black Desert.
To describe in one word: ethereal.
Here, sparkling and shimmering quartz crystals can be seen from Crystal Mountain.
You can squeeze yourself into a mini Crystal Cave and stand on top of a mountain made of pure crystal—talk about an experience!
Then, the expedition continues to The Aqabat Valley, where you’ll see giant boulders in the colors of white and gold. Seeing the complete view when the sun was about to set, as rays of twilight hit the rocky formation, makes the Valley look magical!
The stopover here usually comes with a fun desert activity – snowboarding!
As it is located in the White Desert National Park (a protected area), you can see natural wonders in their original form. It is common sense to leave what we take in the desert in the desert.
White Desert Rock Formations
The journey from Aqabat Valley to the White Desert takes about a 25-45 minutes drive.
Here, you’ll see a large vista featuring White Desert’s distinct feature: snow-white rock formation, naturally carved from centuries of sandstorms and erosions.
Here, you’ll get to see the abundance of various white rock formations. From shapes of mushroom, chicken, eggs, and even Sphinx-shaped!
White Desert Camping Egypt
If you’re planning to visit with the potential idea of Safari Night Camping in Egypt, then the White Desert should be your first choice!
Because truly, Overnight Camping in the White Desert is one of the best experiences ever!
Away from civilization and other vehicles (The White Desert is a vast area where tours are located far from one another), the tour guides here will set up camp with basic facilities such as a Classic tent with a Middle-Eastern pattern, some rugs, cushions, and a campfire.
After an excellent Egyptian dinner is a time for you to relax around the campfire. Seeing the Milky Way clearly is also possible as you lie down and look up amidst the vast cloudless night sky in the White Desert.
This is also time to share and exchange tales from the tour guide or group as you gather around the campfire. As simple as these activities are, these personalized experiences make the Tour priceless and one you’ll remember for a long time.
Note: The White Desert can be really cold. In the wintertime, temperatures can drop to 3C. So a proper jacket and multiple layers are necessary for a good night’s sleep.
The White Desert is also home to some of Sahara’s wild animals like The Sand Cat, Foxes, Dorcas Gazelle, and so much more.
Getting to The White Desert
Fetting to the White Desert requires one to ride a 4×4 Jeep with deflated tires.
There is no clear entrance road to the White Desert, but the entrance to this national park is just a few kilometers away from the main highway.
The occasional dune-bashing desert safari Egypt ride is expected as you enter the White Desert Compound. Regardless, an experience that will give heart-stopping moments coupled with beautiful White Desert views.
Caution: Those prone to some degree of car sickness should be prepared.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be serenaded by a Bedouin song from the tour guide! Either in the Safari Jeep ride or during the campfire at night!
White Desert Map
White Desert Tours from Cairo
I know what you’re thinking, is a Day Trip from Cairo to the White Desert possible?
Day trips are uncommon because you will have to go through long rides (about 5 hours from Cairo just to Bahariya).
So, if you’re thinking how many days tour is perfect for the Black and White Desert Tour in Egypt, the answer is an overnight tour, or 2D1N.
This will give you ample time to experience, appreciate and soak in what the area is all about in its natural form.
White Desert tour from Luxor
Few (if any) tours provide this service. However, the length and excursion will be extended as Luxor is further from Cairo by an additional 660km.
Otherwise, this tour is one that offers the White Desert as a final stop in a 4-day, 3-night adventure from Luxor to Cairo, where other pit stops include the Oasis of Kharga and the the Oasis of Dakhla. Regardless, do double-check and communicate with the tour operator earlier on your departure locations if you intend on being picked up from Luxor.
FAQs on White Desert Tour
Is It Practical To Visit The White Desert As a Muslim Solo Traveler?
While it is possible for the Muslim Solo Traveler to experience this fantastic tour on their own, Egypt White Desert Tour is not practical, cost-wise, for a solo traveler who’s on a budget.
However, I would recommend that you’d join a tour group with other travelers on board.
Some tour operators require a certain number of participants for the tour to carry on. But if you would like to go on your own, do know that you’ll be paying the amount for the entire trip.
Go with a certified guide for a stress-free experience on your White Desert Trip.
How Do I Pray in The White Desert?
Praying in the White Desert is not an issue, as Egypt is a country with 90% Muslim demographics. So most tour operators are ready with sajada (praying mat) and water for ablution.
Do ask your tour operator in advance.
Is it Safe to Travel to the White Desert?
Going to the White Desert with a tour guide is recommended, as you are unlikely to encounter any problems in the area. To get here, passing through checkpoints and getting questions from Tourism Police is common.
Travel permits are required to travel to Bahriya Oasis, so coming with a tour operator is ultimately non-negotiable.
Due to the instability in Libya, certain parts (usually west) of the highway near the White Desert are closed off by the military; hence it is safe to follow a tour operator because disregarding this warning can result in unwanted and dangerous consequences.
With a certified tour guide, you won’t be going through hassle as the security’s extra tight around Bahariya & roads leading near Libya (an unstable country).
Staying up to date with the current advisories and taking standard precautions are definitely encouraged.
What Should I Bring and Wear to White Desert Egypt?
- Long johns & heat tech shirts
- Hiking shoes
- Warm clothes (gloves, beanie, jacket, winter jacket, sweater, comfortable pants)
- Sleeping bag & warm throw blanket (if your tour guide does not provide one)
- Wet tissues, tissues, water.
- A power bank with battery that can withstand for 2 days.
- During winter, do layer up accordingly as it can get pretty cold. 5 layers, the least!
What is the Temperature in the White Desert?
The White Desert has an average temperature of 22°C.
It can be visited all year round.
The best time to visit The White Desert is in the winter months between November to February, when the weather is pleasant. January is its coldest month, where the temperature can drop until 3°C in the middle of the night.
In summer (March – October), the temperature ranges about 30°C, with July the hottest month.
Why is the White Desert Special?
As one of the Top Choices for National Parks, the White Desert is a special Egypt destination because of its combination of snow-white rocks crafted from centuries of erosion and creamy-golden remote Sahara desert.
Watch White Desert Travelog
Muslim Solo Travel Takeaway
As you can see, Egypt White Desert Tour is a treasure trove filled with natural wonders.
Surely will make your experience of a lifetime that should be on every Muslim Solo Traveler’s bucket list!
The experience is unlike anything else in this world!
While it is available to be visited all year-round, for extra precaution, double-check with your tour guide on the best time to visit The White Desert.
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