Major Cities and Towns
About the Farafra Oasis
Farafra, known as Ta-iht or the Land of the Cow in pharaonic times, is a single village. The most isolated of the New Valley Oases it is renowned for its strong traditions and piety. According to folklore, the villagers once lost track of time and had to send a rider to Dakhla so they could hold the Friday prayers on the right day. The oldest part of the village, on a hillside, is next to peaceful walled palm groves; a short ride away there are hot sulphur springs at Bir Setta and swimming at El-Mufid Lake.
Mostly inhabited by Bedouins, the small mud-brick houses all have wooden doorways with medieval peg locks. As in other oases, many of Farafra's houses are painted blue (to ward off the Evil Eye) but here some are also decorated with landscapes, birds and animals, the handiwork of local artist, Badr. A combination house, museum and studio exhibiting his paintings and ceramics is situated in a garden full of sculptures made from objects found in the surrounding desert. Another local, known as Mr. Socks, sells beautiful hand-knitted camel-hair sweaters, socks and scarves. Day trips by jeep and camel treks from here to the White Desert, Bahariya, Dakhla and Siwa can be arranged through Saad's Restaurant.