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Farafra Oasis

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The road that loops out into the Western Desert from Cairo reconnects with the Nile Valley at Luxor. In between it passes through four oases. The first of these, closest to Cairo, is Bahariyya, which is better know and more frequently visited by tourists, who use it as a starting point for desert safaris.

Tourists seldom visit the other three oases, but they do offer some interesting ruins, beautiful scenery, and the unique oasis culture to adventurous travelers.
Farafra is the next stop on the road south from Cairo and Bahariyya. As with all of the Western Desert oases, it was originally an important stop on the trading route coming up from the south. Farafra never developed into much more than a small village due to a lack of sufficient water until recent government investment in land reclamation projects. It remains a small town with only a couple of hotels and a few cafes to entertain visitors.

The local residents grow dates, olives, and apricots in groves surrounded by mud-brick walls. The only unusual attraction in town in Badr’s Museum, a large, slightly psychedelically formed mud-brick house owned by a local artist, Badr Adbel Moghny.