Egypt Travel Guide – The Golden Oasis

The Kharga Oasis must be one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially at sunset; everything you see at this “green island in the middle of a yellow ocean of sand”, is natural! Whether you are sleeping under the stars, or just relaxing between the high palm-trees, you will find a feeling of integration with the environment. The first time I saw the El-Kharga Oasis, a bright light came to my eyes and I could not overcome the emotion, even I wondered “what better place to go than El-Kharga Oasis?” During my short stay in this splendid place I realized that I did not look at my watch as often as I usually do in Cairo, since it seemed that time did not matter here; I even walked around more than I do in the city, the fantastic, pure, atmosphere encouraging me to explore, as I found that I was feeling less tired than normal. No doubt the stay in that wonderful place was a kind of recuperation from the gloomy crowded life of the Egyptian capital. Everything around me was clean, quiet, and simple, and for a moment a thought came into my head about buying a house there.

El-Kharga Oasis is about 550Km from Cairo, but it is nearer to Luxor than any other Egyptian town, and was called the Oasis of Thebes by the Ancient Egyptians. There are several monumental sites here, the most important being the Temple of Hebes. It is situated 3Km north of the Oasis, and was dedicated for the worship of the Triad of Thebes, Amon, Mut and Khonso, dating back to the 26th Dynasty.

Another one of the interesting monuments in the area is El-Zayan Temple, which is situated near the small village of and dates back to the Ptolemaic Period. It was dedicated for the cult of Amon-Ra, the God of El-Kharga at the time.

The cemetery of El-Bagawat also deserves a visit; situated behind the Temple of Hebes, these tombs date back to the Early Christian Period, and on the some of the walls there are very interesting coloured scenes, depicting religious events such as: the Exodus, Adam and Eve, various Prophets, Angels, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus.

The Oasis of El-Kharga was a prosperous place during ancient times and was linked with the Nile Valley by many routes. The Greek historian Herodotus mentioned that the great Persian King, Campuses, sent a huge army (about 50,000 men) from Thebes in order to destroy the Oracle Temple of Amon-Zeus at Siwah. The huge army reached the El-Kharga Oasis, was provided with food and water, and then they continued their march towards Siwah, but the campaign vanished and no one can tell what really happened, even today! Some historians suggest that the Persian army was lost in the desert and were sunk in the Great Sea Of Sand, which extends along the borders between Egypt and Libya.

Nowadays El-Kharga is famed for the large number of palm-trees, pigeon-houses, farms, fields, monuments, wells, artisans, traditional handcrafts, and honey-coloured hills, which can be found here. There is also another attraction – riding camels, which is considered by many tourists and visitors, an adventure in itself. On the rocks of some sites some graffiti, left by tourists to commemorate their visit to that beautiful Oasis. Pure springs and natural wells completely unpolluted by chlorine or other chemicals are scattered in several locations in the Oasis. The local people seem to be “at your service“; they are very kind and give visitors the feeling that they are very welcomed. The life there is simple, but extremely satisfying!

There are no sophisticated communications at the Oasis, but who needs technologies there anyway? On the other hand it suffers from the lack of many fundamental services and needs. Source

back to travel guide

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement,Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions.