THE WESTERN DESERT
The Western Desert covers about 700,000 square kilometers and accounts for about two-thirds of Egypt's land area. It spans from the Mediterranean Sea south to the Sudanese border and from the Nile River Valley west to the Libyan border. There are seven important depressions within this area and all of these are considered oases (Siwa, Dakhla, Kharga, Farafra, El Faiyum, Bahariya) except the largest, Qattara. There are also two large agricultural schemes in the south, Sharq Oweinat near the Sudanese border and Tushka near Lake Nasser.
The most inaccessible of all Egypt's oasis until very recently, is also one of the most fascinating, lying some 60 feet below sea level. On the edge of the Great Sand Sea, its rich history includes a visit from Alexander the Great to consult the Oracle of Amun in 331 BC. Archaeologists, such as Liana Souvaltsis and implied that the great military leader was buried here, but no real evidence has come from this. The King of Persia led a 50,000 man army to the area to destroy the oracle, but the entire army was lost in the desert. The area has a nice climate, chilly in winter, hot in the summer and moderate in the spring and autumn. Lake Siwa to the west of the town of is a large, saltwater lake. The area is famous for its dates and olives, and is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Egypt.
Dakhla Oasis also spelt Dakhleh and translates to the inner oasis, is one of the seven oases of Egypt's Western Desert (part of the Libyan Desert). Dakhla Oasis lies in the New Valley Governorate, 350 km from the Nile and between the oases of Farafra and Kharga. It measures approximately 80 km (50 mi) from east to west and 25 km (16 mi) from north to south.
The Kharga Oasis (meaning "the outer") is the southernmost of Egypt's seven western oases. It is located in the Libyan Desert, about 200 km to the west of the Nile valley. "Kharga" or "El-Kharga" is also the name of a major town located in the oasis, the capital of New Valley Governorate. The oasis, which was known as the 'Southern Oasis' to the Ancient Egyptians, is the largest of the oases in the Libyan desert of Egypt. It is in a depression about 160 km long and from 20 km to 80 km wide. Its population is around 67,700 (2012).
Farafra has an estimated 5,000 inhabitants (2002) mainly living in the town of Farafra and is mostly inhabited by the local Bedouins. Parts of the town have complete quarters of traditional architecture, simple, smooth, unadorned, all in mud color. Local pride has also secured endeavours to secure local culture. Also located near Farafra are the hot springs at Bir Sitta and the El-Mufid lake.
El-Wahat el-Bahariya, meaning "the Seaside Oases") is a depression in Egypt. It is approximately 370 km away from Cairo. Located in Giza Governorate, the main economic sectors are agriculture, iron ore mining, and tourism. The main agricultural products are guavas, mangos, dates, and olives.