"Bahariya Oasis" Bawiti by sachara

Bawiti Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 111 photos

most spectacular discovery of golden mummies

When you visit the oases of the Western Desert, is the Bahariya Oasis, 330 KM south-west of Cairo, the first one you reach, if you approach by tarred road from Cairo.
Bawiti with 30.000 inhabitants is the main village of the oasis. There are some more smaller villages.

We visited Bahariya for the first time in 1999 as part of our trip to the oases of Bahariya, Farafra, Dahkla and El Kharga.
In 2000 we came back after a visit to the Siwa Oasis in the far west.

A lot has changed since in one year, because of the discovery of many mummies near the Bahariya Oasis and the first publications of the archaeologists in the end of 1999.
It was allready possible to bring a visit to a -just two months before opened- house, provisional fitted up to a museum. And here we saw the higlight of our trip: four of the first excaved mummies with beautifull gilded masks.
The archaeologists wrote, the discovered 2000-year -old cemetery is the most spectacular discovery in Egypt in recent decades.
In publications the director of the Bahariya Excavations, Zahi Hawass, said that never before so many mummies are found in one single site in Egypt. In the first four tombs so far explored, they counted 105 mummies of men, women and children. Some bodies were wrapped in plain linen and papyrus, but many were decorated with gilded masks and painted scenes on cartonage. Not two mummy decorations were alike.
Mr. Hawass said that the cemetery site included many more multichambered tombs. He estimated that as many as 10.000 mummies might be uncovered at what is being called the Valley of the Golden Mummies.

We visited this valley on our way to the White Desert, an unnotable spot along the road. We were not allowed to go in, because the director was not around. We saw at some distance the holes of some excaved tombs. It's impossible to imagine what's under the ground.
Three years before came the cemetary by accident to light. A donkey stumbled on a dusty road and its leg slipped into an opening to one of the many tombs buried under sand and rock.
What a story!

Great hospitality

In 2000 we were invited by our driver to his house and famliy in Bawiti to have a lunch.
Twelve of his brothers and nephews worked for Diaa's travel organisation from Cairo, we trravelled with.

  • Last visit to Bawiti: May 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Comments (13)

  • titti's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2007 at 7:06 AM

    Thank you for sharing! I'm going there...

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2007 at 12:35 AM

    these desert oasis seem to be in a separate country , between egypt, libya and sudan

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2006 at 9:05 PM

    Thank you Ali for sharing this "off the Nile valley" trip! Great!

  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2005 at 8:43 PM

    Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you , Happy birthday to Ali, Happy birthday to you. :) :X :)

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2005 at 4:12 AM

    Thousand Star Hotel sounds wonderful to me, Ali! The Bahariya Oasis & plamerie look beautiful. Love your people photos, (~_~)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2005 at 8:32 AM

    Amazing that they should find all those mummies there! Great tips on life in a small oasis but I really enjoyed your camping in the desert under the stars! That would have been fun!

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2005 at 2:38 AM

    air-con at el beshmo? still in the making, I guess. Fortunately we went in winter, I guess.

  • Toyin's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2005 at 3:18 PM

    Interesting Bawiti page, I love this adventure. Regards.

  • dr.firas's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2003 at 12:12 AM

    Palmeraie is great! I like to ride a Dinkey and roam it! very interesting adventure you had Alije :-)))

  • Aurorae's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2003 at 4:20 AM

    You have the most stunning pages about Egypt, and especially its places hidden from usual tourist offers. People from Bawiti look quite different from those in Cairo, Alex, Red Sea... Amazing!


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