You have to go to the desert with
a simple soul, without worrying of a work to do: actually, you have nothing to do in the desert to simplify your
life, to rob it of all the concerns and activities. The desert is not
difficult, it is demanding, it is not complicated and therefore
it requires simplicity. Throws over all things fresh eyes,
the eyes of faith: the nature of your daily
work, the events, in a word, the whole fabric of your life
... That is to live in the moment ...
This is the secret of the desert ...
Do not expect anything other than the fullness of this. Rene Voillaume
The Libyan Desert stretches west of the Nile to the Libyan a distance of 800 km. With nearly 3 million square kilometers it covers two thirds of the country. This is the driest desert in the world. Sahara receives an average of 100 millimeters of rain per year, only five Libyan Desert.
The oases of the Libyan Desert:
Al-Bahariya oasis meaning the North is one of the five major oases of the Western Desert in Egypt (altitude 129 m to 365 km west of Cairo) and is surrounded by black hills made up of ferruginous quartzite and dolomite. Al-Bawiti is the largest village in the Bahariya oasis with about 30,000 inhabitants.
There are also the ruins of a temple built by Alexander the Great, at Qasr el-Méguisbeh, northeast of the oasis, where the conqueror passed through Bahariya on his return from the oracle of Zeus Ammon at Siwa .
Inhabited since the Paleolithic, this particular oasis produces wine, valued by the Egyptians from the Middle Kingdom.
Vestiges of the region:
- four ancient villages (including El and El Bawiti HRAQ)
- ruins of a temple of the XXV Dynasty
- Chapel of the pharaoh Apries (XXVI Dynasty)
- four chapels with the time of Amasis at Ain al-Muftillah,
- tombs of the Hellenistic period,
- remains of a small Roman triumphal arch.
Al-Farafra is the least
populated of the five major oases of the Western Desert in Egypt.
It is located in the Libyan desert north of the oasis of Ad-Dakhla and southwest of the oasis of Al-Bahariya.
Farafra has about 4000 inhabitants mainly distributed in one village, for the most part composed of
Bedouins and farmers.
But like other desert oases of the west, it is now used as a destination for many Egyptians from the Nile Delta overcrowded.
Two kinds of water sources are present warm waters such as tourism souffrées Bir Setta, and drinking water sources. To see:
- The castle of Farafra
- The Museum of Badr, local artist
- Goshna and Gifrin
- Bir Sitta
Al-Dakhla is one of
seven oasis in the Egyptian desert to 111 meters. It
is located 350 km from the Nile Valley, between the
oasis of Al-Farafra and Kharga and about 900 kms from Cairo. The oasis is about 80 km from east
to west and about 25 km from north to south.
The city has about 4,000 inhabitants, mostly Bedouin. This is a very picturesque city, symbol of the tradition of Egyptian oases.
The human history of this oasis began during the Pleistocene; nomadic tribes were installed, while the Sahara was wetter, allowing access to lakes and marshes. However, experts believe that hunter-gatherers began to settle almost permanently in the Dakhla Oasis during the period of the Holocene (there are about 12 000 years). But there are about 6000 years, the whole of the Sahara became drier, with a gradual move towards a hyper-arid (less than 50 mm of rain per year). In fact, the drier climate does not mean that there is more water in what is now known as the Western Desert. Southern Libyan Desert is the largest groundwater supply in the world, and the first inhabitants of the oasis of Dakhla had access to sources of surface water.
the southernmost of the five major oases of the Western Desert, Egypt.
Located about 200 km from the Nile Valley, it stretches 150
km but its width does not exceed 30 km. This rich
oasis has several sources and sinks of natural water with a
temperature, which reached 43 ° C, is
deemed to be particularly effective in the treatment of rheumatism and
The Egyptians occupied the oasis from the Old Kingdom, but from the Persian periods, then the Ptolemaic and Roman date that most of the ancient remains discovered so far, especially the temple of Hibis, built in large Darius in the first part.
The chief god Amun is the Kharga, referred to as a local name, Amenèbis, "Amon of Hibis," and represented by his wife, the goddess Mut and Khonsu go
List of ancient sites:
- Ghoueita fortress housing a well-preserved Ptolemaic temple,
- Qasr el-Zayyan from Roman times,
- the temple fortress Nadoura,
- the necropolis of Duch,
- the Christian necropolis of al-Bagawat of Fifth-seventh centuries and numerous mud-brick chapels,
- the temple of Hibis.
The Christian necropolis of al-Bagawat contains 263 mud-brick tombs, some of which are decorated with murals of biblical inspiration.
Christian Necropolis of al-Bagawat
Since 1981, the team led by Francoise Dunand works on cemeteries of Graeco-Roman Oasis:
1981-1993: Douch Necropolis,
1994-1997: necropolis of Ain el-Labakha,
1998 -: necropolis of el Deir
French archaeologists have discovered the tombs of the Ptolemaic period were reused as a burial ground of hundreds of mummified sacred dogs, which would imply the presence of a temple dedicated to a god like Anubis or Oupouaou.
Al-Kharga has a museum archeology.
Siwa is an oasis in western Egypt to the Libyan border and 850 km from Cairo. It is the northernmost of the Egyptian oasis
watering on groundwater, 300 km of Mediterranean coastline of Marsa Matrouh. Populated by 23,000
inhabitants, we know it occupied since the Antiquity. Today, the Berber language is spoken in its siwi the
tsiwit - including about 40% of the roots of the Egyptian Arabic dialect.
Siwa is both the name of an oasis region and the central city (the suq) of this small region located in the Egyptian Libyan borders 70 km from the border. This is the easternmost point of Berber population (the tamazgha) and only in Egypt, Siwa which gives one of his peculiarities.
Located in a depression made fertile by the outpouring of hundreds of artesian springs and a continuous human labor, Siwa is in direct edge of the plateau of the Libyan desert. In fact, the limestone plateau (often shelly) and inselbergs from its erosion along the sand dunes create reliefs that Isiwan (Siwans in Berber) qualify mountain (in adrar tsiwit, and Jebel in Arabic) .
The landscape can not be completely described by the mere mention of vast tracts of shading palm oasis gardens (or gardens without new tree cover) and two large lakes depressions fed by drainage water from an agriculture multimillénaire (where accumulate salts that are water saturated). The hallmark of Siwa, at least as is mentioned in tourist guides, they are both old fortresses of land perched on two inselbergs: Siwa Shali and Shali Aghurmi.
Agriculture is the main activity of Siwa. It is essentially an irrigated oasis agriculture gardening palm: market gardening and arboriculture mainly directed towards the cultivation of dates and olives, which are partly recovered oil.
No relationship was found between Siwa and the rest of ancient Egypt before the XXVIth Dynasty. At this time there is a necropolis built.
This is the temple of Amun in the oasis of Siwa that Alexander the Great meeting the oracle confirms that as a direct descendant of the god Amon, confirming its role as pharaoh.
In 708, the Arab-Muslim face of this resistance Berber oasis whose population has also not converted to Islam before the twelfth century.
Marketing of the date palm with caravans (the trans-Saharan routes) is very old: Siwa has experienced relative isolation, there was not really stay there. Since 1984 the paved road linking the oasis in Marsa Matrouh (300 km coastline), there is a start-to Egyptian and international tourism, although still very moderate.
Siwie society, penetrated by a very strict Islam - especially on freedom of movement of women - could soon find an alarm clock Berber identity through a growing interest in its culture.