White Desert & Bahareya

Day 1

Pick-Up will be early morning in Cairo, beginning with a 4×4 drive to the Oasis of Bahariya, 320 km south-west of Cairo,  googleearth_icon1 28°21’31N 28°52’05E. On the way, students will observe and get on top of sand dunes, and other parts of the desert, that used to be under the sea millions of years ago. There, they will be able to see the shells that still remain to this day. They will later arrive to Bahariya, where they will have lunch. After lunch, they will then continue driving to the White Desert (180 km). On the way is the Black Desert, googleearth_icon1 28º12’10N 28º44’19E, a place where mountains are in the shapes of volcanoes and therein lies a big quantity of little, black colored stones, believed to be the lava of the volcanoes. The ground has a brownish-orange color and contains black stones as well, along with black rocks with soft peek that were made blunt by the wind over the years. The black desert is not as black as some people may expect, but is a desert with a completely atypical look, as if one is not on earth but on another planet.

Students will then proceed onward along the desert with a short stop at Crystal Mountain. a huge formation of quartz crystals with a big hole, like an arch, inside of it. There, students will be able to find many crystals on the ground.

Once they arrive to the White Desert, known as Sahara el Beda, googleearth_icon1 27°20’39N 28°10’30E, students will prepare to camp overnight, watch the beautiful sunset, and prepare a BBQ dinner. After dinner, they will begin to learn about the different star groups by using a telescope to observe them with crystal clear vision. They will also learn how to use this knowledge to direct themselves in the desert or elsewhere. After this, students will then stay overnight in the camp.

Day 2

Breakfast will be in the Camp. Then students will tour the desert by 4×4. The White Desert, which was once a bottom of an ocean millions of years ago, has a white, cream color and contains massive chalk rock formations that were created as a result of occasional sandstorms in the area.

Students will drive among the desert’s strange, naturally shaped rocks, which have a very dramatic appearance. The desert is divided into an eastern part & a western part. Students will have a chance to discover both and see many, different interesting rock formations.  After sightseeing, it’s back to the camp for lunch.  In the afternoon, students will visit the farms and houses of the people of Farafra and will learn about their culture & life.

After sunset, students will help prepare a BBQ dinner. Afterwards, they will learn about the importance of water, in general, and for the desert in particular as well as how to preserve water. They will also learn the concept of a “protected zone” and how to take care of its unique environment.

Day 3

Breakfast will be in the camp. After packing, students will drive back to Cairo, with a quick stop in Bahariya where the “Valley of the Golden Mummies” lies, to see some samples in the “Hall of Golden Mummies” and learn more about Mummification. They will also have a short visit to the remains of Alexander the Great’s Temple. Afterwards, students will proceed back to Cairo, having a packed lunch on the way, and arrive around sunset.

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