Down to the Gilf Kebir and beyond

For people who have seen the movie or read the book ‘‘The English Patient‘‘
then this is the tour to make.

Uweinat and Karkur Talh

Deep in the corner of Egypt where it borders Sudan and Libya lies the mountain of Gebel Uweinat. Most people are in a bit of hurry to see the Gilf as well so at Uweinat they look at the rock art in the valley of Karkur Talh. This valley, named after the acacia trees which still grow here, is home to vast quantities of  rock art- both drawings and engravings

The Gilf Kebir - Wadi Soura and the Mestikawy cave

At 900metres high, souring up from the flat desert is the astounding major plateau known as the Gilf Kebir. This is where Laszlo Almasy, the real life character on whom ‘‘The English Patient’’ was based, discovered, or, more accurately, rediscovered the caves containing pictures of the famous swimmers Nearby is the Mestikawy Cave, found in 2002 on an expedition led by Colonel Ahmed Mestikawy, considered the largest single site of rock art in Africa. It contains an amazing quantity of pictures of animals long since extinct here such as giraffes and baboons. The art here is accurately dated by the last time there was any water in the region- 5000- 7000 years ago. 

Silica glass

Thought to be caused by a giant meteorite landing about 29 million years ago, the silica glass is spread in surprisingly small area- about 50 square kilometers or less, in the Great Sand Sea. King Tutankhamun’s chest scarab was made of silica glass. How it was transported from that remote part of the desert to Thebes is another mystery. 


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