The White Desert, Egypt


'There and deserts and there are deserts', the explorer Ralph Bagnold famously said. But the Western Desert, a vast expanse that starts at the western banks of the Nile and continues well into Libya, is the desert of deserts. Covering a total of 2.8 million sq km and bordered by Libya in the west, Sudan in the south and the Mediterranean in the north, it is a world of desolation and beauty -- and one of the few places in Egypt where you can go for days at a time without seeing a soul. Five isolated but thriving oases dot this otherwise uninhabited expanse: Kharga, Dakhla, Farafra, Bahariyya, and to the north-west of these, Siwa.      (--from Lonely Planet, Egypt).

The White Desert

Begins some 30 km from Farafra

Desertscape

Sand is rich in fossils including sea shells, evidence that the Sahara was once under the ocean

Glowing rocks

Clifflike chalk monoliths called Inselbergs

Sahara Sunrise

Sunrise in the White Desert

Giant mushrooms

Erorded by wind over millions of years

On a hunk of chalk

Shunya and partner on a chalk cliff

Campsite

A place to sleep under the stars

The White House

This area of the desert is called the White House

Desertscape

Miles and miles of this in the White Desert

Golden boulders

Boulders glow in the late evening sun

Another mushroom

One of many rock mushrooms

Eastern Sahara

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Dali's dream

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Carved by wind

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End of the day

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Calcium rich desert

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Evening walk

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Sunset

Sunset in the White Desert

Sunrise

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Desert highway

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