Siwa is one of the most remote oases in Egypt and is one of the most fascinating as well. The fact that it is 60 feet below sea level makes it even more attractive for desert daydreamers. The oasis seems to have been first mentioned in 331 BC during a visit of Alexandria the Great who consulted the Oracle of Amun there. The oasis is located just 50 km from the border of Libya and is full of olive and palm trees. Crystal-clear springs are scattered all over this oasis, which is a heavenly break from the harsh heat.
The Rich Natural Wealth Of Siwa
The oasis is covered with a number of lakes and roughly thousands of springs, but the saltwater supports very little agriculture, and crops that can be grown here are dates, olives, and a few vegetables. Siwa Oasis is home to some endangered species of animals including the Slender-horned Gazelle, Gazella leptoceros, and Fennec Fox, Vulpes zerda. Also, the place is a natural habitat for the Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, one of the most threatened cats in the world. Typical birds which can be found here include the Turtle Dove and Streptopelia.
A Famous Tourist Destination
The Siwa Oasis is a famous tourist destination. To promote eco-tourism in Egypt two privately owned, world-class eco-lodges in the oasis have also been built. The oasis has a pleasant climate which gets chilled in winter and hot in the summer, while the spring sees a moderate climate.
Unique Traditions In Siwa
The geographical location and inaccessibility of Siwa have helped in creating a unique society separate from mainstream Egyptian culture. People here are very traditional and girls are still likely to get married by the age of 14. Siwa has been considered independent as of a few hundred years ago. For hundreds of years, the oasis had a connection to Qara, Qattara, and Kerdassa, and the occasionally determined pilgrim seeking the famous Oracle of Amun came here. Today, local traditions and Siwi, the local Berber language, still dominate the protectorate.
How To Get To Siwa Oasis
Getting to the Siwa Oasis is actually quite easy nowadays. Many international flights can bring you to Cairo through which you can find many tours organized by tour operators that go to Siwa. Also, you can choose to travel to the location by bus or a service taxi as well. Reaching Siwa from Alexandria is also easy which has a direct bus as well as a connecting one through Mersa Matrouh as well.
Siwa Oasis is famous for its dates and olives and is one of the most beautiful places in Egypt. An interesting fact about this place is that every October there is a three-day festival during which Siwans must settle all of their past year's disputes and celebrate their life together.