Desert safari Hurghada ft

Desert safari, an unforgettable trip in the Hurghada desert

 

Desert safari is one of the most interesting excursions in all countries with desert areas.
And, of course, it is the same in Egypt. For a long time, this trip was on my to-do-travel-list. And finally, this year, during my vacation in Hurghada, I can say desert safari – seen and done.

Safari means…

Originally, the word “safari” means “journey” in the Arabic language, as well as in Swahili, and it is used for different types of journeys. Thanks to the  British explorer Richard Francis Burton, famous for his travels and explorations in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, the word “safari” has been used in the English language at the end of the 1850s. Also, safari is a term for hunting expeditions in Africa.

Today, safari means a tourist journey which includes sightseeing, making photos, observing the wild animals, riding camels, and driving across the desert, as well.

Desert safari: what to expect

This year, because of the actual COVID-19 situation, local agencies made little changes in the trip organization. Generally, the desert safari includes a drive in  4×4 jeeps, quad bikes, and spider car, visit a Bedouin village with barbeque dinner, and the oriental show with belly dancing, the Tannoura dance, and fire performance. Well, that is a real mega desert safari 🙂

For our desert adventure, we chose the local agency Nur travel. The owner Mohamed speaks Serbian excellent. We heard a lot of good reviews about him and the excursions. Besides safari, we went on two more sea excursions, with this agency, all in one week vacation, and we were satisfied.

So… this is how the desert safari looks like…

 

Quad bike ride

We were picked up at 9h in the morning from our hotel.
Our sand adventure started with a drive in 4×4 jeeps, and we traveled about 20 km to the Sahara Park Hurghada.

First, all participants had a test drive before starting the tour.

Quad bikes, Desert safari Hurghada, photo by Vesper Group

Quad bikes, captured photo by Vesper Group

 

And then, the caravan of the red quad bikes started its journey across the desert.

Test drive quad bikes,, safari Hurghada

Test drive

 

Since I am not a good driver and I wanted to take photos, I asked for a driver on the tour. And I got the test driver. Well, that was a real and crazy ride! Of course, forget about taking photos during the ride, it is not possible!

Quad bike, desert of Hurghada

Ride across the desert of Hurghada, captured photo by Vesper Group

 

But, on all excursions, there are photographers who take photos of tourists. At the end of the tours, they ask you if you want to take a CD with video and photos. It is a very nice reminder and souvenir of the safari excursion. Some of these photos and captured moments from the video of the Vesper group you can see in this post, as well. And they did a great job, both photos and video are fantastic.

 

Driving across the desert

I love the desert, and I really enjoyed the sand ride.

Quadibikes Desert safari Hurghada ok

Ready for the quad bike ride, photo by Vesper group

 

One moment we were at the back of the quad convoy, checking if all participants were well. And in the second we rushed around the quads through the little dunes and sandy paths. You can feel the adrenaline rushing through the veins while the desert sun is burning.

It was the fantastic scene of the quad bikes in a row, surrounded by the sandy dust, and the mountains in the distance…

HR Desert safari, foto by Vesper group

Quad bikes in the desert, photo by Vesper group

 

But most of all, the sense of freedom in the endless desert area is simply unbelievable 🙂

Quad bike

Quad bike ride in the desert, photo by Vesper group

 

And all the safari tour participants are almost unrecognizable! They all had their heads wrapped in black and white or red and white Bedouin scarves. The eyes were protected with the sunglasses or special ones that you can rent for the ride in the desert, and mandatory helmets on the heads as well.

Desert safari ride

Participants of the safari tour

 

After about 30 minutes, we came back to the center for a short refresh pause, and continue with the spider ride.

 

Spider tour

Spider is a type of a desert car.
It is more convenient for driving then quad bikes, but the increased dose of adrenaline is still present.

Spider car

A spider car

 

The sand dust is everywhere.
And the sound of the spider cars is impossible to describe, you have to hear it 🙂

Spider riding in the desert o Hurghada

Spider riding in the desert o Hurghada

 

After 10-15 minutes of the drive, we came back to the center.
We continued our journey in jeeps to the Bedouin village, about 25 km away, among the interesting hills of the Hurghada desert.

Hurghada park hills

Hills in the Hurghada desert

 

Bedouin village

 

Bedouin village Hurghada

Arriving in the Bedouin village, photo by Vesper group

 

Visiting the Bedouin village is an opportunity to see how the traditional Bedouin life looks like.

Bedouin village, Hurghada

Bedouin village, Hurghada

 

They live in wooden tents and herd camels and goats.

Bedouin village

Bedouin village

 

Riding camels is an interesting experience even though it lasted only a few minutes.

Riding camel, Hurghada desert

Riding camel

 

Riding camels, Hurghada Bedouin village

Camels and the desert

 

Then we saw the process of baking bread on a hot metal sheet. It is made only of three ingredients: water, salt, and flour. The Bedouins use small balls of camel dung to keep a fire going. Since it is grassy and burns constantly, its smoke gives a particular taste to the bread.

Bedouin bread, Hurghada

Bedouin bread

 

So, we tried it and I can say that it was pretty much delicious.

Tasting the Bedouin bread, Hurghada desert

Tasting the Bedouin bread, photo by Vesper group

 

Sitting in colorful pillows, we had a Barbeque dinner and enjoyed the oriental show.

Bedouin bbq dinner

Bedouin bbq dinner

 

The Tannoura dance, belly dance, and fire show

I have to admit that I was impressed with the Tannoura dance. It is a special dance, associated with Sufism, rituals, and dervishes.
Today it is also performed at the festivals, as the folk or concert dance.

Dervish dance

Dervish dance

 

Actually,  dervishes are members of the Sufi ascetic order (Muslim mystics), dating from the 12th century. Once they had a vital role in religious, social, and political life in the central Islamic lands. So, during Sufi rituals, dervishes fell in some kind of hypnotic and ecstatic trances, through ritual recitations and physical exertions as whirling and dancing.

The word “tannoura” means “skirt” in Arabic, and it is used for the skirt worn by the men. For example, the Egyptian “tannoura” is a wonderful and colorful skirt.

We watched the fantastic dervish dance probably more than 10 minutes. He was spinning and spinning around…

His skirt was like a whirling disk, making various visual effects and fantastic performance.

Tannoura dance or Dervish dance

Tannoura dance or Dervish dance

 

After a fascinating dervish dance, we watched a lady –  belly dancer.

Belly dance, Hurgada Safari park

Belly dance

 

And of course, the show is not complete without the fire.
A young man made an amazing fire juggling performance in front of our eyes.

Fire performance, Hurghada safari desert

Fire performance

 

At about 18h, when the oriental show was finished, we jumped into jeeps and went back to our hotels.

Jeep in desert

Jeep in desert

 

The sun was going down between the mountains in the distance.

Sunset in the desert

Sunset in the desert

 

From the other side, the almost full moon was appearing across the desert.

Moon in the desert of Hurghada

Moon in the desert of Hurghada

 

And we were happy and excited about the unusual day, spent in the desert.

 

Things to know before you go to the desert safari


There are some things you should know before you go to the desert.

♦ Wear light and comfortable clothes, and protect your head.
The temperatures in the desert are very high, even in the spring or in the autumn. So wear something with light colors, pants or shorts, cotton or linen. The scarf around the head is a must-have, you can buy it in shops or in the desert center.
Sunglass is necessary because of the sun rays and sand dust. Also, take sun protection cream, because the sun is burning in the desert and you don’t feel it during the ride.

Scarf, glasses, and helmet,

Scarf, glasses, and helmet, must have on the safari desert

 

♦ Take comfortable shoes.
Running shoes are the best choice. Forget sandals or flip-flops, it is not good for the safari desert.

♦ Take water with you.
Well, you are in the desert, not in the city where you can go to a shop and buy water. Usually, the excursions include the water. But it is always good to have a bottle of water with you to avoid dehydration and sunstroke.

♦ Desert safari is a guided tour, not a race
Yes, I know, it is desert safari, you are excited, and your adrenaline is high. But you are not in the race and can’t speed over the dunes because you can make accidents and hurt other people or yourself. Also, travel insurance usually doesn’t cover this kind of activity.

♦ The minimum age for driving a quad is 16.
Also, it is not recommended for pregnant women.

♦ Prepare a small amount of money.
You need money to buy a scarf, a CD with photos and videos, and for tips when riding the camels.

 

Catch the desert moments


Take your mobile or camera to catch the desert scenes during the driving pause for photo shooting, riding the camels, or in the Bedouin village.
It brings back a smile on your face when you watch the photos and remember these desert safari moments.

 

Desert safari: expectations vs. reality


If you like to spice your vacation days, the desert safari is an excellent choice.
Driving quad bikes and spiders, riding the camels, and feeling of the hot desert wind surrounded by dust is an unforgettable experience. Also, you can choose between a 3-hours desert safari or a mega safari, which lasts almost a whole day.
Maybe you think that there is a little time for riding camels or driving quad bikes or spiders. And I totally agree with you. But then you can book a private trip and try to make your excursion more flexible if it is possible.

In a word, it is interesting to explore the desert, even for a few hours. And I am planning to visit it again 🙂

Quad bike, Desert safari Hurghada

Somewhere in the desert of Hurghada

 

The endless desert is hiding its secrets.
On the other hand, it is teaching you to appreciate the water, especially when you see the blue haze in the distance. And after a few moments or minutes, you realize that is not water, only a mirage!

But I am sure that desert safari will make you feel more alive and excited because you can experience and taste something new and different.

 

It is definitely a day to remember.

Bedouin village, Hurghada park

Bedouin village, Hurghada park

 

 

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