All the photos on this page feature Siwa Oasis – one of the most picturesque and idyllic places in Egypt. Lying in the middle of the Western Desert, it appears pretty much like the proverbial mirage. Of course being in Egypt it is famous throughout history, not least because Alexander the Great took some time out from conquering to visit the famed oracle at the temple of Amum. Also Cleopatra bathed here in a pool named after her. It is now famous for its dates produced from 300,000 palm trees sustained by 300 freshwater streams which bubble to the surface. This is due to the fact that Siwa is at the base of a depression 12m below sea level. It is also one of the most conservative places in Egypt and you will rarely see women outside and if so they will be completely covered in a grey shawl.
Mummies in a rock tomb excavated out of Gebel al-Mawta (Mountain of the Dead)
Above and below are the mud-brick remains of Shali. This was the original town in the middle of the oasis but a freak three day rain storm in 1926 was so damaging that most of the inhabitants simply left their houses to crumble into dust. Only a few are still inhabited.
View of Siwa from Gebel Dakrur
Mountain of the Dead (Gebel al-Mawta)