Off-Road From Farafra To Dakhla

LOCAL TIME IN Farafra Oasis

Currency in Farafra Oasis

Off-Road From Farafra To Dakhla

If you’ve got time to spare, the off-road journey from Farafra to Dakhla is an amazing two-to-three-day journey that takes you through the constantly varying scenery.

Safaris starting from Bahariya may travel via the White Desert, or take the easier approach used by outfits in Farafra, via road (62km) to Bir Qarawein. This ancient well has now been supplemented by boreholes, allowing watermelons to be grown among dunes that are perfect for sandboarding.

When the boreholes were first sunk in the late 1990s, enterprising locals grew a far more lucrative crop – marijuana – until their plantations were spotted by chance from an army helicopter.

From Qarawein, jeeps backtrack by road to pick up a track to the Sweetwater spring of Bir Dikkur, marked by two palms and a camel’s skeleton, and into the dune lanes advancing in a southeasterly direction. Some have trees protruding from their crests where the dunes have buried whole palm groves on their relentless march towards Dakhla Oasis.

Over the next 100km or so, safaris pass through the Black Valley, strewn with iron pyrites, and the Marble Labyrinth, whose sharp stones are equally hard on cars’ tyres. The route ends with a steep descent from the plateau to Al-Qasr in Dakhla Oasis.