It is nothing but sand,
terrible aridity, pure
Egypt (the Arab
Republic of Egypt) is one of the
most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. At
1,001,450 kmē, Egypt is the world's 38th largest country and the
world's 15th-most populated. The
great majority of its estimated 90 million people live along the
narrow Nile Valley and Delta, in an area of about 40,000 kmē,
where the only arable land is found. Meaning that about 99% of
the population uses only about 5.5% of the total land area.
is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa.
Egypt is bordered by
Libya to the west, Sudan to the south and by the Gaza and Israel
to the east. The majority of
Egypt's landscape is desert. The Libyan Desert,
the Egyptians themselves prefer to call it the Western Desert,
is spread across three countries. The largest portion in Egypt,
but it also covers eastern Libya and northern Sudan. The Western
Desert in Egypt covers an area of approximately
1,100,000 kmē, it extends approximately 1,100 km from the Nile
to west, and 1,000 km from north to south.
million years ago, a warm shallow, tropical sea called Tethys
deposited a series of thick marine layers that can been seen in
and in all the other parts of the Western Desert. At the end of 40 million years ago, the sea withdrew one last
time, leaving behind a vast limestone plateau. Before leaving
the Tethys Sea left its signature: many types of seashells,
ammonites, the remains of dinosaurs, oil deposits and layers of
During the Quaternary
period the third largest sand sea in the world and the largest
in Africa was formed. The
Great Sand Sea is a large and
impressive expanse of sand dune chains mostly in the Western
Desert of Egypt, with a fringe protruding into Libya. Inside is
one of the great mysteries of the Sahara; the Silica Glass area.
There are seven
depressions in the Western Desert, and all are considered oases
except the largest, Qattara, because its waters are salty. An
oasis is a depression in a calcareous plateau having springs fed
by water flowing from underground aquifers. The major oases of
the Western Desert are ,
and . The waters that feed Fayoum come from the Nile.
The population of the
oases of the Western Desert is of varied origin and includes
Bedouins, Berbers, Libyans and fellahin or peasants from
the Nile Valley. Over the years they intermingled with the
indigenous oasis dwellers whose ancestors have lived here since
the dawn of history. The oases has a pure Egyptian character.
The humble nature and friendly attitude of the inhabitants
towards visitors combined with their unfailing hospitality makes
the stay at the Western Desert very pleasant and relaxing.