The gateway to the White Desert
Baharia is a large oasis about 300 kilomtres (and 4-5 hours) from Cairo. It's famous not for its traditional architecure (very little interesting) but for being the gateway to the amazing white desert. The main town is Bawiti, and there's also a handful of equally unassuming small villages all around. The lack of architetural interest is not a problem... local people make up for it with their welcoming and friendly attitude. We found no rudeness, no people begging for baksheesh... our stay was refreshing... in terms of people, it positively did not feel like Egypt - maybe it isn't. This is bedouins' land, after all.
Beautifull dresses and jewellary
When we visited the family of the driver of the jeep, everybody was well-dressed because of a wedding in the village.
Especially grandmother was wearing a beautifull dress and a golden traditional nose ring.
Glass of tea
In Egypt the people are very hospitable.
As sign of their hospitality they offer you a glass of tea.
In Bawiti the driver of the jeep invited us to the house of his family to drink a glass of tea.
We enjoyed it a lot to meet his nice family.
Visit to the White Desert
In Bawiti you can arrange a trip for one or more days/nights to the White Desert, 150 KM to the south on the way to Farafra.
The white desert is amazing with the white lime-stone ''mushrooms'' , created by wind and sand erosion.
The best experience is to stay overnight and see this surrealistic landscape in moonlight or by sunset/sunrise.
For more information see my Farafra page.
the black desert
Not very far from Bawiti, but offroad nevertheless, there's an area called "the black desert". The black desert is a hilly area of gold soft sand littered with hard black stones of volcanic origin.
It's a great area to go for little walks, but not the best for a drive: the stones are ver hard and sharp, and within minutes one of our tyres bursted. As soon as we returned on the main road we had to change it. It was not exactly a great start (but for the record it was the onyl flat tyre we got).