Bahariya Oasis, Egypt
Fast Facts
Overland Adventure
Historic Interest
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Points of Interest Nearby

Bahariya, Western Desert


Photo by Elizabeth LoCicero

Bahariya (also spelled Baharia) is a must stop on oasis tours and Western Desert expeditions. But don't be fooled into thinking that your half-day break at this desert oasis is for panorama or shopping. In Bahariya, cement buildings have all but replaced traditional mud-brick dwellings. And apart from shops selling dates and olives, there is no tourist market here. Tours, even private guided expeditions, stop at Bahariya Oasis out of necessity. It is the only place to refuel and buy supplies for several hundred kilometers, in all directions. Nonetheless, a trip to Bahariya is not a complete waste of time. The recently discovered Golden Mummies and rock-cut tombs provide insight to an oasis of once greater fortune.
History & Culture
Family travel to Bahariya provides an opportunity to introduce the kids to life in a desert oasis. Learn about the history of the oasis and follow the ebb and flow of Bahariya's fortunes throughout ancient and modern Egyptian history. Find out about Bahariya's golden mummies and how archaeologists discovered this Greco-Roman necropolis of 10,000 graves.
Online maps are a great travel planning resource and a great way to get the kids involved in a family vacation. Use online maps to pinpoint family vacation destinations and create a travel itinerary. Map the Western Desert and identify points of interest from Siwa south to Sudan. Plot your route along the caravan route and discover Egypt's desert oases. And when maps fail use no-maps such as waypoints and satellite images to get a lay of the land and find your way in remote and poorly mapped places. You may find that your children are innate navigators.
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. Discover books by notable Egyptian authors. Explore Egypt through fact and fiction. Embark on a different kind of family journey.
Music & Sound
The ancient Egyptians invented writing and were the first culture to erect a stone monument. And they were the first people to incorporate music and dance into religious ceremonies and everyday life. While little is known of the rhythm and sound, the importance of music is evidenced in wall paintings and the evolution in the instruments played can be followed overtime. Harps, flutes and double clarinets were played in the Old Kingdom. Percussion instruments, lyres and lutes, likely borrowed from neighboring cultures, were incorporated into ancient Egyptian song during the Middle Kingdom. But whether ancient Egyptian music is a precursor to modern Egyptian song remains a mystery. The Arabic music played in Egypt today is believed to be rooted in the courts of Islam between the 7th and 13th centuries. Sufi and Greek influence is noted in the music of that time but the hand of the ancient Egyptians is, as of yet, unproved.
Read Egypt newspapers online and brush up on Egyptian current events from politics to economics and sports to entertainment before you depart on a trip with kids. Get Egypt news and discover what Egyptians are reading. Daily Egypt News is only independent source for Egyptian news. Al-Ahram Weekly is a widely circulated government affiliated newspaper. Egypt Daily News aggregates the local news.
Kids' Stuff
Online resources make learning about mummies lots of fun. Find out how the ancient Egyptians made mummies. Discover how and why they preserved the dead in the process known as mummification. Examine a mummy in its coffin. And before you depart on a trip to Egypt, take time out for arts and crafts. Make a mummy as well as a mummy mask. Remember to ask permission before you get the supplies out.
Recommended Reads for Family Travel to Egypt
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