Less than two hours west of Cairo, The vast salty Qarun Lake comes into view and the arid landscape is replaced by a lush patchwork of farming plots, sunflowers swaying in the breeze and tall date palms with water buffalo lounging in the shade. This large fertile basin, about 70km wide and 60km long, is sometimes referred to as an oasis, though technically its water does not come from springs, but the Nile via hundreds of capillary canals, many dug in ancient times.
The area includes a number of important archaeological sites and it is one of the few places in the world where the outer extremes of prehistory to the modern day can be visited. Some of the earliest whale skeletons from middle Eocene era can be seen in situ at Wadi al-Hittan.
The discovery Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic sites in this region remain some of the most important in Egyptian history. The historic period is also well represented in the Fayoum from from the age of the Pyramids to the vast cities dedicated to the worship of the crocodile god Sobek and the Graeco-Roman Period including the world’s first paved road.
Today the Fayoum is famous for its pottery production, you can visit the village of Nazla where local and traditional pottery manufacturing has been encouraged before enjoying lunch at Tunis village where a more contemporary pottery industry has developed.
Our guide has proven commercial safari operations as main contractor with multinationals, Western embassies and International schools