Half-day local tours of Bahariya Oasis – visiting the Black Mountain, Bir el-Ghaba and Jebel el-Dist – can be arranged by El-Beshmo Lodge (£E300), Ahmed Safari Camp (£E400) or freelance drivers (negotiable). The cost can be split between four or five passengers and a 4WD vehicle isn’t essential.

Bahariya is a hub for jeep safaris throughout the Western Desert, whether to the White Desert in nearby Farafra Oasis, Siwa via the Great Sand Sea, or the Gilf Kebir in the far south. Although this is the best oasis in which to shop around for a deal, price shouldn’t be your only benchmark when choosing a safari operator. Some are highly experienced but others lack the skills to respond to a sandstorm, a car overturning or a tourist needing to be rushed to hospital after dark – or even carry enough water or fuel to survive getting stranded or lost. The farther off-road into the desert you venture, the more vital their competence becomes.

Outfits attached to hotels or camps using drivers aged over 30 are a safer bet than gung-ho 20-somethings with a borrowed jeep and no back-up – so don’t begrudge paying more than the bare minimum charged by novices. Priced on the basis of four passengers, safaris should have a separate supply-jeep for every two or three passenger cars, depending on the terrain and the duration of the trip. Off-road to remote areas requires a guide familiar with the terrain from experience, not merely reliant on GPS waypoints. Local drivers may tell tourists that they have been to the Gilf when really they only know easier terrain closer to home.


Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Egypt features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook