Call us : +2 01229065477
The remote and genuine oasis
Dakhla is the oasis that lies furthest off the main settlements of Egypt. Unlike many other oases, it is situated above sea level, as high as 122 metres. Still it is fed by more than 520 springs and ponds. 75,000 people live in 14 different settlements, each strong local identities and customs. Only Mut and Al-Qasr qualifies as towns. Before the road came here, Dakhla must have felt like a planet of its own, where only few inhabitants ever came as far as to the neighbouring oases Kharga and Farafra. The main towns are Mut and Al-Qasr , the latter the main attraction in the entire oasis. If you have time, the old town of Mut is also interesting. Dakhla has been inhabited for millenniums, and of old sights, the Muzawaka tombs and Deir al-Hagar temple are the main attractions. At Balat , not far from Bashendi, tombs from the 3rd millennium BCE have been found, but generally the funerary complex is closed to visitors. For many visitors to Dakhla, Al-Qasr is the most memorable part. With an old town with many streets in excellent condition, it offers the best illustration of the oasis' past. Although modern "progress" has been gentle on Al-Qasr, the old quarters are almost completely abandoned. It is really sad, old Al-Qasr is beautiful and offers smart protection against summer heat, while the modern houses needs electric air-conditioning to stay pleasant
Ottoman tombs and more near Qalamoun Deir el-Hagar
The Deir el-Hagar dates back to the 1st century CE, and the carthouches of the emperors of the period, Nero, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian are found around the walls. The temple itself is among the smallest you will ever see, but considering its remoteness out here in the Sahara desert it must not be neglected. The temple is in good condition, a result of the structure being covered by sand for centuries. The temple was dedicated to the Theban triad Amon-Re, Mutand Khonsu, as well as to the god of the oasis, Seth. But its present name calls it a monastery, which is not wrong. A few centuries after its construction was it converted into a Coptic monastery. The entrance fee is surprisingly high, E£20.
Muzawaka Tombs
The Muzawaka Tombs refer mainly to the nicely decorated tombs of Petosiris and Sadosiris , which were discovered by Fakhry in 1972. They date back to Roman times, as do many of the other tombs around this table-top mountain. The two nice tombs have been closed for years. Too much fresh air and the humid breath from visitors put the wall decorations in jeopardy. And the restoration has proved to be very difficult, so nobody know if and when they will reopen. Local guards will still try to make your visit worthwhile, by showing you all the graves with embalmed corpses! The "highlight" is a young girl with genitals pointing directly at you when you look Muzawaka Tombs might therefore not a good option for all visitors.
Magic Spring
The name "Magic Spring" is a touristic invention, something I discovered when trying to locate it without professional help. Most locals from the nearby village hadn't a clue what and where about any magical spring. But we found it, and it is worth the effort. Big and small bubbles continuously pop on the surface of this pond which functions as the beginning of a lazy, little stream. Many oasis springs are now drained by modern equipment; the Magic Spring illustrates exactly the process that has made Dakhla into a green spot with sand dunes on all sides. The water is supposed to be clean and good to drink.