Teeming with mineral springs, this idyllic oasis disrupts the barren Western Desert.
Siwa was declared as a protectorate in 2002, a well-preserved natural ecosystem and expansive landscapes, this region is every explorer’s dream come true spanning almost 8,000km2 of pristine desert landscape. Particular points of interest in Siwa Oasis include the elevated Shali Fortress, which provides stunning views over the surrounding areas and carries key historical and cultural significance. Inside the protected area, Shyata Lake is also not to be missed, a salt lake in the middle of this grand oasis and an occasional pitstop for migratory Flamingo Birds. In the surrounding areas, the Dorcas Gazelle can be seen leaping across the desert landscape.
natural phenomena, animals and plants
Widely recognized for its local date and olive cultivation processes, palm and olive trees line Siwa’s incredible landscape, which encompasses almost 8,000km2. You’ll also find Egyptian Acacia Trees and the highly fire-resistant Tamarix Flowering Plant species at Siwa. With a thriving natural ecosystem, Siwa houses a selection of enchanting bird species, joined by rare animal breeds like the Dorcas Gazelle, Slender-horned gazelle and the Striped Hyena. This desert location is also home to fox species like the small Fennec breed and the distinct Red Fox. Saharan Horned Vipers, which usually coalesce around oases, can be found in Siwa, distinguishable by the unique horns located above their eyes.
activities and excursions
Embark on an exciting safari expedition throughout Siwa’s striking desert landscapes and set up camp underneath the vast sky for an enthralling night of stargazing. Birdwatchers will particularly enjoy Siwa; a popular spot for migratory birds traversing through North Africa. History buffs, too, will find that the many archeological sites scattered all over Siwa provide a wonderful opportunity to immerse oneself in the local cultural heritage. The ancient ruins at Amun Temple have an enchanting Pharaonic story behind them, visit and explore for yourself!
local people and tribes
Local Amazigh tribespeople are considered the easternmost practitioners of indigenous North African Berber culture. Descendants from the Hamudat Tribe, Amazigh people claim a mixture of Arab, Berber, and Sudanese origins. Crafts from this region include pottery, embroidered fabrics, wicker products, and the Amazigh’s renowned salt lamps and candles. Tip! Don’t miss out on trying the locally produced date jam, a regional specialty. Taste some while you’re there and bring a jar or two home for loved ones to try out for themselves! While at Siwa, you’ll likely be offered a delicious Amazigh dish consisting of couscous and vegetables, followed up by popular regional beverages like lemongrass, green tea, or beebrush. Interacting with Amazigh people and learning about their rich culture is one of Siwa’s unique perks. A particularly exciting time to visit Siwa is during Eid El Solh (The Reconciliation Festival), an ancient tradition that lasts for three days and involves a series of communal celebrations, complete with the traditional dish of camel meat, rice, and bread. Did you know that the Amazigh tribespeople have their own, unwritten, dialect of the Berber language? Learn about this, and more, during your once-in-lifetime trip to the magnificent Siwa.
places to lodge
Siwa has plenty of ecolodges, which have been built exclusively from a unique mixture of salt, mud, and palm trees. Stay here for striking scenic views and unparalleled tranquility. +check our trusted green list