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Al Wādī al Gadīd Travel Guide

Al Wādī al Gadīd Travel Guide

Located in Southwestern Egypt, precisely the English New Valley desert muḥāfaẓah- governorate, Al-Wādī al-Gadīd encompasses an area that stretches from the Valley of Nile on the east to the Sudanese frontiers on the south and the Libyan borders on the west. The area is so large that it spans about two fifths of Egypt’s total land mass. Before 1958, the Al-Wādī al-Gadīd district was referred to as the Southern desert which translates in the local dialect to Al-Ṣaḥrāʾ al-Janūbiyyah.

Al-Wādī al-Gadīd consists of five oases clusters sparsely distributed depending on the location of the artesian wells. The oasis clusters include Siwa (Sīwah) Oasis, Al-Baḥriyyah (Bahariya) Oasis, Al-Farāfirah (Farafra) Oasis, Al-Dākhilah (Dakhla) Oasis, and Al-Khārijah (Kharga) Oasis.

The various oases are joined by a desert path that stretches from Cairo to Al-Khārijah, linking to an old route used by caravans of travelers in the past. However, the Siwa Oasis is isolated from the others and is not a part of the large desert arc.

A railway track also links Al-Khārijah to Najʿ Ḥammādī, a town located to the west of Qinā on the river Nile. There’s also a rail line between the iron-ore mines at Al-Baḥrīyah and the steel factory at Ḥulwān.

The region is arid being close to the Sahara desert on the east and also impinging on part of the Libyan sector. The highest point of the Al-Wādī al-Gadīd district is Mount Bābayn which is about 1,104 meters high. From this peak, the area slopes down into the Qattara Depression and the Siwa area. Below the surrounding Nubian sandstone lie aquifers which supply water to the shallow wells in the depressions.

It is being considered to add water to the aquifers by flooding a depression in Aswān using water from the Nasser Lake. The reason for this consideration is due to the reduction in the water level due to deep-well drilling in the oases and the desert area generally.

Updated On April 28, 2020