White Desert

Travel tips you can trust


Why the
White Desert
in Egypt is special

Its unique chalk rock and limestone formations seem surreal, as if on a distant planet. They jut up from the desert floor.

White Desert
tips and insights


The rocks were carved into their eerie shapes by sandstorms over centuries and millennia. The combo formation nicknamed "Mushroom and Chicken" is the most popular.

Typical tour

The heart of a private or organized tour lies between Bahariya Oasis in the north and Farafra Oasis in the south. They are nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles) apart.

You drive from Cairo to one of those oases and return to Cairo via the other. Figure on about five hours each way.

You see more than just the White Desert. When heading south, the major sightseeing stops along the way are:


Black Desert

Short volcano mounds and small black stones dot the land.


Modest-sized valley with unusual hill formations.

Crystal Mountain

Not a real mountain, but a crystal-adorned landscape.

White Desert

The star attraction.


Tour length normally varies from two to several days. Many tours let you sleep in the desert, either in a tent or on the open sands under the stars.

When to vist

Desert temperatures can be unbearably hot during midday from mid-Spring to mid-Fall. If you must come during that period, do your sightseeing early morning or late afternoon. As a bonus, the low-angled sun rays will make the formations more visually striking, both for the eye and camera. For a memorable experience, be there on a full moon.

Location in Egypt

Read about each of Egypt's top 7

Pyramids of Egypt at Giza
Karnak Temple
Nile River Cruise
Egyptian Museum
Valley of the Kings
Abu Simbel
Luxor Temple


Photo by Endlisnis - CC BY 2.0



Share this page

World's Top 100 Wonders
World's Top 1000 Wonders

Site map
My credentials
About my website and criteria
Reader testimonials