Jun 09 17
Egypt has always been at the top of my list for an activity holiday, so I recently booked a trip which offered something a little different to other Egypt tours. To be honest I am fascinated by the amazing archaeological finds and history of this country, but I also love an adventure; this particular tour of Egypt would enable me to climb sand dunes, scale mountains, and experience the traditional camel treks and the Bedouin way of life which the remotest parts the Western Desert have to offer.
The sites of Cairo
I was travelling alone, but a holiday to Egypt is one of those trips where you meet other solo travellers, and I quickly met some Canadian girls travelling on the same trip. Our tour guide, Embah was very friendly and informative and on arrival he explained to us exactly what to expect from our Egyptian tour. Cairo is Africa’s largest city housing 18 million people, and immediately struck me as being alive and friendly. We woke early the following morning and had fascinating insight into the ancient history of Tutankhamen at the Egyptian Museum; this was followed by a trip out to Giza where we viewed the incredible and rather superior Sphinx along with the stunning 4000 year old Pyramids. Few sights are quite as awe inspiring.
Bahariya and the Black Desert
The next part of the trip has been etched into my memory as we headed out of Cairo for the Oasis town of Bahariya in the Western Desert. The 5 hour drive through the stark wilderness seemed almost eerie in its incredible contrast to the noisy city we had left behind. The camp was basic and rustic but we were comfortable, however I wish that I had brought a few more layers of clothing; it gets fairly chilly in the desert even during the spring. The town of Bahariya was thriving and cultivates delicious olives and dates as well as rearing turkeys. We enjoyed time chatting to some of the families and offering sweets, pens and notepads to their friendly children.
Our group then headed out by jeep to the surrounding Black Desert and the striking sand dunes. We had fun climbing up the dunes and the views from the top were incredible. Here we also visited the spring of Bir al Ghabar and the Pyramid Mountain; this famous mountain is a relief form 200ft from the light brown desert ground and is made up of black rock and lots of black dust! The landscape was extraordinary; a remote lunar world which felt like you had entered an unknown universe; the views from the top are not to be missed.
Dakhla, the White Desert and Camel trekking
The White Desert the following day was just as spectacular as the wind had swept the sand into hundreds of peculiar outcrops; quite an extraordinary sight. And from here we headed to the vibrant town of Dakhla where we got ready for the camel safari. I think this part of the trip was probably the most memorable as we were getting to grips with the Desert life and real Bedouin culture. We were riding like the desert dwellers; we sat around a campfire and enjoyed the traditional music under the moon and stars. It was very special; it was stimulating and at times very funny.
The itinerary did not stop here as we also had the opportunity for a donkey ride to the Valley of the Kings a couple days later from Luxor and a spot of diving in Hurghada to end what you can only call an “action packed” memorable break.
To find out about other trekking holidays visit the Adventure Company website.