For us Egyptians, we don’t have to venture too far to come across some of the wildest and most jaw-dropping landscapes there is to see.
Located in the Western Desert, Sahara el Beyda (White Desert) is a main attraction in the Bedouin-inhabited region. The White Desert is famous for its snow white colored landscapes and vast dunes that you can sandboard on or watch the sunset from.
But planning a trip to the White Desert isn’t a matter of spontaneously packing your things and hastily rushing to for a weekend thrill….
Just 500km from Cairo, you can reach the adventure destination by bus, sleep at an eco-lodge near the camping area, and the next day a Jeep will take you to go trekking through the desert.
Here are 5 things you’ll need prepared before making your way to the White Desert.
A thick pair of winter socks
The ideal time to camp out at the White Desert would be during the winter season; during daytime, the run remains constant and could give you a proper burn if you don’t use sunscreen. At night, however, once the sun is gone, the desert is taken over with an icy winter coldness that somehow drops below 0 degrees Celsius.
During our first stay there, the number one item we regretted not packing were a pair of wool socks (or enough socks to layer onto our feet).
Proper recording equipment
If you’re a lover of nature or one who can’t get enough art, then this desert is definitely the place to be. The White Desert boasts of magnificent landscapes covered in white rock formations/limestone that is as white as snow. Foreigners are usually surprised when they see images of the White Desert, wondering how so much snow could make it to Egypt’s terrain.
There are several monuments and famous rocks in the White Desert, such as the chicken rock or the mushroom rock. The landmarks could make for a killer photoshoot.
There’s going to be a lot of walking during daytime. The Bahariya Oasis, where the desert is located at, is part of one of Egypt’s biggest deserts – the Western Desert. You’re going to want to explore, too, once you find these vast stones in front of you, like a relic from the past that’s placed itself in our modern day world.
A Bedouin scarf
Or a cap, but we thought we’d keep it regional. A scarf, contrary to a cap, can comfortably rest on the top of your head, whether knotted at the top of your head or the nape of your neck. This will be beneficial as it won’t damage your hair from the harsh Egyptian sun (Ra is fierce) and will also help in reducing risks of sunstroke.
Marshmallows and Chocolate biscuits
Now is a camping trip really a camping trip if there are no s’mores included? There’s no better way to camp out for a night than to gather around the bonfire at night than with roasting marshmallows on a stick, then placing them between a chocolate-filled biscuit. If you haven’t tried it before, then we here at Global Orient Tours 10/10 recommend that you do so.
A good book, or some proper entertainment
Being out in the desert means that there won’t be much phone coverage or internet connectivity (so please save your breath from asking the Bedouins or the tour guides for a Wi-Fi connection).
In that case, if you’re easily bored or have kids who are restless, we recommend getting some board games if they’re not too difficult to carry, or a good book to read at night around the campfire.
A warm sweater
Like we said earlier, nighttime at the Western Desert during this time of the year can get pretty chilly – and by chilly we mean freezing. Get yourself a sweater that you can throw on at night for when the temperature drops.
A comfy backpack
While this one seems obvious to backpackers (that’s what they live for), many casual travelers tend to forget this one. If you’d like to travel with your luggage, then we recommend purchasing yourself a comfortable backpack. You don’t want to be the person dragging their suitcase or carrying a duffel bag with a painful strap.
Invest in a backpack and you’ll find yourself breezily drifting through your trip.