If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. Jim Rohn
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Once upon a time, people lived according to their own rhythm, their own laws and values – isolated from the rest of the world. We are talking about Siwa Oasis.
The oasis can be traced back to 10,000 BC showcasing the earliest signs of civilization and in the 26th dynasty around 525 BC the first signs of human existence in the oasis of Siwa were noticed.
The ancient oasis of Siwa was crucial to the trade caravans which crossed the desert from the Nile valley in the east to the Mediterranean harbors of Libya in the west. Such was its importance that traders from the southern oases and central Africa were frequent visitors.
Siwa also prospered as a religious center, with many kings sending delegates to consult the Oracle of Amun.
The Oracle of Amun derives much of its fame from Alexander the Great’s visit in 331 BC. After consulting the oracle, he claimed to be the son of the god Zeus Amun, and so chose to be buried in Siwa.
Over the years, the world came to them and a checkered history accompanied it through the centuries.
In our days for some, it is an escape – a place far removed from the bustle of the city.
For others it is much more than beautiful, it is home.
Among the palm and olive groves live the Siwi, a people of Berber origin often characterized as “independent, private, and resistant to central authority.” In their own words, they are Imazighen: ‘noble and free men.’ Nomadic in nature, the Siwi are farmers and vagabonds indigenous to North Africa.
Their staple crop includes olives and dates, a romantic duo associated with their intrigue. To a lesser extent, the Siwi farm wheat, barley, sorghum, onions, and broad beans. Land is bought and sold amongst them, as are water rights; the Western Desert is arid and inhospitable, and their dependence on the oasis is essential to their survival.
The new challenge for Siwa was how to open up to the world. In 1977, president Mohamed Anwar Sadat visited the oasis and showed great sympathy towards the people. Later, in 1983, he gave the Siwans a helicopter to make access to the rest of Egypt easier.
This helicopter was for medical purposes and the transport of necessary commodities. They now have educational support with many schools, starting from elementary school, all the way to prepare for university. The provision of child and youth services and activities was also instituted.
Siwa’s changing fortunes have been reflected in the fluctuations of its population levels, from forty in the twelfth century AD to some three thousand at the time of Mohammed Ali’s invasion in 1805. Siwa continues to expand, and the population is currently calculated to be around twenty thousand and growing.
You are welcome to get in touch with Siwans, Desert and history any time!
Day 1: Cairo - Siwa
Departure from Cairo at 7:30 am, with 1 stop at a rest house you arrive in Siwa around 4.30 pm.
Check in to you hotel (Shali Lodge or similar) and get in touch with the oasis while having a little walk around.
Overnight Hotel Albanshal Lodge or similar.
Day 2: Siwa
After a delicious breakfast at your hotel we start our tour today at 9 am hiding to
Mountain of the Dead – Gabal al-Mowta. The mountain contains a lot of tombs, which cover every inch of its base and are situated on its terraces and on all sides of the conical part. They date from the 26th dynasty.
Let’s go on to the Temple of the Oracle of Amun. Located 4 km east of the present town of Siwa, the Temple of the Oracle is believed to have housed the famous Greek oracle of Jupiter Amun, to which Alexander the Great headed directly when he came to Egypt for the first time in 331 BC.
Let’s have fun now and who is brave enough might have a swim in the Salt lakes Siwa has low annual rainfall but very high evaporation rates making its lakes exceptional with hyper-salinity, almost containing 95 % salt. Siwa salt lakes have healing properties for skin, eye, and sinus conditions, promoting the oasis as a medical and recreational destination. And if you don’t want to float on them, just take a dip in these salt pools.
As an oasis is always connected to water, let’s head to another refreshing spot – Cleopatra’s Pool.
Within the Hierapolis-Pamukkale complex is the Cleopatra Pool (sometimes called the Pamukkale Antique Pool). This is not a travertine pool. According to legend, this artificially sculpted pool was a gift from Marc Anthony to Cleopatra.
In our days it is a beautiful and peaceful place also just to have a coffee and enjoy nature. The pool has natural spring water that is warm and clean throughout the year.
Now it is time to watch the sunset from the Old Shali Fortress. Get inspired by special vibes while sun is going down and get wonderful pictures.
Overnight Hotel Albanshal Lodge or similar. (B)
Day 3: Siwa - Bir Wahat - Siwa
Today another highlight of the region is waiting for you, Bir Wahed.
15 km away on the edge of the Great Sand Sea, once over the top of a dune, you come to a hot spring, the size of a large jacuzzi, where sulphurous water bubbles in a pool and runs off to irrigate a garden.
Also for all lovers of dune riding – here you are – because the way to reach Bir Wahed leads through sand dunes.
Once back to the oasis, enjoy strolling around and maybe do some shopping.
Overnight Hotel Albanshal Lodge or similar (B)
Day 4: Siwa - Cairo
After breakfast, we will drive back to Cairo, drop you off at your hotel or you have reserved a prolongation with us. (B)
- Private tour.
- 3 hotel accommodation (B)
- All transportations with private car like mentioned in the program.
- Guidance & Organization.
- 4x4 excursion into the Great Sand Sea.
- Special permit fees for the above excursion.
- All visits mentioned in the program.
- Drinks in restaurants and hotels
- Meals not mentioned.
- Tips for the guide and staff.
- Travel insurance or any kind of insurances.
- Entrance fees for all the sites mentioned in the program.
- Anything that is not mentioned in the program.
- Optional programs.
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