Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bahariya Oasis

We had the most wonderful time in Bahariyya oasis at the end of last winter (end April). Given the weather then and its similarity to the weather now, I think this would be an ideal time for a visit in case anyone is interested.

Special thanks to Sahara Safarist Kareem Hashem who helped with so much information & recommended Ahmed Safari Camp.
Ahmed Safari Camp Cabins
This camp was the first operational lodging facility in Bahariya. Rooms are clean, but the sand does manage to get in. Basic facilities. We took the cabins on the side. 2 rooms adjacent to each other. Twin beds, mosquito nets, domed roofs, attached baths, air conditioning. But they are simple. Not the cleanest in the world, but tidy. Because of the high salt content in the air, the water, the land the oasis, there are salt deposits in the bathroom. If you like pristine surroundings, then the Minamar hotel may be a better bet for you. For us, this was an awesome experience. It felt more natural and comfortable and the people - owner / staff are awesome!
Minamar Hotel across the Oasis
We just loved the place. The desert was absolutely marvelous. It was the first time we were doing something like this. In India, even the deserts are populated, you keep running into groups of banjaras (bedouins) in the desert & the desert is all about sand & sand dunes. Never before have we encountered something as wonderful & unique as the black desert / crystal mountain / desert rose or the mind boggling white desert.
White Desert
There were so many wonderful moments that it is impossible to say which was our favourite. The complete lack of tourists (after the Cairo/Luxor/Aswan circuit) made the trip all the more special. We could actually "hear" the desert.

Crowning glory : we slept under the stars & watched the meteor showers that were happenning at that time.
Black Desert
Crystal Mountain
If anyone is staying at Ahmed Safari camp - do ask for Talaat as your guide in the desert. He is absolutely wonderful. (He speaks basic English and fluent Arabic) He even had extra supplies that some of the other neighbouring campers came to borrow from him.

The most touching moment for us was when Ahmed invited us to his house for a home cooked meal. Ahmed's email address is ahmed_safari[@]hotmail[.]com and his mobile is 010 501 4595 in case anyone would like to contact him.

Ramadan Kareem to everyone.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails