Templates of Desert Tours 1 9 - Day Tour Western Desert Grand Tour

Important Note: These tours are examples and for information purposes only. Broadly similar tours are available but individual operators will amend and tailor them to suit conditions and demand.

For the ardent explorer of deserts the Grand Tour beckons. You will be able to visit the remote rock art sites of Uweinat and the Gilf Kebir, travel up to the mysterious and wonderful zone of silica glass followed by an epic northern crossing of the Great Sand Sea to Siwa- a journey only first completed in 1933.

Driving down from Cairo you first leave the asphalt at the White Desert to get a brief introduction to the wonders of the Egyptian Desert. From here you proceed south until you gain Abu Ballas, the broken pot mountain which guards the entrance to the Gilf Kebir region.

Driving swiftly the several hundred kilometers to the Gilf, you enter the plateau, which rears 350meters above the desert, and cross its southern part through Wadi Wissa. Here you may view the rock art of the Shaw Cave before heading down to Uweinat to see wildlife such as the rare weddan sheep and extensive rock art in many different locations. Back to the Gilf you will take in both the epic Mestikawy cave and the famous Swimmer’s cave as seen in the movie ‘‘The English Patient’’. Both contain amazing rock paintings.
Then it is time to go over the Gilf Plateau by ascending the Aqaba Pass and descending into the 100km long Wadi Hamra, again a site of much fascinating rock art. From here you drive north to the Silica Glass area, a highly localized source of pure natural glass formed when a meteorite hit the desert 29million years ago. Next you follow the first motor explorers of the Western Desert and head north to Siwa past the atmospheric ‘forest’ of petrified palm trees. As you enter Siwa from the south you may glimpse the jackals that still inhabit this region.

From the extraordinarily idyllic Oasis of Siwa you return across the desert to Bahariya and then to Cairo having completed a journey of truly epic proportions.


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