Desert Oases, 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).

Desert spring

A lone spring in the desert

Dunes in the Sahara

Shifting sands

Deir al-Haggar

A sandstone temple dedicated to the Theban triad of Amun, Mut and Khons, as well as to Seth, the brother of Osiris and god of the oasis. Built in the first century CE.

Local house

Built by artist Abd El Moghny Badr of Farafra to display his art

The highway in Farafra

This is the main highway that runs through all four oases in the western desert

... a medieval settlement

Mud brick architecture

Al-Qasr village ...

The historic part of this village is mostly abandoned

Greco-Roman foundations

Before modern construction, all oases in the western desert probably looked like this

Dakhla children

Two children in the village of al-Qasr

Al-Qasr children

Al-Qasr children

Women & children

Local women and children

Fond records of Haj pilgrimage

Public announcements of Haj pilgrimages

Nasr ad-Din Mosque

Mud brick minaret of a mosque

Old portal

A part of historic al-Qasr

Local boy

Local boy

On a dune near Dakhla

On a sand dune near Dakhla


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