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Sinai Desert Expedition TOP006

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Sinai Desert Expedition

A Nomadic Desert Crossing

This adventure is for the minimalist in you.  For 15 days you will step away from the distractions of technology and carry only the bare essentials on your back. You’ll drink from a traditional water carrier, sleep on a Bedouin blanket under the Egyptian sky, barter with the nomads you meet, and maybe even trade camels.

You’ll climb Egypt’s highest peak in the process and get a true taste of magnificent Sinai on this 230km nomadic desert crossing.

Highlights:

  • Trek from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Gulf of Suez, a journey of over 230km
  • Summit several mountains, including Egypt’s highest peak
  • Become a nomadic minimalist for 15 days
  • Enjoy bartering food and camels with the Bedouins you meet along your journey
  • Sleep beneath the gorgeous Egyptian sky each night

The adventure is a camel support journey to cross the southern part of the Sinai desert.  You’ll learn a new understanding of ‘back to basics’ on this no-frills 230km trek. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn how little you actually need to be comfortable. The nomads serve as great role models in this regard.

When you arrive, you’ll be given a Bedouin blanket, carpet, cloak, and water bladder.  You’ll only be allowed to carry the minimum amount of kit – what you can carry on your back.  Part of the aim of the journey is to step back in time and immerse yourself in an ancient way of life.

The Sinai is immense and brings a sense of solitude to those who cross it.

You and your team will eat what nature brings you, fall asleep counting shooting stars, and immerse yourself in the Bedouin way of life. You’ll wake a first light to coffee brewing on the fire, and fresh bread baking.  After breakfast, you’ll break camp, pack up the camels, and start out in the cool of the morning. Water is replenished from wells along the way and by mid-day you’ll rest in the shade.  After the heat breaks, you’ll trek a few more hours before settling in to a new camp for the night.

Perhaps the biggest highlight is the assent of several Egyptian desert peaks.  You’ll climb Mount Sinai (2,285m) as well as Mount Katherine (which is the country’s highest peak at 2,629m).

The terrain will shift from tight sandstone canyons, to massive sand dunes, to wide and seemingly endless wadis. The Sinai desert offers green oases, deep granite canyons, high peaks, and rounded hills.

The 2015 recce expedition was featured in National Geographic, so bring your sense of adventure and an open mind and join this nomadic trek across the Sinai desert.

Complete an enquiry form for full details today.

Itinerary from the expedition leader

Expedition style

Leaving behind an often embarrassing amount of kit compared to the locals you will encounter en route, this is a ‘bare bones’ undertaking. All you really need to explore and appreciate the Sinai desert are a sense of adventure, a base level of fitness and an open mind. In Sinai, we will create an experience using techniques honed by local Bedouin over thousands of years to do a trek in a style seldom replicated anywhere in the world.

You will be given a Bedouin cloak, blanket, carpet, water bladder and allowed to carry only the very minimum amount of kit on your person (see practicalities tab for a breakdown). Everything else will be left behind in order to step back in time and keep within the spirit of this unique adventure.

This relatively short expedition is adventurous, exploratory and will likely feature many unexpected twists and turns. Like so much in life, the more you put in, the more you will get out. You should expect to collect firewood to roast foods or animals bought en route, to help the Bedouin make fresh bread in the mornings, learn traditional recipes for Baba Ganoush and wake before dawn to the chime of the brass coffee grinder following a night’s sleep wrapped in your Bedouin cloak.

This expedition may necessarily stray from its stated outline itinerary or route according to factors on the ground  – which may or may not turn out for the better. Such is the nature of true adventure!

The terrain

You will be seeing all the faces that the Sinai Desert has to offer including:

  • Tight sandstone slot canyons
  • Massive sand dunes
  • Gravel plains and wide, seemingly endless wadis
  • High jagged peaks including Sinai’s highest two
  • Deep granite canyons
  • Rounded granite domed peaks
  • Oases giving surprising bursts of green and colour
  • Note: Alongside trekking there’ll be short sections of easy, Grade1 scrambling

A typical day

We’ll wake early at first light to the sounds of the fire being made, coffee brewing and fresh bread being kneaded. After a breakfast of what food we may be carrying we’ll roll up our blankets, load them onto the camels and head off into the cool of the morning. We’ll fill up with water at wells and buy food from shepherds and other Bedouin we meet along the route. The heat of the day will build and by 11am we’ll seek shade to rest, drink tea, eat lunch and sleep. Only after the heat has subsided will we head out and walk for a few more hours before looking for somewhere to call home for the night.

More Details

SUITABLE TEAM MEMBERS

Team members should be willing to be part of a team working together to achieve the goal of the expedition. They should have an adventurous and robust spirit. They should be fit and healthy as this trip involves 13 continuous days of trekking through sand and across rocks in remote and often very hot desert environments.

The weather during the day will be very hot and dry. The wind will pick up during the periods of sunrise and sunset. The nights will be relatively cool compared to the days. Daytime temperatures will be between 30°C and 40°C with temperatures dropping by 10°C degrees as we walk into the highlands.

ACCOMMODATION

Our first night will be based at a Bedouin camp by the shores of the Red Sea in bamboo huts. Every night on the trek, team members will sleep under the stars in the sand and gravel of whichever place we decide to call home. Each person will clean away the obvious stones and make a slight dip in the sand, which helps to direct the winds over them. A carpet to sit and sleep on will be given to each person similar to those used on the camels. Everyone will also be given a Farrwa, a heavy Bedouin cloak, that we will use as our sleeping bags for the night.

FOOD

We will be eating some incredible food. All the produce will be purchased from local Bedouin that still use local methods to dry food in order to preserve them and to lighten the load carried by their camels. This will vary from dried meats, fish and locally grown vegetables to herbs, fruit and cheese. We will consume vast amounts of flour, as we will be making fresh bread cooked in the embers of the fires or on large metal plates known as Saj. One of our guides keeps bees so no doubt we will be dipping our fresh bread into fresh honey. Dates, almonds and other locally produced high calorific foods will keep our legs going during the day.

With luck we will buy some fresh eggs along the way. We also plan to buy goats from shepherds we meet. The traditional method to cook goat meat is to bury it below a roaring fire and slowly roast it over several hours. The coffee we drink will be the traditional green coffee that is roasted and ground around the same fire the water is boiling on. Coffee in fact is far more traditional than the more clichéd Bedouin tea. It is a brave person who declines the offer of coffee from a Bedouin.

TRANSPORT

Transport on this minimalistic expedition involves desert trekking (on foot!) as described, plus a 4×4 journey.

KIT AND EQUIPMENT

We will provide you with:

  • handmade water bladder
  • Farrwa – Heavy winter Bedouin cloaks (which will also be our sleeping bags)
  • Head scarf
  • Bedouin carpet

After these essentials all you will be allowed to bring is:

  • Good pair of approach shoes (or walking boots if you prefer some extra support for your ankles)
  • 2 pairs of lightweight woollen socks
  • 1 loose lightweight long sleeve shirt
  • 1 pair of long loose fitting trousers (zip off legs are a good idea)
  • Sun cream factor 50
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Chap stick with SPF
  • Camera and extra battery
  • Personal medication

SAFETY AND SECURITY

On application to join this expedition you will receive full instructions including security information. The Sinai Peninsular is a dynamic security environment and some countries may apply travel warnings to this location. We will outline the specific risks attached to this area but it is your responsibility to research these risks and your decision as to whether you choose to join the team or not.

   

Dates & Rates

Dates: 16 September – 1 October 2017

Price: 2,250 GBP

WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • full services of a trip operator expedition leader plus local Bedouin guides
  • a 4×4 vehicle and driver at the end of the trek to reach El Tor
  • all meals
  • all transport as outlined in the itinerary
  • all accommodation
  • any specialist kit
  • Bedouin blanket and farrwa
  • handmade water bladder
  • head scarf
  • any local permits

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

  • international flights
  • local airport taxes and international visas
  • tips to local guides
  • beverages and any costs of a personal nature
  • personal equipment (once booked you’ll receive a very short kit list)
  • Travel Insurance

Operator

When it comes to getting off the beaten track these guys can’t be beaten. They lead pioneering expeditions to some of the most remote regions on earth. The organisers are dedicated to creating imaginative experiences for adventurers around the world and their team of expert military guides are some of the most experienced in the industry.

Nowhere is off limits and no idea is too crazy. They have achieved ground breaking world firsts such as mountain biking in Afghanistan and mountaineering in Iraq and their first ever expeditions to walk across Madagascar and pioneer white water rafting in South Sudan both made the headlines…. and a bit of history.

Being wild and wacky is one thing but with their background as commanders in the British Army and experienced team of specialists in every kind of terrain and environment means that all of their adventures are thoroughly planned and the safety and security of teams is always their highest priority.

Expeditions can be inherently risky, but they do everything possible to minimise potential hazards and for that, and the utterly extraordinary trips they put on, we salute them.

Enquiry Form

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