Coming soon!
Phone: +2 01066646116

Western Desert in Depth
Home Tours from Cairo   
The Western Desert in depth!


An expedition into one of the last white spots on the map – to the fossilized whales in Wadi Heitan, through the wonderland of the White Desert and into the valleys of Jebel Uwaynat. The Gilf el Kebir with its Neolithic rock drawings and a breathtaking journey through the Great Sand Sea, which brings us to Siwa oasis as a finale!

It is a pearl in the Gilf El Kebir and its undisturbed nature is impressive. If luck is with you, you will find Silica Glass in a particular section in the Great Sand Sea. This glass comes from a meteorite impact in this area, and it is hitherto unique on earth. The crossing of the Great Desert with its occasionally 100 meter high ridges is an exceptional adventure.


Day 1: Cairo / Fayoum - Wadi Rayan - Wadi Heitan
Start by jeep to Fayum, an oasis that was cultivated during the reign of the pharaohs. Proceed to Wadi Rayan, where a branch of the Nile pours into the Qarun lake, and then to the National Park of Wadi Heitan. The fossilized bones of ancient sea mammals have given the area its name of “Valley of the Whales”. Overnight: Tent (B, L, D)

Day 2: Wadi Heitan - Bahariya Oasis- White Desert
After arrival in Bahariya drive through the picturesque palm groves of the oasis and stroll through the town of Bawiti. Afterwards proceed to the White Desert. Overnight: Tent (B, L, D)

Day 3: White Desert - Farafra Oasis - Dakhla Oasis
In the morning two hours walk through the White Desert near Wadi Mushroom and its famous mushroom-shaped rocks, with enough opportunities to linger and take photos. Afterwards drive to Farafra, visit to the local museum. You will have the possibili-ties to bathe in the springs. After lunch drive to Dakh-la and visit to the old town of El Qasr with its covered walkways and carved doors. Overnight: Lodge, Dakhla (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 4: Dakhla Oasis- Sugar Loaf - Mud Lions - Gilf el Kebir
After breakfast the adventure begins – the jeeps leave Dakhla and go towards the Gilf el Kebir. We pass the rocks of Sugar Loaf with a memorial to Samir Lana. Afterwards proceed to Abu Ballas, a jar deposit dating back to Pharaonic times that served the caravans going from Dakhla to Kufra. After a few hours more we make camp near the Mud Lions, rocks shaped and formed by the wind from baked sand. Overnight: Tent (B, L, D)

Day 5: Eight Bells - Kawal el Din Monument - Jebel Uweinat
In the morning we pass the WW II airstrip of Eight Bells. Empty kerosene cans mark the landing strip. Proceed along the Eastern flank of the Gilf el Kebir to the monument for Prince Kamal el Din, one of the first explorers of the area. The route passes an ancient volcanic area, the Clayton craters which were formed by gas eruptions. Then we leave the Gilf area behind and go south. In the Karkur Talh or „Acacia Valley“ we entert he area of the Gebel Uwainat. Exploring the wadis with 4x4 approaching the most formidable mountain, the Uweinat is made of some of the oldest rock in Africa and straddles the borders of Egypt, Libya and Sudan. In Egypt the nearest water is a well 300 kms away! Tent overnight outside Karkur Talh. Overnight: Tent (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 6: Karkur Talh
This day is dedicated to the exploration of the area and its rock drawings. In the 1930’s Winkler recorded the rock drawings here - the first prehistoric rock drawings ever found in this part of the Sahara. Situated roughly at the centre of the most arid area, its height is sufficient to capture a little precipitation from the summer monsoon clouds of the Sahel belt that occasionally reaches this far north. These rains are very infrequent, the last one was recorded in September 1998, and probably as much as 10-15 years may pass without rain. However even this little rain is sufficient to allow some vegetation and wildlife in the larger valleys. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Karkur Talh - Wadi Sura - Foggini Cave
Today we turn north again and pass the hills of Peter and Paul, ancient volcanoes that are a geologist’s heaven, and then to Wadi Sura in the western Gilf el Kebir. There we approach one of the highlights of the tour - a cave with Neolithic rock paintings depicting game, domestic animals and humans, among them the famous picture showing swimmers that was first discovered by Count Almassy. AAfterwards drive to the site of Foggini cave which is even more beautifully painted. Overnight: Tent (B, L, D)

Day 8: Aqaba - Wadi Homra or Wadi Abdel Malik
We leave the caves and start the ascent to Aqaba pass. Afterwards we drive across the plateau of the Gilf; from high up one has a marvellous view of Wadi Homra before descending into the valley and driving north. Wadi Homra is aptly named the "Red Valley". Sand and rocks have a colouring unique in Egypt. Here one can find rock inscriptions as well. Sometimes the routing will lead through Wadi Abdelmalik instead, the long valley Almassy thought to be the lost oasis of Zarzoura. Overnight: Tent (B, L, D)

Day 9 - 11: Silica Fields - Great Sand Sea
Drive north to the Silica Glass Fields that were created by a meteor impact. The desert glass was a coveted material even in Pharaonic times and was used for jewellery like one of Tutankhamen's breastplates. From here we have to drive for three days through the Great Sand Sea - one of the most arid areas on earth. Single dunes combine to an endless Sea of Sand. Getting stuck is now and then is nearly unavoidable and part of the adventure! This is one of the most exciting parts of the tour. We camp on the outskirts of the Sand Sea near Siwa and take the opportunity to have a bath in the hot spring of Bir Wahid. Overnight: Tent (B, L, D)

Day 12: Siwa Oasis
The last part of the tour through the sand sea and then entrance into Siwa oasis, the most remote oasis of the Western Desert. After arrival we start exploring the oasis: after a stop at the baths of Cleopatra we proceed to the old acropolis of Shali, then to the famous temple of Amun and the temple of pharaoh Amasis, and to Gebel Mawta with its rock tombs. Overnight: Siwa Paradise Hotel, 1 night (B, L, D)

Day 13: Siwa / Marsa Matruh
After breakfast drive to Marsa Matruh on the Mediterranean - the remainder of the day is free to enjoy the beach. Overnight: Beach Hotel, 1 night (B, L, D)

Day 14: Marsa Matruh / Alamein / Alexandria / Cairo
Early morning departure on the coastal road, passing el Alamein. In Alexandria short city tour, then proceed to Cairo. Overnight: Grand Pyramids Resort, 1 night (B, L, D)

Please note the exact sequence of sightseeing and sites visited may be altered to suit local conditions, weather or other circumstances beyond our control. All included visits will be operated where possible.


• All transport using 4WD Toyota Landcruiser.
• 13 nights accommodation in hotels and camping out as per the itinerary.
• Meals as per the itinerary.
• Private English speaking guide.
• Entrance fees and local permissions to the major sites as per the itinerary.
• All tax & service charges.


• International airfare.
• Entry visa for Egypt.
• Meals / bevarages / optional tours or other services not mentioned in the tour program.
• Tipping (recommended) and personal expenses.

Trip date

Nubmer of participants
Adult 12+ years
Personal information
Your nationality
Your name
Your email address
Your contact phone
Any questions or special requests
By submitting your booking inquiry, you confirm you've read the tour's details and agree to our booking terms and conditions
Trip duration: 14 days / 13 nights
Group size: Min. 6 ppl, max: any
Age restrictions: Min. 12 years
Departures: Upon request only
Tours customizable: No

Strenuous (grade 4 of 5): Average altitude 300m and 3-4 hours walking a day. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Previous trekking experience is desirable but not essential if you are confident of your physical condition.

Daypac for carrying personal items
Sleeping bag, camping mat
Loose layered clothing
Walking shoes or boots
Extra pair socks
Head cover, scarf / hat, sun glasses
Sun cream / protection
Extra batteries for your camera / phone
Small snacks / energy bar for the hike
Personal toiletries, hand sanitizer
Your passport / ID.

© 2007- 2016 by IDO Travel, Egypt. All rights reserved.
For more details and special inquiries, email