Monday, May 12, 2008

Siwa Oasis - Part 1 : Transportation

This is the first in a beautiful series of articles written by my friend Gabi Philips who has spent an extended period of time in Siwa.

How to Get there

Siwa is 306 kms from Marsa Matrouh to the Southwest. It is about 800 kms from Cairo, 600 kms from Alexandria.

It is connected by bus only to Marsa Matrouh and Alexandria, the bus leaves to Alexandria only once a day (as far as I remember about 10 pm from Siwa). From and to Marsa Matrouh the bus leaves 4 times a day at 7 & 10 am and 1 & 4 pm, the bus from and to Marsa Matrouh costs 12 LE, if you missed the bus there are microbuses all the day to and from Marsa Maatrouh (for 13 LE)

If you're going by car then I guess it is an easy way :)

Last time I was coming back from Siwa I was with someone who used to pass the way from Marouh to Siwa in the 70s, he was talking about how the gazelles / Ibex used to jump around.

Personally, I took the bus from Cairo to Marsa Matrouh at 12 midnight (50 LE) reached Matrouh about 6 am, couldn't wait for 7 am, so I took a microbus, arrived at Siwa 10:30 am (still had the full day to enjoy).

I got a crazy idea that a visit to Siwa could be on a weekend, leaving Thursday night, arriving at Siwa Friday morning, leaving Siwa to Marsa Matrouh Saturday night (about 8 pm) so as to reach Cairo early enough on Sunday :) maybe I'll try it one day.

Internal transportation:
1- Hire a bicycle: it is for 2 LE/hour or 10 LE/day. You can hire one and do most of the visits in one day.

2- Donkey cart: written on it Siwa taxi, you can use it for short distance, long distance and even make a deal for the complete tour.

3- Hire a truck: for the long distances like the temples in the West, the water springs in the East and West. Price depends on both distance and time. The prices I got are 50-70 LE to Abo-Shrouf depending on time. 20 LE to the nearby hot spring in the East. 35 LE to Taghaghein island. 40LE to the temples at Maraki. Those prices are for one hour and increases by 20LE in case of more time (he didn't tell me for each extra hour).
You can find such trucks downtown, I have one phone number 0129750865 his name is Soliman.


Pictures and more descriptions can be viewed here

I have an earlier article on traveling from Cairo to Siwa that you can read here.


Eva Reinbacher said...

Just a small note on transportation from Cairo to Siwa and back: There is in fact a direct bus connection with Middle West Delta Travel.
If I remember well the schedule, there is one bus per week from Cairo to Siwa and one going back directly.

We took the bus on a Sunday night at 9 p.m., leaving from Abd el Moneim Riyad Sq. in front of the Middle West Delta office and arrived in Siwa early in the morning (about 5.30 a.m.). The ticket was 60 L.E.
The bus taking you back directly leaves on Friday or Saturday - please verify.

Location of the Middle West Delta office at Abd el Moneim Riyad Sq.: It's a very small office on the side of the Ramsis Hilton hotel, heading away from the Nile in the direction of Sh. Ramsis. People around there will surely be able to direct you.


Kim said...

Thanks for the info, Eva.

Its very helpful

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