Egypt: The Pyramids of Giza and the Sahara Desert

Egypt: The Pyramids of Giza and the Sahara Desert

DATES AND COST:

Travel dates : December 4 – 10, 2021

Duration: 7 days / 6 nights

Number of participants : 6 – 12

TRAVEL PROGRAM: SAHARA TOUR

Day 0. December 3, 2021 Flight to Egypt.

Departure from your city to Cairo with arrival on December 4.

* Recommended flight Moscow – Cairo: – By direct flight MS-730 Egypt Air, departure from Moscow on December 4 at 17:05, arrival in Cairo on December 4 at 20:35, – or by direct flight Aeroflot SU-400, departure from Moscow on December 3 at 20:50, arrival in Cairo on December 4 at 0: 45 (additional night in hotel booked by yourself) or DIRECT flight Aeroflot SU-400, departure from Moscow December 4 at 20:50, arrival in Cairo December 5 at 0:45, – or Turkish Airlines via Istanbul flights TK-416 and TK-690, departure from Moscow December 3 at 20:50, arrival in Cairo December 4 at 8:40 am, – or any other flight with arrival in Cairo December 4.

Day 1. December 4, 2021. Arrival in Cairo – Giza.

Arrival at Cairo airport in the morning. Cairo, located near the delta of the great Nile, is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world. Its metropolis, with a population of more than 20 million, is the largest in Africa and the 6th largest in the world. Cairo is home to hundreds of mosques, a citadel, the second oldest institution of higher learning in the world, Al-Azhar University, and the world-famous Egyptian Museum, which houses the world’s most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 136,000 exhibits on display, and hundreds of thousands more in the basement. Among its most famous exhibits are items from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Transfer to Giza to Hayat Pyramids View Hotel. Check in to the hotel. Check-in time is usually after 12 noon, but if rooms are available we will be accepted and checked in from 9 am. Time to sleep after a night flight and free time in Giza. The Hayat Pyramids View Hotel has the best location in Giza with a spectacular view of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. It is only 300 meters from the Great Sphinx! Giza Necropolis includes the Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Cheops), the Pyramid of Chephren and the Pyramid of Menkaure and the related pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx. They were all built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Ancient Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2580 – 2560 BC). The Great Pyramid and the pyramid of Chephren are the largest pyramids built in ancient Egypt. They became well known in ancient Greece when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still intact today. You can spend time photographing the views or visiting this famous historic site, or go exploring the historic center of Cairo. Dinner on the hotel terrace overlooking the Egyptian pyramids. Overnight at the hotel.

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Meals: none Accommodation: Hayat Pyramids View Hotel (double occupancy)

Day 2. December 5, 2021. Giza – Bahariya Oasis – Black Desert (360 km, 5 hours drive).

After breakfast and photography of the pyramids of Giza at dawn at 8 am we leave for Oasis Baharia, located in the Sahara Desert. Lunch in the village. El Baharia is a lowland and large oasis in the Western Sahara, this is where mummies were once found and genetic research was done with them. The inhabitants of the oasis, or Wahati people (meaning “oasis people” in Arabic), are descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the oasis, the Bedouin tribes from Libya and from the northern coast of Africa, and other people from the Nile Valley who came to these places and settled in the oasis. The people here successfully grow guavas, mangoes, dates, and olives. We begin exploring Egypt’s Western Desert, a region of the Sahara that lies west of the Nile River to the Libyan border and south of the Mediterranean Sea to the border with Sudan. It is named in opposition to the Eastern Desert, which extends east from the Nile to the Red Sea. The Western Desert is mostly a stony desert, although an area of sandy desert known as the Great Sand Sea lies west of the Libyan border. The desert covers an area of 680,650 square kilometers, which is 2/3 of the country. Today we will reach the Black Desert, where we will choose a beautiful place to shoot at sunset and camp. Dinner and overnight in tents in the Black Desert.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Accommodation: tents (single occupancy).

Day 3. December 6, 2021. Black Desert – Crystal Mountain – “Al-Agabat Off-Road”.

Taking pictures of the Black Desert at sunrise. Breakfast. After breakfast we will continue to explore the Black Desert, an area of black volcanic cones and deposits of dolerite. The mounds in the shape of volcanic cones, scattered over a length of about 30 km, are covered with basalt rocks, giving them a characteristic black color. The mounds of the Black Desert are up to 100 meters high. On the edge of the Black Desert are volcanic mounds, evidence of the eruption of dark volcanic dolerite dating back to the Jurassic period 180 million years ago. After the discovery of a large dinosaur skeleton on its borders, the Black Desert has been declared a nature reserve since 2010. We will also visit a nomadic Bedouin village and learn about these traditional herders and their camels. Lunch at the herders’ house. After lunch we travel to Crystal Mountain with its bizarre crystal formations. From here we drive about 50 km off-road to a place called Al-Agabat Off-Road. Al-Agabat is perhaps the most spectacular place in the Western Desert, with its striking, column-like stone towers with flattened tops. These “pillars” stick out here and there from the flat surface of the desert and create an unearthly landscape. But this time our expedition will go even deeper into the desert to explore the part of Al-Aqabat where there are no roads and which is hardly ever visited! Photo shoot of the Al-Agabat Off-Road at sunset. Dinner and overnight in the area.

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Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Accommodation: tents (single occupancy).

Day 4. December 7, 2021. “Al-Agabat Off-Road” – Crawein Sand Dunes – Al-Agabat

Taking pictures of the remote part of Al-Aqabat at dawn. Breakfast. After breakfast we drive to the sand dunes of Cravein, located east of the edge of the so-called Great Sand Sea, the place where the high sand dunes begin. After that we drive to Magis Springs, where we can swim in the springs. Lunch at the springs. In the afternoon drive to the Big Valley, Small Valley and Watermelon Valley. Transfer to Al Agabat. After sunset you will enjoy the classic view of Al Agabat, one of the most impressive and photogenic sites of the White Desert. Sunset photography of Al Aquabat. Dinner and Bedouin music by the fire. Overnight under the starry sky.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Accommodation: tents (single occupancy).

Day 5. December 8, 2021. Al Agabat – Old White Desert.

Photo of the classic part of Al Agabat at sunrise. Breakfast. Departure to the White Desert via Ain Hadra with a spring and some vegetation. Transfer to the Old White Desert, arriving in time to admire the magnificent sunset. Finally (before sunset) we reach the main attraction, the White Desert, known as the Sahara el-Beida (“sahara” means desert). It is located closer to another oasis, Farafrah, and forms the White Desert National Park. The wind-carved “mushroom-shaped” cliffs, ranging in color from white to cream, are the centerpiece of the White Desert National Park. They are massive formations of chalk cliffs that are textbook examples of weathering rocks and that were created by constant sandstorms in the area. It is believed that this place was once the bottom of the world’s oceans. This accounts for the large amount of Cretaceous deposits here. Dinner and Bedouin music by the fire. Night under the starry sky.

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Food: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Accommodation: tents (single occupancy) or under the open sky.

Day 6. December 9, 2021. White Desert – Bahariya – Giza (520 km, 7-9 hours drive).

We wake up early to get the best pictures of the White Desert at sunrise. After breakfast we continue exploring the White Desert, the part known as the New White Desert. It goes back thousands of years. We are in the most interesting part, full of unearthly scenery – the white chalk desert, covered with bizarre white rocks of every conceivable shape. Mushroom-shaped pillars can form in outcrops of rocks of medium height, as the lower part is subjected to grinding under the influence of sandstorms. This is because even with strong winds, the sand grains cannot be held in the air all the time. Instead, the particles bounce off the ground, rarely reaching several meters above the ground. Over time, the bouncing grains of sand can destroy most of the lower portions of the rock formations, leaving the cap virtually undestroyed. The resulting shapes often resemble fantastic stone mushrooms. At about noon we return to Bakhariya Oasis, and in the afternoon we continue back to Cairo. Evening return from the desert to Giza to Hayat Pyramids View Hotel. Shower and rest in hotel.

Meals: breakfast, lunch Accommodation: Hayat Pyramids View Hotel (double occupancy).

Day 7. December 10, 2021. Cairo- Departure home.

After breakfast, transfer to Cairo airport. Check-in for flight and flight home.

* Recommended flight from Cairo to Moscow: – (without overnights in Cairo) Aeroflot direct flight SU -401, departure from Cairo on December 10 at 01:45 AM, arrival to Moscow on December 10 at 7:35 AM OR Aeroflot direct flight SU -401, departure from Cairo on December 11 at 01:45 AM, arrival to Moscow on December 11 at 7:35 AM. – or by direct flight MS -729 EgyptAir, departure from Cairo on December 10 at 10:35 am, arrival in Moscow on December 10 at 16:05, – or by Turkish Airlines via Istanbul TK -691 and TK -415, departure from Cairo at 9:35 am on December 10, arrival in Moscow on December 10 at 19:55, – or by any other flight with departure on December 10 or at night from December 9 to 10.

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