Sahara el Beyda, the White Desert

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The White Desert   in Egypt, The famous and dramatic sparkling chalk landscape of the Farafra Trench is one of Egypt’s most striking natural wonders, in the northeast of the Sahara, between the Egyptian oases of Al-Farafra in the southwest and Al-Bahariya in the northeast
,called the White Desert because it has the white color that covers most of its parts, with a total area of 3010 square kilometers, and also has a huge chalky rock, the desert contains many formations that were created as a result of an accidental sandstorm in the region
The White Desert in Egypt is located 45 kilometers (30 miles) north of Farafra Oasis in the New Valley Governorate, 500 kilometers from Cairo, and it was declared a nature reserve in 2002.

The White Desert is now a much-visited natural attraction , The sights include rock formations such as the double gate (el-Babein) or el-Aqqabat, a supposedly 2000 year old acacia (el-Santa), the crystal mountain and the cave of Djara. Locals show visitors natural mummies, supposedly from Roman times.
The White Desert National Park is the basis for desert tourism. Around 2000 tourists stay overnight in the local hotels every year.

Access : Coordinates: 27.361389, 28.123889 / Sahara el Beida, located about 45 kilometers from the city of Farafra, Egypt,The distance from Cairo to the White Desert is 500 km.

Highlights :

  •  The reserve was called the White Desert due to the nature of its white chalky rocks, which were carved by the wind millions of years ago. It is also called the snow oasis. The lower part of it consists of white chalk rocks in which there are invertebrate fossils and the teeth of sharks, and these chalky rocks reflect the deep marine sedimentation environment and spread over the Low chalk ground, geological units in the form of columns of chalk, most of which take the form of mushrooms, which were formed by carving factors over time by winds. A number of rocks that resemble animals and birds are also spread throughout the reserve and the most famous of these rocks is the perch rock, which resembles a small chicken that is sheltered in a tree and in general it is considered the desert Al-Bayda is an open environmental museum due to the presence of a large number of chalky rocks, sediments, and polymorphic rock formations, and the white chalky rocks in the desert appear as a shining moon on the earth.
  •  Mushroom-shaped cliffs cut by the wind, ranging in color from snow-white to cream, are the centerpiece of the White Desert National Park.
  •  The White Desert National Park : is a nature reserve about 45 km north of the town of Farafra of Egypt the valley of el-Farafra. The reserve is one of the most extraordinary areas in the Western Desert. It stretches from the Crystal Mountain in the north to Table Mountain et-Tabali in the south (about 50 kilometers) and from the Hidden Valley in the west over 100 kilometers to the east into the unnamed desert. In the west and south there are two more buffer areas with an area of 971 square kilometers.
  •  The limestone sculptures : The limestone sculptures described above are mainly found in the core area of the national park, the so-called New White Desert. The Tents Area, Wadi Mushroom and El Santa are located in the so-called Old White Desert (which is closer to the asphalt road and in which the erosion seems to have advanced). El Santa is a single large acacia tree that is said to be hundreds of years old.
  •  Trails: Trails of White Desert National Park , Chicken and Mushroom Trail , English Mountain Trail , the NP has the same standard as others. BUT: Fortunately, there are no asphalt roads in the White Desert National Park – apart from the Baharija – Farafra road.
  • The desert could be reached from different directions via several caravan routes: The sights are described along the routes. Tracks 1, 2 and 4 lead to the east, track 3 to the west.The national park has six entrances, from north to south: Aqabat entrance (to the east, track 1) south of the Aqabat pass (Naqb el-Aqabat), after a further 10 kilometers the el-Babein entrance (to the west, Track 3), after a further two kilometers the Ain-Khadra entrance (to the east, Track 2), after a further six kilometers the main entrance (main entrance, to the east Track 1 and 2), after four kilometers the Bir-Regwa entrance ( to the east, track 4) and after six kilometers the el-Qabur entrance (to the west, track 3).
    Another route is the 50 kilometer long so-called English Track, which branches off about 10 kilometers north of the crystal rock to the southeast into the desert and meets track 1.

Entrance fees : An entrance fee must be paid to visit the national park. 5 US dollars per person during the day, in addition for an overnight stay in the national park and 5 $ per vehicle.

Activities : Sahara Desert Hike / photo opportunities / Tourists looking to visit the desert can travel by camel for a more traditional experience- white desert camel trek.

Go next : El Bahariya is a lowland and a large oasis in Western Sahara and Farafra oases / the Crystal Mountain : The mountain is famous for its quartz crystal inclusions./ the black desert / the double gate el-Babein / the Hidden Valley (in Wadi Obeid)

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