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Western Desert/4-Day Desert Safari

The details of desert safari programs are best worked out with your guide, who will have specific locations to recommend and favorite spots to camp. The itinerary below is a very general framework to give you an idea of how long it might take you to see the desert.

Day 1: Cairo to Bahareya

Make sure you book your hotel before leaving Cairo so that there'll be a friendly face to meet you; your accommodation will also be able to arrange transport, and offer advice and directions as needed. Arriving in the oases around noon, try to sneak in a visit to the Golden Mummies before lunch at your hotel (or try out the landmark Bayoumi's Popular Restaurant, but be aware that the bathrooms are not nice, and you might prefer to use the facilities back at your hotel). After lunch, do the tombs of Banentiu and Zed-Amunefankh. End the day with a trip to a hot spring before dinner.

Day 2: Duo of Deserts

After breakfast, head south with your guide to the Black Desert for lunch. Take in the Tomb of Amenhotep or Temple of Alexander the Great on your way out of town. In the afternoon, head down to the White Desert, perhaps via Crystal Mountain or the Twin Peaks, for the sunset and an evening meal amidst the spectacular white inselbergs. Wrap up tight in the camel's-hair blankets; that sand that was burning your toes during the day retains almost no heat once the sun is set, and the desert night can get pretty chilly.

Day 3: Arrive in Farafra

Check into the Badawiya Hotel for a hot shower and some lunch. Visit the Palm Groves and Ain Romana in the afternoon. Look up Badr at his museum on the way back to the hotel. After dinner, a nice soak in Bir Sitta will take care of the knots and bruises that you picked up yesterday.

Day 4: Shop, Eat & Play

First thing in the morning, head up the hill behind the Badawiya to the Al Haya/Farafra Development Association store to do a little shopping. Head back to Bahareya by road midmorning. Try lunch at Bayoumi's Popular Restaurant for a real taste of the oasis, and then climb Black Mountain before a short afternoon nap so that you can stay up late and track down Abdel Sadek el Badramany at the Concert Bar for some Bedouin music.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.