Full Moon in White Desert, Egypt

An utterly beautiful but still almost undiscovered place is the White Desert in Egypt, also known as Sahara el Beyda. If you ever have the chance to spend the night there under a full moon you probably will count this spot to the most beautiful places in the world.

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Shining white limestone and surreal chalk rock formations cover the surface of the desert and gave the place the name "White Desert". Over a time period of millions of years the erosion gradually carved fantastical shapes into the limestone layers. The more solid parts of the rock became sculpted and appear in alien contours like giant mushrooms, pillars or even in bizarre silhouettes of animals like hawks, camels or ostriches.

A hike through the desert is a unique experience. The sunset is breathtaking, and the white rock formations change their color slowly into pink, yellow and orange color shades. Especially in wintertime at full moon the desert turns at night into scenery like a place of another planet. The air is very clear and the light of the full moon baths the shining white landscape into a mystical light. On the ground millions of small objects can be spotted like black iron pyrites together with fossils and small calcite crystals.

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Some people say the downside is the 5 hrs drive from Cairo or the other touristic spots like Luxor or Aswan. It is true, but on the other that's the reason why the place is still not crowded at all. Best way to get there is to stay a night in the oasis el Farafra, from there it is only a 45 minutes drive to the White Desert National Park, which was declared as a national park in 2002. The only way to explore the White Desert is using a 4WD, riding a camel or walking by your own feet.

Watch the sunset after a hike in the desert and enjoy a simple meal cooked on the campfire in the evening. If you are lucky to visit the desert at full moon make a walk at night and experience the silence all around. You will be surrounded by the bizarre rock shapes glowing eerily from the bright moon light. Unroll your sleeping bag on the soft sand and spend a night sleeping under the stars. You probably receive visitors at night like a hungry desert fox looking for some food at the campfire. It reminds you that you are still on earth although you have the feeling of spending the night on the surface of Mars. This is a night you probably will never forget.

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