I’m Marcy Yu from the Instagram account @marcy_yu. Welcome to my travel guide on the White Desert in Egypt. I was born in Costa Rica but I’m half Taiwanese. I spent most of my childhood growing up in Panama.
My inspiration for traveling came from my previous corporate job. I was the Marketing and PR Communications Director for Ralph Lauren in Latin America for eight years. I had the great pleasure of traveling often for work. My job took me all over the world to some of the most exotic destinations.
Yet, I always had this big dream to take time off to explore a destination properly. It’s safe to say that Africa was on my bucket list for a while. This continent was the first region I explored after I quit my job. I traveled through East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands for a year.
After this trip, I wanted to discover more of North Africa. So I did a trip to Morocco and absolutely loved it. Except something inside of me still wanted to see more of Africa and the Arabic culture of the north. Egypt was the obvious next choice after my wonderful Moroccan adventure.
First stop on my Egypt trip was Hurghada. It had some of the most beautiful waters in the world but I didn’t really connect with the place. I desired to see more of Egypt to get that authentic experience. I ended up spending a month exploring different corners of the country.
A Special One Month Journey in Egypt
I was in Egypt for a month and explored around 80% of the country. I feel like this was quite a lot of exploration for the average traveler. But as always there was not enough time to experience everything. Egypt is bigger than you think and I saw most of the things that were on my bucket list.
However, as you travel through this country you tend to discover exciting new places. I visited 15 destinations in total including Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Mt Sinai, Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Matruh, Siwa Oasis, White Desert, Luxor, Aswan, Nubian Village, Abu Simbel and Edfu.
I had all kinds of different experiences like hiking Mt Sinai, diving in the Red Sea, camping in the White Desert, seeing the sunrise in Luxor from a hot air balloon, taking a Nile Cruise and sleeping in a Nubian village.
Traveling in Egypt was more challenging than I was expecting. The country offers absolutely unique landscapes that you cannot find anywhere else in the world but logistically it’s not easy. There’s a lack of infrastructure for tourism. If you try renting a car it might take you 2-3 hours to organise.
Nevertheless, I loved the people of Egypt. Everyone is friendly and willing to help. And the ancient history and landscapes of this country just blew me away. The most impressive place was (of course) the White Desert of Egypt.
Touring the White Desert of Egypt
The White Desert of Egypt was probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in the world. At the beginning I was a bit hesitant to do the tour since you need at least two days minimum. For starters, it’s a difficult place to get to and it was expensive in comparison to other tours.
We didn’t actually have much time as we were traveling on a tight schedule. In the end, we managed to work around it and go on the tour. One of the requirements is to have a permit with a 4×4 car. Luckily, our tour operator sorted all of the permits and requirements for us to enjoy the trip.
I went on a two day, one night trip to the White Desert in Egypt. I actually regret not staying longer because in my opinion two days is not enough time to enjoy the beauty of this place. You have to keep in mind that it takes almost an entire day to travel from Cairo to the White Desert.
Our tour company offered the best deal we could find. They took care of everything – from the pick up at our hotel in Cairo to take us to the White Desert. All of the permits, food and camping gear was sorted.
Otherworldly Landscapes of the White Desert
The White Desert is absolutely breathtaking and definitely worth a visit. What I loved most is that not many people know about this place. It’s still a hidden gem of Egypt. If you go, you’ll have this place all to yourself.
I felt this peaceful feeling when I visited the White Desert of Egypt. At the same time, I felt like I was on another planet. You can find incredible rock formations in white colour that (from the distance) resemble snow.
My favorite place in the White Desert was the first spot we visited. We managed to arrive at golden hour and you could see the rock formations from above in the distance. Seeing the reflection of the sun on the sand really was one of the most memorable scenes of my trip in Egypt.
Magical Nights Camping Under the Stars
The best way to experience the White Desert in Egypt is by camping. This way you can see the stunning sunrise in the morning and look up at the beautiful Milky Way at night. The night scene is absolutely magical.
We had our own sleeping bags, dinner tent and campfire which was a lovely experience while watching the stars. There was plenty of time for us to get to know our guides a bit better and they told us some funny stories.
I can safely say that the White Desert is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places I have ever visited. We fell asleep in the quietness of nature.
The Most Glorious Sunrise and Sunset in the World
We traveled for an entire day to watch the sunrise in the White Desert of Egypt. There was no way in the world I was going to miss it, even though I’m not a morning person! Both sunrise and sunset were beautiful.
It was a magical experience because you can see how the light changes in the context of the pristine sand and white rock formations of the desert. What impressed me the most was that we had the sunrise in front and the moon to our backs. Such an amazing mix of the elements in one place.
Tips for your Visit to the White Desert in Egypt
I recommend going to the White Desert in Egypt for at least two days. Make sure you take a decent coat because the temperature drops at night.
In terms of tour operators, we went with @ahmeddesertsafari. They’re a small local tour operator run by two nice local Egyptians. Everything will be sorted on your tour from your permits to your daily snacks.
Thanks for reading my travel guide on the White Desert of Egypt. I hope it has given you some inspiration and information for your visit one day. You won’t regret spending time in this incredible part of the world!