Travel to White Desert – Amazing Landscape of Desert-Sculpted Rock
The soft chalk of the White Desert emerge from shifting sand dunes to be eroded into strange shapes that make for a surreal landscape popular with desert explorers. Sculpted into strange shapes a night camping under the stars in their shadow is an unforgettable experience.
Formed millions of years ago the soft chalk has over millennia been eroded into strange shapes, some of which resemble animals. They jut out of the ground like jagged teeth or enormous mushrooms and make for a fascinating visit. In places the eroded material lies 40cm deep and can be whipped up into a storm when the wind gets up. At times looking like icebergs the truth is very different – winter months make for a more comfortable visit – in late spring, summer and early autumn temperatures soar with the mercury pushing 50°C regularly.
The attraction of the White Desert is obvious with a day and night spent here being one of the most memorable visits travellers to the Western Desert oases take back with them. The area is a geologist’s paradise with iron pyrites and quartz crystals commonplace. The constant changes in light that play upon the pinnacles means there is no ideal time to visit, though perhaps the desert is at its most evocative at night.
An overnight 4WD or camel safari is by far the best way of exploring the White Desert. These are available from Farafra however it is usually best to make arrangements before arriving in Farafra with a travel expert based in Cairo in case a tour group is in town and services are not available and to ensure your needs are met. A day and night is enough to get a feel for this remarkable region of the Western desert.
Sitting around the campfire in the White Desert is the best way of chilling at the end of a day’s 4WD-ing.
The White Desert can only be reached with your own transport or as part of an organised tour. Farafra makes the best base for a visit.
- Head out into the desert to explore by camel or 4WD, spending the night under the stars