The White Desert in Egypt

 

 

 

White desert - a part of Sahara about 300 square kilometers in area, located between the Egyptian oases Bahar and Farafra (about 30 kilometers to the north from Farafra). 
 
 
These oases have been populated as far as 8 thousand years B.C., in the days of Ancient Egypt it was an outpost of defense against Libyan robbers, and these oases served as a place of deportation.
 
 
Now about 5 thousand Bedouins live in Farafra oasis closest to the White desert who play a role of guides and show tourists deserted places of interest, for example, natural (created by the nature) mummies which allegedly remained since the days of Roman sovereignty in Egypt.
  
 
Most tourists reach the White desert from Cairo, passing about 500 kilometers by car. By the way, on their way to the White desert travelers first meet the Black desert.
 
 
80 million years ago there was a sea instead of the White Desert. When the sea has gone, white limestone deposits formed from remains of marine inhabitants - plankton, snails, ammonites and corals left on the ground.
 
 
For thousand years the wind has created various sculptures which resembled a mushroom with a cap, a hen under a tree and even a head of a sphinx from limestone.
 
 
Height of some figures reaches 10-12 meters. Unfortunately, tourists that visited the White Desert destroyed many unique natural sculptures. In 2002 the White desert has been declared to be the National Park with custodians.
 
 
There are quite few tourists in the White, about 40 thousand a year. It is due to the fact that the White desert is quite away from habitable coast of the sea.
 
 
Fauna of the White desert is rather poor - fennecs, gazelles and fine rodents live here. One can see caravans of camels. However, camels can be seen practically everywhere in Egypt since deserts borrow 96% of the area of this of this country. 
 
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