This is an Alternative approach to Gilf Kebir, A trip for 16 days from a different prospect to Gilf, where you visit some of the most spectacular spots on the way, places like the recently discovered Djederfre Water Mountain, Baz crater, Bagnold's stone circle, the mud pan and finally the green vally (Wadi Ard Al Akhdar). It’s the time to discover these wonders of the Egyptian western desert. An full adventure specially for those who loves The Gilf Kebir however this time we will be taking a different route with a magnificent new places.

 

 

 

Route & Program

For more details and information contact us on: ask@zarzora.com

 

Day 1: Arrival to Cairo

Day 2: Cairo – The White Desert

Day 3: The White Desert – The Water Mountain

Day 4: The Water Mountain – Abu Ballas

Day 5: Abu Ballas – Baz Crater

Day 6: Baz Crater – Bagnold's Stone Circle - Gilf Kebir

Day 7: Gilf  Kebir  – Mistikawy Cave

Day 8: Mistikawy Cave – Wadi Sura – Aqaba Pass

Day 9: Aqaba Pass – East of Gilf Kebir

Day 10: East of Gilf Kebir – Wadi Ard Al Akhdar

Day 11: Wadi Ard Al Akhdar – Mud Pan

Day 12: Mud Pan – South of Dakhla Oasis

Day 13: South of Dakhla Oasis – Dakhla Oasis

Day 14: Dakhla Oasis – Bahariyah Oasis

Day 15: Bahariyah – Cairo

Day 16: Departure

 

 

v:shapes="Picture_x0020_2">The White Desert: The Dazzling white of the chalky calcic formations are the remains of a limestone massif from the Cretaceous era, shaped out into the strangest sculptures by the ever wailing sharp wind armed at all times with strongly effective sand particles. This unique desert has no parallel in the whole world.

 

 

 

 

Abu Ballas: Pottery Hill known as Abu Ballas in Arabic used to be a reliable source for providing water to the oasis invaders or convoys heading to the oasis in the ancient times as when the early explorers visited the site, there were about 300 complete pots and amphorae at the depot, though most were broken or had man-made holes in them supporting the theory that this was the water cache referred to by the Dakhla natives, which they destroyed when pursuing the "black raiders" a few years before Rohlfs recorded the story in 1874. The existence of this depot one third of the way to Kufra led Almasy to speculate that there had to be another depot or well two thirds of the way, most probably the unknown Zarzora oasis. Unfortunately by now all the complete pots have been taken or broken, and all that remains at the site is a pile of broken shards at the foot of the hill.

 

Gilf Kebir: Is a plateau in the remote southwest corner of Egypt. Its name translates as "the Great Barrier". This 7770-square-kilometre limestone and sandstone plateau roughly the size of Switzerland rises 300m from the desert floor. It is known for its rugged beauty, remoteness, geological interest, and the dramatic cliff paintings and rock carvings which depict an era of abundant animal life and human habitation.

 

 

Mestikawy Cave: A newly discovered cave by Colonel El-Mestikawy on the southwestern cliffs of the Gilf Kebir plateau. Showing rock drawings of wide diversity and overlooking dry remains of an ancient lake basin with prehistoric tools.

 

 

 

 

Al-Baz Crater: 150km southeast of the silica glass region (the crater is named after its Egyptian-American discoverer, Farouk al-Baz, a pioneer in using satellites to search for water in arid areas).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DJEDEFRE`S WATER-MOUNTAIN: Discovered by German explorer Carlo Bergman during his camel expeditions west of Dakhla oasis; he found a pharonic trail which was used in the 4th dynasty times to search for mineral resources. He also found a a conical hill about 30 metres high and 60 metres in length with hieroglyphic texts, cartouches of Chufu (Cheops) and of his son Djedefre , Hieroglyphic texts at "Djedefre water-mountain" which explains the purpose of several 4th dynasty expeditions to the far away site. Two of the excursions took place during the 25th and 27th of King Cheops Reign. His followers had come to the hill in order to quarry pigments.

 

 

Bagnold's Stone Circle: "In a small basin in the hills we came the next day (27th October, 1930) upon a circle 27 feet (8.5 metres) in diameter of thin slabs of sandstone, 18 to 24 inches high. Half were lying prone, but the rest were still vertical in the sand. There was no doorway or other sign of orientation, and though we searched within and without the circle, no implements could be found. I understand that other similar circles have been found in the neighborhood of the Gilf Kebir." Major R.A.Bagnold, Journeys in the Libyan Desert 1929 and 1930,
The Georgaphical Journal, Vol. LXXVIII No. 1. (July 1931)] Bagnold and his party made their discovery purely by chance, as the low structure is only visible from a few hundred metres. Bagnold did mark the circle on his map acompanying the Geographical Journal article, however on the scale of 1:10 million the half milimetre dot represents an area 5 kilometres in diameter, plus of course any error in Bagnold's position estimate.

Wadi Ard al Akhdar: The lower reaches of Wadi Ard al Akhdar were entered by Shaw in 1935, but it was Bagnold and company who explored it's long winding upper reaches. In a side branch they have come upon a narrow passage that was blocked by a large transverse dune in neolithic times, and a substantial lake filled the broad basin behind. At some time the sand dam had been breached and washed away, only some cemented remnants can be seen along the south side of the narrows, opposite the much smaller modern dune growing in the same place. Subsequently the mud floor of the lake has been much eroded, leaving free standing mud pillars and terraces littering the basin floor. Oliver Myers, the archaeologist of the Bagnold expedition made an initial survey, and found numerous neolithic settlement sites on the top of the mud terraces. He only took a few samples though, and no systematic exploration was made.

 

AREA

Altitude

The White Desert

98 M

The Water Mountain

700 M

Abu Ballas

300 M

Baz Crater

709 M

Bagnold's Stone Circle

602 M

Mistikawy Cave

492 M

Wadi Ard Al Akhdar

321 M

 

Reference: British Egypt maps Scale 1:5000000 year 1942

 

 

 

                       

 

                      

 

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