Introducing Siwa Oasis
Way out in the desert just 50km from the Libyan border, hundreds of thousands of olive and palm trees shade a fertile basin that sits about 25 metres below sea level. Mudbrick hamlets are set among the groves, connected by dirt lanes still mostly travelled by donkey carts. Crystal-clear coldwater springs bubble into deep pools that are irresistibly refreshing on hot days. From the edge of the gardens, the swells of the Great Sand Sea roll to the horizon. Siwa is the archetypal oasis.
Siwa’s geographic isolation helped protect a unique society that stands distinctly apart from mainstream Egyptian culture. Originally settled by Berbers (roaming North African tribes), Siwa was still practically independent only a few hundred years ago. For centuries the oasis had contact with only the few caravan traders that passed along this way via Qara, Qattara and Kerdassa (near Cairo), and the occasional determined pilgrim seeking the famous Oracle of Amun. Today, local traditions and Siwi, the local Berber language, still dominate.
Well worth the long haul to get out here, Siwa casts a spell that’s hard to resist.
Siwa Oasis destination guides
Travel to Egypt and experience the history and culture on a tour that explores Cairo, cruises along the Nile and visits Luxor, Alexandria and the Siwa Oasis. Be humbled by the grandeur of the pyramids, step back in time at magnificent pharaonic tombs, let cares melt away while cruising the Nile in a felucca and get back to nomadic life in a desert camp.
Jordan & Egypt Uncovered
Travel to the Middle East and uncover the mystery of Jordan and Egypt. From the mayhem of city souqs to the serenity of the endless desert, be invigorated by the fearless spirit of biblical prophets, dashing explorers and powerful pharaohs. On this journey from Jordan to Egypt, pass through Petra, Luxor and the Western Desert's unique oases.