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Which is the best and most convenient desert oasis to visit?

Which is the best and most convenient desert oasis to visit?

Old Mar 12th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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Which is the best and most convenient desert oasis to visit?

There are just too many options, however none of them seem to be very easy to get to.
1. Siwa: is it the best of all?
2. The white desert: not sure how do I get to from Luxor(or cairo)?
3. Al-kharga: seems to be far away, how do I get to Kharga from Luxor?

Is it safe to go to any of these places considering the current circumstances? And although this is very subjective, which one is the best and most hassle free?
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Old Mar 12th, 2013, 08:19 PM
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Can't really answer your questions because my wife and I are also researching this now, planning to spend some time out there later this year.

This blog has some good info, I think, but in typical blog fashion it's not arranged logically:
http://egyptsites.wordpress.com/cate...estern-desert/

From what info I have, travel by road:
Cairo - Bawati ~5 hours
Bawati - Farafra ~2 hours
Luxor - Kharga ~4 hours
Kharga - Dakhla ~3 hours

We are not looking at Siwa, but Dakhla looks promising, worth a few days.

There is also a guidebook I ordered, not yet arrived:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Western-De...dp/9774160908/

Good luck, let us know what you come up with. They all seem to have some interest and it is subjective, based on what you are looking for.
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Old Mar 13th, 2013, 12:47 AM
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Nelson,thanks for the wonderful resource. I have about 4-5 days spare after going through Cairo and the Nile valley,so I was planning to do just one of the oasis. The white desert looks even more fascinating, and I would want to camp in the desert,but then doing all of this as a solo traveller looks a little daunting. Kharga seems to have the best sites(the Cemetery of El-Bagawat,Fortress of el-Deir and all). So if I find a way to get to Kharga by bus, I 'll go for it. And Dakhla too looks quite attractive. So now I just need to find out if buses are available on these routes.
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Old Mar 13th, 2013, 07:33 AM
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Your welcome ashwinb. Although we bought a Fodors guide book to research our trip, the Rough Guides website has good info as well.
http://www.roughguides.com/destinati...esert-circuit/

Offhand I don't see any info about buses, but suspect they exist. (We're planning to have a car & driver).

Note the Rough Guide says "If you only have a few days, Bahariya and Farafra are the ones to aim for from Cairo; starting from Luxor or Assyut go to Dakhla rather than stopping in Kharga.".

I read the same thing elsewhere: that Kharga isn't that attractive to stay in, and the sites around Dahhla are impressive and easier to reach.

Here's more, a good clickable map:
http://www.minamar.com/dakhla-oasis-tours.html

Deir el Hagar looks interesting, good photos on this site with text in French:
http://alain.guilleux.free.fr/dakhla...r_el_hagar.php

Both Al Qasr and Balat old towns in Dakhla are also highly evocative looking.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 13th, 2013, 07:47 PM
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P.S. I just found this site, which mentions the bus times to Bahariya:

http://www.footprinttravelguides.com...is-and-bawati/

Also, travel from Farafra to Dakhla takes nine days ... by camel!
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Old Mar 14th, 2013, 01:37 AM
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Now even I'm beginning to tend towards to Dakhla. Are 2 complete days enough? I think you can reach Farafra through Assiyut(that too is about 6 hours from Dakhla,4 from Kharga).
And what about local transportation? Do you require any?
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Old Mar 14th, 2013, 06:09 AM
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We are currently planning two nights at Dakhla, or about 1 1/2 days. We may decide to stay longer, still tweaking our itinerary. Two days sounds about right, but we are now into subjective territory. Some people might think an hour is too long!

We are planning a custom tour - not independent travel like you - so in theory we will have a car & driver at our disposal. But you'd definitely need some local transportation to get around. I think it's about 10km out to Deir el-Hagar for example. I've read people rent bicycles too.

Good luck.
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Old Mar 15th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Nelson has given you loads of good advice, definately pick up the Fodors guide book if you can as its got loads of information about each of the places in it.

If you are going from Cairo and only have a couple of days then my choice would be the Bahariya Oasis and White Desert. If you can you should try camping one of the nights its a truly wonderful experience.

If you are going to be on your own I would personally choose a good agent to arrange everything for you and including all of your transport to the Oasis etc IMO and make sure you are well looked after although Ive seen loads of people say they have done it themselves without an agent and managed just fine but for security and safety I would book it with someone reputable personally as things are a bit erratic just now in parts of Egypt

Scotsgirl
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Old Mar 17th, 2013, 03:47 AM
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The thing is I'm doing the Nile Valley first, and I want visit some place close to Luxor, going all the way to Cairo,and then going to Bahariya seems a bit too much to travel. I am going in for Kharga and Dakhla, Farafra too seems just a few hours away from Dakhla. I am quite impressed by the desert forts around Kharga.
Found another resource: http://www.utikalauz.hu/index.php?p=folap&id=674
Now I just need to find out bus timings(I assume there are buses).
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Old Mar 17th, 2013, 08:16 AM
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That was a nice travelogue you found, thanks for posting. Google did a decent enough job of translating it, though with a few gaps. He describes the reality - dust, flies, plastic bags blowing in the wind - not just the typical guide book descriptions. Seeing the fatal traffic accident was an unfortunate start to their journey.

Good photos also. The forts around Kharga do look interesting but they have a car to get out there. He did regret leaving Dakhla after just one night, so there is a clue that it might be a good destination for you.

Good luck!
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