Black Desert
Black Desert
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles27 reviews
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Susan C
Melbourne, Australia1,490 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Before we got to the White Desert on our two day tour we crossed the Black Desert dotted with black stony basalt outcrops some of which have broken down to a scattered layer of rocks. While it isn't as pretty as the White Desert it has its own charm. We walked up a gully between two ridges in a popular hiking area near Tal Al-Marsous Mountain. It has a number of volcanic cones / pyramid shaped mountains dotting the landscape which can easily be seen from the main road.
Written 9 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ratna N
Dallas, TX1,698 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2016 • Solo
First things first:

SAFETY: as a single hindu woman travelling alone in a muslim country, in the desert, away from civilization and city life,I never felt unsafe even for a minute. Everyone I encountered there was very helpful and friendly and warm and open. Just normal people like you and me! The desert is over 1000 miles to the Libyan border , chances of incursions are remote! This is where the guide comes in.

WHO TO GO WITH: there are several companies that offer tours into the desert from Cairo as well as from the Bahariya oasis. I was looking for a guide/ company that was experienced in doing overnight desert trips, experience in these kind of trips is important. I am not a camping / desert type of gal. I like the comforts of city life , a/c, internet etc. I was specifically looking for someone who knew the desert like the back of their palm, who had a plan B in case of unexpected eventualities, was knowledgeable about the desert and interested in what I wanted to see, had suitable vehicles to get to the Oasis from Cairo and then 4 wheel drive to go off road , who would patiently answer all my questions and take me to the Black desert and back safely I did my research and chose Desert Egypt Safaris run by Mr. Mohamed Marghany and I was not disappointed at all. Right from answering my many questions months in advance of my tour, to making sure I was comfortable and safe every part of the tour Mohamed was excellent. I was very glad I chose to go on tour with him! Your guide will make all the difference in making a trip to the desert successful so pick wisely! I really liked that he was very particular about not violating the boundaries of the safety zone and yet found a way to let me see and photograph everything I wanted to!

THE TOUR: was a 2 day tour , we left Cairo early in the morning, drove to the Bahariya Oaisis , then switched to 4 wheel drive, went through the black desert to the White Desert, drove back and camped in the Black desert overnight, then explored the black desert in the morning and the oaisis and then back to Cairo.

WHAT TO EXPECT: it is the Sahara Desert, there are no amenities of any kind, you need to be prepared to either hold it or use the facilities outside. Your guide will give you a list of what to bring to help you be prepared for the desert. Be prepared not to see anyone there, I went in July. it was very hot! Be prepared for Egyptian hospitality, they will not let you do anything as in set up camp, or get the meal ready.

BE PREPARED: why do you want to go to the desert? if rocks and sand and geology dont interest you then this is not the tour for you! Go visit museums instead.

it is not in my place to tell you why to go to the Black desert! But having been there I CAN tell you with certainty that the Black Deseert is one of the most unique, alien, weird, picturesque landscapes I have ever seen!

Look at my pics! There are so many levels one can look at these pics! On a purely aesthetic level, most will just pooh pooh these pics and they are just black mountains whats so special about them? Oh but there is much special, the contrast of the black roack and the almost golden sand that glows, some hills are absolutely charred, others have just their tops blackened with soot and rocks swirling down their slopes creating so many patterns! I tried hard to get not only the hill but also the base of the hills and the desert in the picture. In class we talk all the time about erosion and weathering and the difference between them, here is a live example of both processes happening!

Even more interesting to contemplate is the contrast between the White and Black deserts. Both are just a 100 kn apart. How is it that one is so black and volcanic and the other is so white and limestoney? Were they both under the Mediterranean sea at the same time? what happened to make one region so volcanic and the other not? it is an interesting visual contrast but becomes more interesting as one delves into the geological history of the land!

70 million years ago this area was all under the sea and very volcanically active. The volcanic activity caused magma to spew which cooled into this black lava.I do not think there was a massive explosion cause there are too many peaks for that. I think these hills were extruded out after the explosion and as the water drained away the rock started to erode.

There is a lot of iron in the form of iron quartzite and ferruginous sandstone. Iron quartzite is a hard metamorphic rock made by subjecting sandstone to heat and pressure. The sand around the mounds is covered by a thick crusty layer of old dolerite, black basalt and volcanic rocks!

This is such an interesting tour, throw in the white desert, crystal mountain, the Bahariya oaisis, magic lake , sunrise in the desert and there is magic waiting to happen! Go experience it! it is well worth it !

LOOK AT MY PICS AND DECIDE!
Written 8 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SReny
Ireland234 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2019
I had the privilege of seeing the black desert. It is covered in black rocks said to have been the result of volcanic activity millions of years ago.
Written 18 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Abeer A
44 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
I loved my trip to western desert so much, where we visited the black desert and white desert. i loved the way you find the mountains sculpted by the wind and sand.
Written 9 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MasumMS
Dhaka City, Bangladesh156 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Friends
The place is full of eon-old dead volcanoes. This part of the desert is filled with black rocks, hence the name. The black rocks are the result of eruptions of all those volcanoes. The landscape is quite alien, with sands and black rocks and an aura of death all around. A good place to get yourself some unique photos.
Written 28 April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

anagh
Bucharest, Romania2,283 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2013 • Couples
Basaltic columnar sheet is about 30 million years old. If possible, try to go on top of the hills and admire the sunset, Jebel Marsus (28°15'55.53"N 28°45'8.24"E) is the best location. A good idea is to spend there one evening and also catch a sunrise and as much as you can on your camera. I think this area is one of the best in Egypt for outstanding photos. If you want to understand more about the genesis of this place, read here: b14643.de/Sahara/Bahariya_Basalts/index.htm
Written 25 September 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ronald p
Castle Rock, CO178 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
The black desert is worth the visit, as it shows dozens of extinct volcanos where the stones of lava are still there to be seen and touched. The black colour of the stones still covers the scenario. His neighbour is the White Desert, that is even more interesting, as it was the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea 4 million years ago. The site is gorgeous and you may have the sensation of being in another planet.
Written 17 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matthew S
Jakarta, Indonesia23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Friends
There are some fantastic sand dunes in the black desert that we camped next to. Lots of good views to see and well worth the trip there. Highly recommended.
Written 14 June 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zarafa
Pretoria, South Africa126 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Friends
This part of the desert is not so much called the black desert because of black sand but for the layer of black dust and rock that blanket the region.Away from the road there are volcanic hills that erupted 20,000+ years ago, created mountains out of the black volcanic dolerite. It take 4+ hours to drive out here from Cairo after battling with city traffic so it is a possible one day trip but two-days makes it easier. 3+ day means time to see the museum and other attractions in the collection of villages around the oasis. Well worth some time to see and supplies, lodging and or meals can be arranged nearby.
Written 2 December 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HRS_6
Kluang, Malaysia1,603 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Couples
This desert safari was the first one for me.
You will find Black Desert first before going into White Desert on the way from Bahariyya to Farafra.
You could easily climb English Mountain, the highest point in the Black Desert with English army outpost ruin on top of it.
By using 4x4 wheel drive, you could experience ascending and descending sand dune etc.
Written 1 April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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