If you ever dreamt of experiencing the story of The English Patient, the acclaimed movie based on the 1992 novel, visit Gilf El-Kebir. A round trip between Cairo and Gilf El-Kebir is about 2000 km; you’ll need plenty of fuel, snacks and water!

Follow the steps of Almasy, the Hungarian explorer whose story is narrated in the English Patient by exploring the Regenfeld and the Swimmers Cave. Go deeper into the Gilf El-Kebir National Park to discover more of the hidden secrets of this barren land.

The Gilf El-Kebir is a sandstone plateau located in the southwest corner of the Western Desert. The rocky surface slopes south-eastward are partially covered by sand because the Great Sand Sea to the north is gradually encroaching on the plateau. The area is extremely arid but it supports the Barbary Sheep, and several species of reptiles as well as small birds, among the latter is the ubiquitous White-crowned Black Wheatear. You’ll find ancient rock art in Shaw’s cave, and El-Mestikawi cave depicting several types of cattle that attest to a wetter period in prehistoric times.

It is advisable to visit Gilf El-Kebir in the cooler months of the year, from October to May, that is. Temperatures in summer can reach intolerable maxima of 35-45 C.

Practical Info

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Highlights - Gilf El-Kebir

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