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“What a scenary!”

Ranked #213 of 753 things to do in Egypt
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Reviewed November 6, 2011

Less than 3 hours away from downtown Cairo, you'll find the most spectacular desert scenary in Wadi al-Hitan. There are 400 whale and sea cow skeletons from 40 million years ago, not to mention the dramatic landscape formed by water and wind that you can observe in perfect silence. Highly recommended!

2  Thank FJSJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 - 35 of 43 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2011

It is a well organised site, luckily situated and desinged in a simple fashion with a ton of good taste. It is an easy walk through the history of the whales, an important part of it anyway. Do not expect anything spactacular from the skeletons, unless you are really interested in biology.

I will definetely return here for the site itself, and for the location. As I understand, there is a camp site besides the valley, and I would enjoy spending a night or two in that unimaginable silence.

1  Thank Ioana_eu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2010

...The next on our list was The Valley of the Whales (Vadi Hittan). We had a short stop in Bawiti to change our jeep and say goodbye to lovely Mustafa. If you want, during that break you can have a rest and a shower in the hotel which is already included in the itinerary. Once our jeep was ready we headed off to our next safari. When we turned off the road Hani casually mentioned that they used that route simply as a shortcut and Saudi Arabian Royalty liked camping in the area, now I know why. After an hour or so we stopped for another beauty spot. They do have very good taste, those royalties, you know. The view was truly magnificent, my breath was taken away yet again and yet again it was desert, but totally different to what we’d seen already. There was absolutely nobody around, our jeep was simply a tiny speck speeding alone in the vast spaces on the bottom of an ancient sea. I really did not have to stretch my imagination to see what was happening there millions of years ago. Gradually the colours were changing from greyish sand to sandstone layered with pink. The most incredible formations rose in front of me. Not only the shapes were amazing, but to knock me out completely they were actually carved with ornaments created NOT by a human being. Here, I must add, that actually there was one graffiti left on one of those formations and, yes, that was by a human, I am ashamed to admit it. It was a hot afternoon, walking in the sand was not easy, but it was so well worth it. The entry to the park costs 3$ per person, it is a UNESCO heritage site now. I really did not care much about the fossiled whales’ displays, the landscape on its’ own did it for me.
Speechless, we got into our jeep and drove off to the lakes and waterfalls in El Fayum Oasis...
It was an abstract from my trip report which I posted on TA Forum:

3  Thank Scarlett_XXX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2010

The valley of the whales , have been discovered in 1936. It is an area of fossils; considered as an open museum, dates back to over 40 million years and contains petrified primitive whales skeletons, shark teeth , shells and roots of Mangroves preserved in soft rocks. This area is really amazing, it takes you around 3 hours from Cairo, but if you have time, it's really worse to go there, it's a very quiet place, where you even can camp, there is a small restaurant, where you can rent tents!

2  Thank Wossiduisburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2010

Wadi al-Hitan is about 2 hours by car from downtown Cairo, and a world away. Within the protected area are about 20 exhibits of fossilized whale bones. The exhibits are arranged along a path that winds through the desert, and there's excellent signage in English and Arabic.

One company that arranges transport & excursions to Wadi al Hitan is Hani Zaki at (mobile) 010166 6979. Mr. Hani's company runs the small restaurant at the Wadi El-Hitan visitors center.

A 4x4 vehicle is NOT needed to reach the Wadi al Hitan enterance. The Lonely Planet guide says that a 4x4 vehicle is needed, but I saw plenty of vans in the parking lot.

When we crossed into Fayoum governorate on the way to Wadi al Hitan, police stopped our car and assigned us a police escort . For the rest of our time in Fayoum, we were followed by a pickup truck with 6 armed guards. The captain insisted that we leave the protected area before sunset.

A Wadi al-Hitan "Sponsorship opportunities" brochure that I picked up in the visitor's center lists these contacts for the site:
Dr. Mustapha Fouda; Director, Nature Conservation Sector, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, [--]

Daniel Paleczny; International co-manager; IUCN - The World Conservation Union

Hossam Kamel; National co-manager; [--]

7  Thank BaltHarbour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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