Dakhla Oasis is arguably the most picturesque among all the oases found in Egypt’s Western Desert. It boasts of a stunning landscape of palm groves and crops nestled amidst sand dunes, as well as monuments that, despite being modest, still stand and offer insight into the typical architecture of the area. That’s why including Dakhla Oasis in your Egypt itinerary is a wise choice if you want to explore a unique and fascinating natural habitat. And to organize your trip, you can rely on Egipto Exclusivo for all the services you need to enjoy this experience comfortably and safely!
Situated in the southernmost region of Egypt, Dakhla Oasis is practically aligned with Kharga Oasis and the city of Luxor, at a latitude of about 25ºN. Luxor is the closest major city in the Nile Valley, located about 400 km away in a straight line and just over 500 km by road. The nearest oases are Farafra, located 300 km to the northwest, and Kharga, situated 170 km to the east.
Kharga Oasis is comprised of several scattered and small settlements, including El Qsar, Balat, Bashandi, Mut (the largest), and El-Rashda, among others. In total, the inhabitants of all settlements add up to approximately 90,000 people. Notably, the oasis’s lake is situated between the last two settlements.
The Dakhla Oasis is a rich tapestry of different settlements, each with its own unique character and attractions. To help you plan your visit, we’ll organize them by settlement.
Located in the northern area of the Dakhla Oasis, Al Qsar is a village where time seems to have stopped, with some structures dating back to the 10th century. The most remarkable feature of the village is the minaret of an adobe mosque, built in the 12th century. Al Qsar’s popular architecture is also noteworthy, with wooden lintels on some low houses, carved with verses from the Quran.
On the outskirts of Al Qsar, visitors can explore a fascinating necropolis dating back to the Greco-Roman period. While only a few tombs are open to the public, the decorations and murals inside are noteworthy. However, what makes this site truly remarkable is the abundance of mummies filling the tomb spaces. This impactful image offers a glimpse into ancient funeral rites, where multiple deceased were often interred together.
The Deir A-Haggar Temple is probably the most remarkable temple in the Dakhla Oasis and dates back to the Roman period. Dedicated to the gods Amun-Ra, Mut, and Khonsu, its construction dates back to the time of Nero, with references to several Roman emperors depicted on its walls.
Balat is a small village in the Dakhla Oasis with a picturesque center and medieval remnants. Its most emblematic building is the mosque, which houses an ethnographic museum that showcases the customs of the Dakhla Oasis and traditional constructions. Visitors can see blocks of pharaonic-era stone at the madrasa. However, in recent years, the oldest buildings have been abandoned in favor of more recent and comfortable ones.
El Bashandi is a village located at a junction on the outskirts of Balat. Like Balat, it also has several archaeological sites from the pharaonic era, including the Kitines Tomb and the Qila El Daba Tombs. The latter has mastabas from the Old Kingdom, with the tomb of Khentika, governor in the time of Pepi II, standing out. Its interior structure has been completely uncovered, and its interior chambers still preserve mural paintings.
Mut is the largest town in the Dakhla Oasis, and although it doesn’t have any notable monuments, it does boast a hot spring located about 3 km from the urban area called Mut Talata. It’s not the only spring linked to the Dakhla Oasis, with others such as Bir Gebel also worth mentioning.
On the outskirts of Ismant, there is another interesting archaeological site called Kellis, which was a small town from the Greco-Roman to the Byzantine period. Remains of a temple in honor of the Egyptian god Tutu have been found, as well as several Christian churches, making it a fascinating site for history buffs.
The Dakhla Oasis is one of the most remote and isolated oases in Egypt, which has helped to preserve its unique character. However, this also means that getting there can be challenging. Although there is an airport in Dakhla, located south of Mut, it only operates irregularly and is not reliable as a transportation option.
Passenger railway service is not available, and the local bus services are not a viable option for tourists: taxi or public minibus services are used only by local citizens, with a frequency and stop dynamics that only they properly understand.
The best option for tourists is to hire a private vehicle with a driver. Our agency can arrange this service for you, with the schedule and availability you require. If you plan to visit the Dakhla Oasis, we recommend considering a trip through the oases of the Western Desert, as a day trip is not feasible due to the distance. However, a visit to Dakhla can be combined with a visit to a nearby oasis, such as Kharga Oasis.
Here are some distances and estimated travel times to help you plan your trip:
Therefore, a private car with a driver is not only a comfortable option but almost mandatory to avoid mishaps and losses in the Dakhla Oasis. Find out what this service consists of and let yourself be carried away by an agency with enormous experience in trips to the oases of the country
Therefore, opting for a private car with a driver is not only a comfortable option but almost a necessity to avoid any mishaps or losses in the Dakhla Oasis. It is highly recommended to inquire about the details of this service and entrust your journey to an agency with vast experience in trips to the country’s oases.