"Al Bawiti & The White Desert" Bawiti by BorderHopper

Bawiti Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 111 photos

Spending time out in the deserts of Western Egypt was one of the highlights of my entire journey to Egypt. I set out from Cairo via a local bus company at one of the depots & headed to Bahariyya Oasis & the small dusty town of Bawiti. Our entire group was comprised of young American's, two of whom spoke fluent Arabic and lived in Egypt. This made arranging everything much easier once we arrived in the Oasis. We arrived in this dusty little town and temps. were easily up around 120 degrees being that it was mid August. Two Egyptian men met us at a roadside tea stall and negotiations an Arabic took place between these guys and our two Arabic speaking Americans. We were trying to arrange the rental of a Toyota Land Cruiser and a trip out into the White Desert. I sat there sipping the mint flavored hot tea having absolutely no idea what was going on...I was just along for the ride. (Concerning the tea...Egyptians love the stuff. I wonder if that has anything to do with the Brits long presence in Egypt. I just wasn't too big on drinking hot tea under the extremely hot Egyptian sun...haha). A deal seemed to have been struck and the next thing I knew we were in some little camp smack dab in the middle of no where. Word was that we;d have to wait there for several days until a truck can be arranged. We waited for what turned out to be several days in unbelievable tempratures, sleeping out in the open with just the shade from a thatched canopy. The flies in the desert seemed to enjoy the company and tormented us for days. Every morning I was attacked by the most aggressive flies I have ever come across...this prompted me to cover my face with a scarf to ward off the attcking flies. We languished in this camp as time went by....very slowly. We'd smoke apple flavored tobacco in a Sheesh pipe & read books to pass time. But eventually our rented Toyota Landcruiser arrived and we set off for what turned out to be an amazing off road journey out to the White Desert. (continued later...)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Seeing the Milky Way spread out in the nights sky, the solitude of great open spaces, & vistas that may actually remind you of Antartica (they don't call this place the White Desert for nothing!)
  • Cons:Hot, Hot, & Hot! Aggressive flies & little food
  • In a nutshell:I've been around the world but this is one little patch of earth I will never forget! You too will surely feel the magic of the desert!
  • Last visit to Bawiti: Aug 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (3)

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2003 at 10:56 AM

    Nice pictures, I hope you will add more. The Western Desert is amazing. I visited Bawiti and the white desert twice, in 1999 and 2000.

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2003 at 3:54 PM

    What a Motley Crew!! ahha Looks like an absolute BLAST!!! I would love to read the rest.....

  • Sharrie's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2003 at 10:15 PM

    The "flying" kiss ;-) Sounds like an unforgetable experience!


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