BAHARIYA


The Oasis Bahariya is the one in the north of the four oasis group Bahariya – FarafraDahla – Kharga  in the western desert.

From Cairo to Bahariya it is about 350 km. The street was built in the 70 th , in this time started the mining of iron in the mine MANAGEM near Bahariya and until now they work there.

The dimension of the oasis is from N to S about 95 km and from W to E about 42 km. Eight small villages are here, the main village is called Bawiti and there live about 30.000 inhabitants.

The whole life here based on the ground water. This fossile water is very deep underground and come up through  artesian wells. About 400 wells bring the water or the agriculture.
You find there thousands of palmtrees with dates, several fruit and vegetables. But now is not enough water, they have to drill very deep to get water.

So the people have to look for other incomings. They began to offer deserttrips by car or by camel and they built several hotels for the tourists. They bring the tourists to the wonderful places around Bahariya like the Black Desert and the Crystal Mountain and show them the magic landscape of the White Desert.

But Bahariya is also an historical oasis, many places tell us stories of the past.
In the pharaonic time they cultivate there a lot of wine. This is shown in the tombs of two rich merchants named BANENTIU and his father ZED AMUN EFANKH, these tombs are full of wonderful paintings.  But Bahariya became most famous in 1996 when a farmer found the burial place with hundreds of mummies from the time of 332 b.C. .
The story is, the farmer went home with his donkey. The donkey made a bad  move and opened a hole in the ground. The farmer looked in there and saw something glittering. So he told this to the archeologists, the most famous archaeologist of Egypt Dr. Zahi Havass opened this area and found hundreds mummies with golden faces, these are the GOLDEN MUMMIES. Some of them are shown in the museum in Bawiti.
Also Alexander the Great left his footsteps here with a palace when he was on his way to Siwa, to ask the famous oracle there.
From the time of the first world war you can see on a hill walls of an English fort. The English soldiers built it to watch the area in the time of the battle against the SENUSSI. This is a fraternity of the SUFI in Lybia, they wanted to conquer this Egyptian part, but the anglo-egyptian troupes pushed them back.