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Western Desert Oases Travel Guide

Siwa Oasis

Siwa deserves some time. The most isolated of the five Western Desert oases, it is also the most unique. Located near the Libyan border, and surrounded by a sea of sand, its influences have come from Berber North Africa rather than the Nile Valley. Its native inhabitants maintain their own culture, traditions, and language (a Berber dialect called Siwi).

The main town, Siwa, dates

back to the 13th century AD, but the oasis was well known in antiquity. By 500 BC the oasis was famed throughout the ancient world for its oracle at Aghurmi, the ruins of which are still visible today. Pharaonic ruins and Roman settlements can be found throughout the oasis, which appears to have been an important agricultural center in antiquity.

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