Valley of the Whales (Wadi Al-Hitan)

Valley of the Whales (Wadi Al-Hitan)

Valley of the Whales (Wadi Al-Hitan)
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles77 reviews
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58
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MahaPhilip
Giza Governorate, Egypt27 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
ElFayoum is a small village like place .. nothing to do except Wadi El Hitan (Whales valley) .. you take a 4x4 car with a driver who drives through the desert a long way .. the whole trip took around 5 hours (Wadi El Hitan+Magic lake) .. very nice to see the remains of veeeeery old creatures .. thousands of years ... but it was not fun to drive through the desert, up & down hills which some of them were really steep, and very risky to climb up and down by the car. For me, it was not worth it .. but my kid liked it. If you like such trips, try to avoid using the 4x4 or at least, tell them upfront that you want to stick to the main road, and that you are not looking forward to be impressed by climbing hills by the car.
Written 8 January 2020
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.

BaltHarbour
London, UK7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Wadi al-Hitan is about 2 hours by car from downtown Cairo, and a world away. Within the protected area are about 20 exhibits of fossilized whale bones. The exhibits are arranged along a path that winds through the desert, and there's excellent signage in English and Arabic.

One company that arranges transport & excursions to Wadi al Hitan is Hani Zaki at (mobile) 010166 6979. Mr. Hani's company runs the small restaurant at the Wadi El-Hitan visitors center.

A 4x4 vehicle is NOT needed to reach the Wadi al Hitan enterance. The Lonely Planet guide says that a 4x4 vehicle is needed, but I saw plenty of vans in the parking lot.

When we crossed into Fayoum governorate on the way to Wadi al Hitan, police stopped our car and assigned us a police escort . For the rest of our time in Fayoum, we were followed by a pickup truck with 6 armed guards. The captain insisted that we leave the protected area before sunset.

A Wadi al-Hitan "Sponsorship opportunities" brochure that I picked up in the visitor's center lists these contacts for the site:
Dr. Mustapha Fouda; Director, Nature Conservation Sector, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, [--]

Daniel Paleczny; International co-manager; IUCN - The World Conservation Union
[--]

Hossam Kamel; National co-manager; [--]
Written 19 February 2010
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.

DiggerPerth
Dalkeith, Australia393 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We visited "Valley of the Whales" in mid December. After being diverted around the Western Desert for most of the day by our guides we arrived at Wadi Al Hitan almost at sunset so our visit was quite brief. However we were extremely disappointed. The displays were quite disappointing. Two or three locations a few bones arranged near each other that people have dug up randomly. Its not as though you can see a complete (or majority of) a skeleton as discovered by an archeologist. Its a long, dusty, bumpy road to get there (and our driver was a maniac). All in all a very disappointing experience. We were told by our tour leader that it had been voted as No 1 UNESCO site recently. I'd hate to see the others. It may have historic significance for scientists but it doesn't rate for tourists.
Written 14 January 2010
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
First, the image of another planet seems to appear in front of you. Because your guide is smiling, you definitely agree to be on your homeland universe. After a while, you see on the sand the bones of one enormous aquatic entity, who died tens of millions years ago … the feeling as you walk on a planet-museum becomes strange. The wind blows and twisted wisps of sand begin to run along the path … whales into the desert … bizarre … a valley with breathtaking aesthetics … if I suggest you to go there? Definitely!
Written 16 December 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.

Debbie C
Grafton Australia541 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011 • Couples
My husband and I went to Valley of the Whales as part of a tour, don't know if you can get out there any other way. Entry is 14LE each paid by the tour company you travel with. This fee also includes entry to Wadi al Rayan ( a picnic area, near man-made lakes and a waterfall in between) you can have a row boat ride for a small fee. Valley of the Whales is simply superb, beautiful landforms, in a clean pristine environment, the fossilized whales and other marine animals are left insitu on the sand where they were found. UNESCO has done an awesome job making this place both visitor safe and friendly. They have created a 3km circuit walkway which you take to see 13 exhibits of fossil remains. This is a site not to be missed, allow one day for this amazing place. Be aware this is 60kms from the Fayoum into the desert so its not within walking distance. Toilets and cafe/shop are onsite near the visitor centre. We camped overnight as part of our tour. You'll love it.
Written 22 February 2012
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.

Sophie B
Riga, Latvia70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Friends
This was a camping trip in the desert for us with a side trip to the whale bones. So firstly the journey from Cairo into the desert is tough, you’re going in a 4 by 4 across sand dunes and yes your driver is going to try to give you a hair raising tide - which we were up for but if you’re not, tell them!
The museum for the site is new and good quality, nice displays. The site itself is part of a large dried out ocean, so you’re looking at a Martian landscape is what it feels like. The silence is deafening. It’s very large and you feel minuscule. The bones have been rearranged after having been found in rock strata, and laid out to give an idea of size and number. This was apparently a former breeding ground for the creatures hence the large number of bones found.
That’s it, there’s nothing else. So if you’re coming all the way into the desert, you need to really want to see this, as that’s all there is.
That said, we did want to see it, and thought it was pretty cool! If you’re in Egypt and don’t just want to do the obvious stuff, might be worth your time.
Written 8 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.

DAVID L
Los Angeles, CA8,096 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
We did a long, but fun, day trip to see the Fossil Whales, Al Ritan, Al Fayoum in the western Sahara at Wadi Al-Hitan with Nahla from Toursbylocals & it was amazing. She knows the area very well. My photos describe it all much better than words. Enjoy !
Written 29 January 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.

mammaseattle
seattle74 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2011 • Family
A "2 hour" trip from Cairo is not true. It took us almost 6 hours with the complicated logistics, traffic, and guards required. Once we got there, nightmare sandstorm, the truck got stuck in the sand, the road washed out and we had to take a detour back to the city. Ended up being a nightmare of a day, mostly stuck in a truck not knowing where we were going or when we'd arrive, coming or going. Not recommended.
Written 11 April 2012
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.

Scarlett_XXX
London76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
...The next on our list was The Valley of the Whales (Vadi Hittan). We had a short stop in Bawiti to change our jeep and say goodbye to lovely Mustafa. If you want, during that break you can have a rest and a shower in the hotel which is already included in the itinerary. Once our jeep was ready we headed off to our next safari. When we turned off the road Hani casually mentioned that they used that route simply as a shortcut and Saudi Arabian Royalty liked camping in the area, now I know why. After an hour or so we stopped for another beauty spot. They do have very good taste, those royalties, you know. The view was truly magnificent, my breath was taken away yet again and yet again it was desert, but totally different to what we’d seen already. There was absolutely nobody around, our jeep was simply a tiny speck speeding alone in the vast spaces on the bottom of an ancient sea. I really did not have to stretch my imagination to see what was happening there millions of years ago. Gradually the colours were changing from greyish sand to sandstone layered with pink. The most incredible formations rose in front of me. Not only the shapes were amazing, but to knock me out completely they were actually carved with ornaments created NOT by a human being. Here, I must add, that actually there was one graffiti left on one of those formations and, yes, that was by a human, I am ashamed to admit it. It was a hot afternoon, walking in the sand was not easy, but it was so well worth it. The entry to the park costs 3$ per person, it is a UNESCO heritage site now. I really did not care much about the fossiled whales’ displays, the landscape on its’ own did it for me.
Speechless, we got into our jeep and drove off to the lakes and waterfalls in El Fayum Oasis...
It was an abstract from my trip report which I posted on TA Forum:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294201-i9404-k3998332-Smiling_Cairo_White_Desert_and_much_more_with_Egyptfuntours-Cairo.html
Written 14 November 2010
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.

RAGHAVENDRA K
Bengaluru, India1,305 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Couples
A place which many centuries ago was a part of the ocean is today a dessert .And driving thru the desert and visiting the museum is an amazing experience once should not miss. Had planned this safari with a night stay in desert along with a visit to the museum. The ride in 4x4 and unique experience of having your lunch in the middle of the desert is worth the money paid. The experience of the one who drives is much to be appreciated as there are no road signs or directions ,still these dessert champions navigate with their expertise. Driving on soft sand is not easy and any change in speed can get your jeep struck in the sand.
Our trip started from Cairo on a early morning .Our Guide Mina ,one of the best thing to happen to us, accompanied us. We drove in his car to the base camp, where our breakfast was ready. As we were vegetarians, Mina had ensured for the same -a spl bread similar to a pizza. Then our dessert guide and driver Mr Walid took us on the dessert safari in his 4x4 jeep which was stuffed with all the essentials needed for the ride. And the ride was amazing, especially when our jeep was made to stand on a sand dune almost 90 degrees to the ground. We were taken to the open museum which has a huge collection of the pre historic whales.Then in the middle of the dessert ,our driver prepared our lunch and we really enjoyed it. We did see the magic lake and modawra mountain on our way back.
The dinner and the overnight stay in the dessert base camp was a different experience altogether. As it was too cold for us in the open air, our Guide Mr Mina arranged for the tent to be shifted inside.
We left the place next morning after having our tea.
Thanks to our guide Mina (0020123995147) ,we had a great time.
Written 10 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.

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Valley of the Whales (Wadi Al-Hitan), Giza

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