Chalk formation in White desert, Egypt

The Western Desert

Vast and starkly beautiful, Egypt’s Western Desert has a rich and fascinating history.

Dare to venture off the beaten track and into the vast deserts to the west of the country. With far fewer travellers but no less beauty and history, you won’t be disappointed.

Part of the Sahara, Egypt’s Western Desert stretches west to the border with Libya and as far as Sudan in the south. The main oasis settlements are linked by a 1,000 kilometre road which traverses diverse desert terrain, from the chalk rock formations of the White Desert National Park to the inky sand peaks of the black desert and rolling dunes in between. These desert areas are remote and isolated giving a sense of disengagement with the rest of Egypt and the Arab world.

Siwa Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt
Siwa Oasis
Hot Springs, Siwa Oasis, Egypt
Hot spring, Siwa Oasis,

Siwa Oasis

Approximately 600 kilometres from the coastal city of Alexandria, Siwa has some unique and charming hotels and is often visited as a stand alone destination, independently of the other four oases. Due to its remoteness, it maintains its own culture and language, related to the Berber languages of North Africa. Surprisingly fertile, it is Egypt’s major producer of dates and has over a million palms, among which nestle over 200 fresh water natural springs. Surrounding the oasis town, salt lakes and the Great Sand Sea stretch into the distance.

The Black Desert, Western Desert, Nr Bahariya, Egypt
The Black Desert
Architecture, Farafra, White Desert, Egypt
The White Desert
4x4 in White Desert, Bahariya, Egypt
The White Desert, near Bahariya, Oasis

Bahariyah, Farafrah and Dakhla Oases

The closest oasis town to Giza and thus the most accessible, Bahariya has over 100 natural springs and archaeologists have uncovered spectacular finds, including the incredible burial site of golden mummies. Farafrah is the furthest oasis from the Nile Valley and closest to the White Desert National Park, a landscape of strangely eroded sandstone and the most amazing colours. Once capital of the oasis region, Dakhla Oasis is a labyrinth maze of mud-brick villages.


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Hot Springs, Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Bir Wahed Hot Springs

Relax in one of the numerous hot springs scattered around the oases of Bir Wahed and Siwa.

Limestone formation rock, White Desert, Egypt

Sculptures of the White Desert

Visit the limestone sculptures carved by the millennial efforts of sand and wind in the White Desert.

Al Qasr, Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Al Qasr

Visit the thoughtfully restored old town of Al Qasr, showcasing how the other oasis towns once looked before modern development.

Suggested Accommodation

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Al Tarfa £££££

  • Egypt
  • Wilderness

Al Tarfa is an eco-friendly lodge with the comforts and facilities one would expect from a luxury hotel. Situated in Dakhla Oasis, in Egypt’s western desert and set in 200,000 square metres the lodge has been built to blend perfectly with its surrounding – desert dunes, mountains and the greenery of the oasis itself.

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Adrere Amellal Lodge £££££

  • Egypt
  • Wilderness

Located within a 15 minute drive to the town of Siwa, Adrere Amellal Eco-Lodge provides breath-taking views of the salt lake and surrounding oasis.

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Avenue of the Sphnixs, Luxor Temple, Egypt
Avenue of the Sphnixs, Luxor Temple, Egypt

Highlights of Egypt including a Nile Cruise

This classic Egypt holiday takes in the iconic highlights of the country, staying in historic properties that add to the sense of history and place.
Begin in Cairo, moving between the bustle of bazaars and museums and the contrasting desert setting of the pyramids. On the banks of the Nile River, Luxor begins an immersion into the rich history of the country, best showcased on a cruise, gently navigating, watching daily life unfold, exploring shoreside temples before ending amidst the picture perfect setting of Aswan.

11 days

from £5,995 pp

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Rachael Tallents

Adventure, discovery and my curiosity for people and the natural world is what drives my love of travelling.  I am grateful for my parents’ desire to explore, and from an early age my eyes were open to diverse landscapes, cultures, and underwater worlds.

For the last 16 years, I have worked for a leading luxury tour operator designing incredible journeys for discerning clients and travelled to some magical places. I am excited to have joined Steppes Travel, and to be working for a company with such strong ethical and sustainable values.

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  • 01285 880 980

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

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