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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrAlso known as Sahara El Beyda, the White Desert is the main centerpiece in the town of Farafra , Egypt. Right as you enter this desert, your eyes are greeted by a vast bed of beautiful white sand, which scintillates at night under the moonlight, giving it an appearance of a snow-laden, picturesque beauty.
Adorning this desert, you will find captivating, wind-carved rock formations, known as Inselbergs, that to some looks like animals, pebbles, mushrooms, and more. They say that nature is the masterpiece of God. In this case, this desert almost looks like a canvas which has been painted on by the creator himself. In fact, within the heart of the White Desert itself, you will find a rock formation in the shape of a finger (66 feet high), rising from the sand and aiming towards the sky. Egyptians call this the finger of God, or “Al Qubar”
Looking at it currently, it can be hard to imagine that this desert was once a sea bed, and once the ocean dried up over time, the place was covered by layers of rock deposited from the sea. Over time, with the change of climate, the softer parts of the landscape eroded away, and the sand carrying wind-sculpted, grooved and polished the rocks into natural geomorphic features, lauded by thousands today. In fact, if you observe very closely, you are sure to notice seashells hidden in the rock grooves.
The outer parts of this White Desert is known as the “Old Desert”. This area is accessible to people without a 4-wheeler. Here, among the mushroom-shaped rock formations, you will find a 300 year-old Acacia tree standing strong. There is also a protected area of the White Desert where you will find rare birds, Foxes and Deers. This place also houses three natural springs- Ain Hadara, Ain Al Makfy, and Ain Al Sero. Surrounded by palm trees, these springs provide the animals with the water they need to survive.
Because the city of Cairo is a few hours from this landmark, the White Desert is never too populated. Chances are you will be able to enjoy the serene beauty of this landscape and appreciate the stillness, without a huge group of people hustling in the background.
Most people stay here overnight, because spending a night under the crystal clear sky glittering with multitude of stars is an experience not worth missing.
The view is almost surreal, like visiting a different planet. Due to the strong winds, the landscape is always changing, and before you know it, this wonder will soon collapse into sand. So if you have a chance to witness this piece of fleeting art, grab it. You certainly won't be disappointed.
Other Landmarks Near The White DesertThere are several other landmarks in close distance to the White Desert. These include the very impressive- Djara Cave, the culture-rich, old village- Qasr El- Farafra, the very beautiful - Badr's Museum, the lush and relaxing hot springs, the enchanting Abu Noss Lake, and the calm and still Ain Besai.
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Author: Convergence. Last updated: May 28, 2014