Wadi Sabarah desert safari

Wonderful Sabarah safari shows raw nature up close

We will never shy away from boasting about how good the diving experience is at Wadi Sabarah or what a wonderful place the Lodge is to stay in.

But it’s not just the accommodation and the underwater pleasures that make this such a special venue.

There are various activities – as well as not so active pursuits – to enjoy at Wadi Sabarah. One, in particular, is the incredible desert safari.

A small fleet of Toyota FJs – open topped and with elevated back seats – are ready to take you from the front door of the hotel and into the relative depths of the sand and rock that make up the wadi (valley) from which the lodge takes its name.


In the first few minutes of the trip, such is the raw and dramatic nature of the terrain, it is difficult to work out whether you feel like a historical explorer, travelling into an unknown and uncharted land, or the member of a lunar expedition.

You almost immediately encounter coral that is millions of years old but long exposed as the Red Sea drew back to its current shoreline.

Here we are on the edge of the Red Sea Mountains – a series of rugged peaks formed primarily from Precambrian rocks – which are some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back more than 550 million years.

And that geology is on plain and stark view. Layers of time right in front of your eyes in a graphic demonstration of nature’s history.

Wadi Sabarah desert safari

On we go, winding our way up dunes and around rocks, led by our guide Adaroub who is a member of the local Ababdah tribe – Bedouins who have been living in this part of the world for well over a millennium.

The flora and fauna is limited but fascinating. Birds fly above head and find a way to survive in this driest of environments in the same way that sporadic trees provide dashes of green – almost in defiance of Mother Nature.

Occasionally an ibex, the local wild mountain goat, might be visible or a hydrax (it looks like a rodent but its closest living relatives are actually elephants!) can be glimpsed scrambling across the rocks.

Now well into the desert, and with the sun contemplating the fact its work is done for the day, there is time for a stop – and a cup of tea. In the depths of nowhere, the guides park up and start a fire to boil the brew while you sit and take in the surroundings.

Conversation about the beauty of the place subsides and – silence. Peace. Tranquility.

Wadi Sabarah desert safari

Break complete, the Toyotas head for home. The sun setting on the red stone makes for a vivid picture but then as the light changes so does the rock colour.

As daylight changes at a pace to sunset, dusk and then to dark, so the exploration comes to an end.

The lights of Wadi Sabarah Lodge come into view and the open-top jeep brings fresh air to your face as you drive through the warm Egyptian evening.

The Jeep trip will show you close up what this part of the world can demonstrate so clearly – earth at its most elemental. Water. Sand. Rock.

It is an incredibly sensory experience from start to finish and one not to be missed.

Wadi Sabarah desert safari

Wadi Sabarah desert safari

Wadi Sabarah desert safari

Wadi Sabarah desert safari

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