Crystal Mountain And Agabat

LOCAL TIME IN Farafra Oasis

Currency in Farafra Oasis

Crystal Mountain And Agabat

Coming from Bahariya Oasis, you’ll enjoy a succession of fantastic views as you enter the Farafra depression, where safaris halt to let passengers admire the Crystal Mountain (Jebel al-Izaz), a shiny quartz ridge with a human-high natural arch through the middle, which is why locals call it Hagar al-Makhrum, the “Rock with a Hole”.

At this point, jeeps can turn off onto a signposted route into the White Desert known as the English Track (after the 1920s explorers who first found a way by car), but most traffic continues along the highway, descending the Naqb es-Sillum past the landmark Twin Peaks, to the east.

Beyond Twin Peaks lies the spectacularly rugged terrain known as Agabat (“Wonders”). Its pale rock “sugar loaves” are a feast for the eyes, but the surrounding soft sand and powdered chalk can easily entrap vehicles – which is why some locals call the locality Akabat (“Difficult”).