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Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Siwa Oasis, Egypt
Temple of the Oracle of Amun, Siwa Oasis, Egypt
Above: Siwa Oasis, Egypt
  • Siwa Oasis, Egypt
  • Temple of the Oracle of Amun, Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Until very recently, Siwa was Egypt’s most inaccessible oasis despite it being one of the most interesting. Until around the middle of the 20th Century, Siwa wasn’t even governed by Egypt, and the town was mostly occupied by the Berber community, as it had been for the past 13 centuries. Even today, Siwans continue to have their own culture and even speak their own language – Siwi.

Siwa’s rich history includes a visit from Alexander the Great in 331 BC; he came here to consult the Oracle of Amun. Many archaeologists also believe that Siwa may be the final resting place of Alexander the Great, although there is no real archaeological evidence to support this theory. Later the King of Persia attempted to destroy the Oracle by sending an army of 50,000 men. The entire army was lost in the desert.

Siwa is now famous for its olives, dates and springs. The area boasts over 70,000 olive trees, 300,000 date trees and has around 1000 springs which are said to have medicinal properties.

Although Siwa is now part of the tourist trail in Egypt, visitors to the oasis should bare in mind that Siwa is still extremely traditional. Girls from the area are often married by the age of 14, after which they wear only completely covering clothes and have little to do with anyone apart from their immediate family. When visiting the area you may see woman in the traditional costumes and silver jewellery.

Siwa isn’t included on any of our tours, but we can a private tour extension from Cairo. Generally we would stay 1 night in Alexandria en-route to break the journey, then 1 night in Siwa.

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Customer feedback

"The crew were tops! Very knowledgable and helpful in everything and being so down to earth! the layout of the truck alone puts all other overland trucks to shame. I had comments from people on the other tours and they all said they were very jealous of our truck. i have enjoyed my time immensely... would do it all over again!"

Ms. Adele Samuel (Istanbul to Cairo - overland expedition)

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