Photo expedition to the White and Black Deserts


November 3 - 9, 2023

tour to Sahara expedition White desert Black Desert Sahara el Beyda tour to Egypt Oasis Bahariya Bedouin

Dassanech Karo tribe Bulls jumping ceremony Assale Afar
Sahara – the largest hot desert on Earth, covering one third of all African continent, hides the real treasures that can amaze even experienced traveler. And guess where? - In Egypt!
Here you will find the sand dunes of Sahara, Black volcanic desert, where hundreds of mounds are strewn with basalt slivers, and a completely unearthly whitish landscape of the Sahara el Beyda with giant Martian rocky mushrooms created by sandstorms.

Setting off on a short photographic journey to the "alien planet" is priceless!

Sahara – the largest hot desert on Earth, covering one third of all African continent, hides the real treasures that can amaze even experienced traveler. And guess where? - In Egypt!
Here you will find the sand dunes of Sahara, Black volcanic desert, where hundreds of mounds are strewn with basalt slivers, and a completely unearthly whitish landscape of the Sahara el Beyda with giant Martian rocky mushrooms created by sandstorms.

Setting off on a short photographic journey to the "alien planet" is priceless!
The expedition is led by a professional photographer.

Dates: November 3-9, 2023

Duration: 7 days / 6 nights

Number of participants: 6 – 12

Cost per person:
- EUR 990 subject to 12 participants,
- EUR 1090 subject to 10 – 11 participants,
- EUR 1140 subject to 8 – 9 participants,
- EUR 1240 subject to 6 – 7 participants.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before June 3, 2022)

Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Cairo roundtrip,
- international medical insurance,
- visa of Egypt (USD 25, to be obtained upon arrival in Cairo airport),
- lunches and dinners in Cairo.

Estimated cost of flight Moscow – Cairo – Moscow: EUR 300 – 450 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).

Single supplement for hotels: EUR 180

Day 0. November 2, 2023. Flight to Egypt

* Recommended flight from Moscow to Cairo:
- with Egypt Air DIRECT flight MS-730, departure from Moscow on November 2 at 17:05, arrival in Cairo on November 3 at 20:35,
- or with Aeroflot DIRECT flight SU-400, departure from Moscow on November 2 at 20:50, arrival in Cairo on November 3 at 0:45 am (extra night at the hotel to be booked on your own),
- with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul TK-416 and TK-690, departure from Moscow on November 2 at 20:50, arrival in Cairo on November 3 at 8:40 am,
- or any other flight with arrival on November 3.

Meals: no
Accommodation: no

Day 1. November 3, 2023. Arrival in Cairo – Giza

Arrival in Cairo airport in the morning.
Cairo, located near the Great Nile delta, is a capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world. Its metropolitan area, with a population of over 20 million, is the largest in Africa and the 6th-largest in the world.
Cairo houses hundreds of mosques, citadel, the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University and the world's famous Egyptian museum – home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. It has 136,000 items on display, with many more hundreds of thousands in its basement storerooms. Among its most famous collections on display are the finds from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Transfer to Giza to Hayat Pyramids View hotel. Check-in at the hotel. Сheck-in time is normally after 12 pm (noon), but in case the rooms are available, we are welcome to early check in starting from 9 am.
Time to sleep after night flight and free time in Giza. Hayat Pyramids View hotel has the best location in Giza with the amazing view onto Great Pyramids and Sphinx. It is just 300 meters aside of Great Sphinx!
The Giza Necropolis includes the Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Cheops), the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza. All were built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt (c. 2580 – c. 2560 BC). The Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Khafre are the largest pyramids built in ancient Egypt. They were popularized in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the Ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
You can spend time photographing views or visiting this famous historical site, or set off to explore Cairo historical city center.

Meals: no
Accommodation: Hayat Pyramids View hotel (double/twin accommodation)

Day 2. November 4, 2023. Giza – Bahariya Oasis – Black Desert (360 km, 5 hrs driving)

After breakfast and taking pictures of Giza Pyramids at sunrise, depart at 8 in the morning for the Oasis of Bahariya that is located in Sahara desert. Have lunch in the village.
El-Bahariya is a depression and large oasis in the Western Sahara.It is here, where once mummies have been found on which genetic studies have been conducted. The people of the oasis, or the Wahati people (meaning "of the oasis" in Arabic), are the descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the oasis, Bedouin tribes from Libya and the north coast, and other people from the Nile Valley who came to settle in the oasis. The successfully grow hereguavas, mangos, dates and olives.
After lunch in the village, we continue by 4×4 to see shortly Oasis of Bahariya. We visit the Pyramid Mountain and sand dunes.
We start exploring the Western Desert of Egypt – an area of the Sahara which lies west of the river Nile, up to the Libyan border, and south from the Mediterranean sea to the border with Sudan. It is named in contrast to the Eastern Desert which extends east from the Nile to Red Sea. The Western Desert is mostly rocky desert, though an area of sandy desert, known as the Great Sand Sea, lies to the west against the Libyan border. The desert covers an area of 680 650 km2, which is two-thirds of the land area of the country.
Today we will reach the Black Desert, where we will choose a beautiful location to take photos at sunset and set up our camp.
Dinner and overnight in tents in the Black Desert.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents (single accommodation)

Day 3. November 5, 2023. Black Desert – Crystal Mountain – "Al Aqabat off-road"

Photographing the Black Desert at sunrise. Breakfast.
After breakfast we continue exploring the Black Desert – an area of black volcanic hills and dolerite deposits. Volcano-shaped and widely spaced mounds, distributed along about 30 km, are capped by basalt sills, giving them the characteristic black color. The mounds of the Black Desert, up to 100 m high, vary in size, composition, height, and shape. On the outskirts of the Black Desert are volcanic hills proving the eruption of dark volcanic dolerite, dating back to the Jurassic period 180 million years ago. After discovering a large dinosaur skeleton on its borders, the Black Desert has been declared a natural reserve as of 2010.
We will also visit nomadic Bedouine village to meet these traditional camel herders. We have lunch there.
After lunch we go to Crystal Mountain with bizarre crystal formations.
From here on we do some 50 km off-road to the place called "Al Aqabat off-road".
Al Aquabat appears arguably the most impressive place of Western Desert with its amazing pillar-like rocks having smooth tops. This "pillars" are popped up here and there and it creates unearthly landscape.
But this time our expedition goes even deeper to the desert in order to explore the part of Al Aquabat where there are no any roads and which are almost not visited!
Photographing "Al Aquabat off-road" at sunset.
Dinner and overnight in the area.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents (single accommodation)

Day 4. November 6, 2023. "Al Aqabat off-road" – Kraween sand dunes – Al Aqabat

Photographing the remote part of Al Aquabat at sunrise. Breakfast.
After breakfast, depart for the Kraween Sand Dunes situated to the east from the edge of what is called Great Sand Sea – the place where big sand dunes begin.
After that we head to Magic Springs where we have lunch. You are welcome to bath in the springs.
In the afternoon travel to Big Valley, Small Valley and Watermelon Valley&
Proceed to Al Aquabat. Bedore sunset we reach the classical view of Al Aquabat – one of the most impressive and photogenic places of White Desert.
Photographing Al Aquabat at sunset.
Enjoy dinner and Bedouin music around the campfire. Overnight in the area.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents (single accommodation)

Day 5. November 7, 2023. Al Aqabat – Old White Desert

Photographing classical part of Al Aquabat at sunrise. Breakfast.
Proceed to White Desert by way of Ain Khadra with spring and small trees. Travel to Old White Desert, arriving on time to admire the magnificent sunset.
We finally reach the main attraction – White Desert (known as Sahara el Beyda, with the word "sahara" meaning a desert). It is already closer to Farafra Oasis and comprises the White Desert National park.
Wind-carved "mushroom" rocks colored from snow-white to cream are the centerpiece of White Desert national park. It has massive chalk rock formations that are textbook examples of ventifact and which have been created as a result of occasional sandstorm in the area. It is believed that once this place was a bottom of the world ocean.
Enjoy dinner and Bedouin music around the campfire. Sleep under the starry sky at the one of the most surreal places on Earth.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents (single accommodation) or under the sky

Day 6. November 8, 2023. White Desert – Bahariya – Giza (520 km, 7-9 hrs driving)

We wake up early to take best pictures of White Desert at dawn. After breakfast, we continue exploring the White Desert, the part called New White Desert.
that dates back thousands of years. We are in the most interesting part, full of unearthly views – white chalky desert covered with bizarre white rocks of all imaginable shapes.
In moderately tall, isolated rock outcrops, mushroom shaped pillars of rock may form as the outcrop is eroded by flying sand grains. This occurs because, even in strong winds, sand grains can't be continuously held in the air. Instead, the particles bounce along the ground, rarely reaching higher than a few feet above the earth. Over time, the bouncing sand grains can erode the lower portions of a ventifact, while leaving a larger less eroded cap. The resulting forms thus frequently resemble fantastical stone mushrooms.
At 10 am or so we drive back to Oasis of Bahariya. At noon arrival in Bahariya, and proceed driving back to Cairo in the afternoon.
Evening return from the desert to Giza to Hayat Pyramids View Hotel. Shower and rest at the hotel.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Hayat Pyramids View Hotel (double/twin accommodation)

Day 7. November 9, 2023. Cairo – Flight back home

After breakfast, transfer to the Cairo airport. Flight back home.

* Recommended flight from Cairo:
- any flight with departure on November 9 or in the night between November 9 and November 10, 2023.

Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: no

Cost includes:

• Accommodation in hotels in Cairo and Bahariya (in double/twin rooms)
• Accommodation in tents in a desert (single accommodation)
• Full board: three times a day meals throughout entire expeditional route, i.e. except for lunches and dinners in Cairo
• Breakfasts in Cairo
• Drinking water throughout the whole trip, except for Cairo
• All transfers according to the itinerary by 4WD cars in a desert and in ordinary minibus/cars until Bahariya, driven by local experienced drivers
• Airport transfers
• Tents, mattresses and sleeping bags
• All permits for visiting protected areas, National parks
• English-speaking local Bedouine guide throughout all expedition route and Russian- and English speaking team leader photographer throughout all itinerary.

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid) :

• International air ticket to Cairo roundtrip
• International medical insurance
• Egyptian visa
• Tips and personal expenses
• Single accommodation

To take with:

• long-sleeve set - best long-sleeve t-shirt with UV protection, hot weather set (pants, shorts, dresses for photos)
• fleece jacket/light jacket for cool nights
• comfortable shoes for sand (special boots for the desert or Velcro sandals with closed toes, light footwear (sneakers, crocs for the evening and the city)
• cap/hat
• buff for protecting from the dust (optional)
• head torch with batteries
• large backpack / suitcase / trolley on wheels, better rubberized from dust (a suitcase is less convenient)
• a small backpack for radial walks (20-25 l) / a small bag (for water, phone, napkins)
• sleeping bag for sleeping bag for +5 degrees weather (can be cold in the night)
• sunblock cream
• sunglasses
• personal hygiene items (towel, wet tissues, toilet paper)
• personal medical kit (analgesics, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydrone, court plaster, your personal medications)
• photo and video camera, tripod
• spare batteries, power bank

  • 1
    We find the most astonishing places on Earth and speed up to reach them. Our motto is to go ahead of road roller, touch the unique and unknown, before it disappears.
  • 2
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  • 3
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  • 4
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  • 5
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