The Sinai Dhubb
More pics soon…
Dahab, South Sinai– 10/05/2013 – SINAI SAFARI-The Bedouin Desert Experience today announced that it has received a Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
Here are a few of our most gratifying reviews, thank you very much for giving us the type of feedback that motivates us to continue trying to exceed our guests’ expectations.
Having been on desert safaris in both India and the UAE in the past – with extremely differing degrees of what you might call an ‘authentic desert experience’ – I can honestly say that ‘Sinai Safari’ is completely in a league of it’s own when it comes to feeling truly part of your surroundings and the extremely old and traditional way of living that I was hoping in some way to be a part of for a short time.
On top of the absolutely stunning scenery, alive and vibrant at both day and night (I got to take some excellent long-exposure photos in the moonlight), the actual safari itself is like nothing I have had before. The experience could be easily described like this: Two Bedouin friends have gone to camp out, live off and enjoy the desert for a couple of nights (very much like their people have done for hundreds of years), and you and a group of friends have been lucky enough to be invited along as their guests.
You are in no way treated like a tourist on one of the big organised tours; never are you herded around on strict and annoying itineraries and fussed over every second of the day – but at the same time, the sense of relaxed expertise and calm exuded by your hosts ensures that at no moment do you feel in any way unsafe or uncomfortable in what is, for many I imagine, a new and unfamiliar outdoor environment. Trek as much as you like, sit and take it all in as much as you like, the final choice always seemed to rest with us… No pressure at all.
And I’m not exaggerating when I say the food is nothing short of fantastic. Breakfast lunch and dinner cooked in front of your eyes on the fire with mesmerising talent and technique. Watching delicious fresh flatbread made from scratch and baked under the coals is a particular favourite memory for me.
Basically, it is hard to fault. Comfortable and warm under the night sky (with the only slight bother being my friends’ incessant snoring!), we all felt nothing short of relaxed, sometimes exhilarated, and always entertained. Our Guides Salah and Moosa were expert, welcoming, communicative and at times hilarious with jokes, songs and stories.
It’s also worth mentioning that the booking, organisation and logistical planning of the tour was also a breeze – taken care of without a worry on our end at all. In short, they think of everything so you don’t have to.
If you want to do the desert the way its meant to be done, then check these guys out.
Lots of beautiful things could and should be said. Much of which you can allready read in other reviews about sinai safari guides. Therefore I will focus on my most important and genuine expierience. Thing is, besides a wonderful desert expierience with all professionality and scenics, Maruan managed to guide me in all my plans and demands.
I am enraptured by the beauty of the desert and I am photographer and biologist.
When I want to visit the desert I would above all like to be at the right place in the right time to have optimal light conditions.
Maruan had the places lit for me in colors never to be forgotten.
And he “lit” them with patience I do not often get confronted with, if you do understand what I mean.
In a one day privatetrip I did not only gain trophies of desert planes as alien as the lands of Zorgon and as beautiful as fantasy -though as real as geographically is- but I also felt as free, curious and safe, as one can feel on a trip into the desert. And besides having all the quietness and peace one can possibly want, I also felt as if I additionally got a little something more than one could possibly hope for in a one day trip. Almost like friendship on a path through the sinai desert. Definitly love for the scenery in which I would dwell much longer than a day. And perhaps more culinary pleasure than I could have ever imagined in the desert to feel right.
If you search for someone who understands your wishes for a private trip or want to do serious photography, search no further, trust maruan, or better work something out with him, that suits you. You will love it.
p.s. For my self, I will be back.
p.p.s. I don´t know when, but …..soon.
I used to go in desert excursion since I was 10 years old. My father used to take me and my brother in such trips very often and since then my love to desert trips have grown remarkably. However I never thought that I’m GOING YO ENJOY THIS DESERT TRIP as much ad I did.
my 2 guides Sullivan and Salad both were great and they have given me one of the best desert experience ever. they are very much aware of the best places in the desert and they know how to bring you close to the beduin culture as possible.
It has been an amazing season for the desert, as usual, with the very big special added bonus of rain, more than what anyone under the age of 40 has ever seen. Here is a small collection of some of the best pics taken by ourselves and our guests since October. Now it is time to go out and drink goat’s milk and collect plants, we will be doing regular day and over night trips throughout April, you are welcome to contact us
The plants have sprouted and are starting to grow in the desert. In a couple of weeks the jahag plant (a wild rucola like the egyptian gergeer) will be big enough to eat. In certain locations natural crevices or dams have retained water and there is a lot of water contained by man made dams. We had the pleasure of visiting some of these locations which made me think of what paradise must be like. We also saw that Bedouin women were already going to certain areas for grazing. If you would like to join us on one of these trips, feel free to contact us
From the 29th of september until the 1st of October, it had been raining in a vast area of the desert. We knew that this was a special moment to go to the desert, to see it cleaned, creating new patterns and flooding leaving rivers, pools and even lakes for a short time after. So we decided to go and check out some very special locations on the Tuesday, 2nd of October. This was one the best decisions we ever took because it actually rained again while we were there, so between running for shelter, to the car or simply avoiding to end up in a flood path, I managed to take a few pics that you rarely get the chance to take.
All the Bedouin from the villages came out to witness the spectacle, a feeling of joy and gratitude was shared by everyone.
We will be regularly going to these areas to see how the landscape evolves as shrubs and plants start sprouting and growing. If you would like to join us or want more information, don’t hesitate to contact us
Contrary to expectations, the desert is covered with plants, trees and bushes that have sprouted from the rare rainfall. The flora has adapted to the dry conditions to survive, sometimes going for several years without water. For this reason the plants tend to have potent properties from the excretion they produce because of the sun’s powerful energy. The medicinal value of these plants is well known to the Bedouin who have been using these plants for hundreds of years, although in recent years the knowledge is getting lost as pharmacies and modern medicine is taking over even in the desert.
The number of varieties of plants found in Sinai is surprisingly high given the dryness of its desert. They are counted in their thousands with areas like St Katherine’s having over 900 endemic plants. There are many books that cover this subject in a much more proffessional way than this short article which is based entirely on my personal experience. I would like to introduce a few of the most interesting plants, mainly ones that have medicinal properties.
This bush has green/blue coloured leaves that grow off thin twigs. Its strong good smell is misleading as it actually tastes extremely bitter. This bitterness is probably what gives it its effective healing effect for digestive or stomach upsets. The leaves can be boiled and drank like tea, but due to the unpleasant taste, I recommend to simply swallow a pinch with a glass of water. I have never seen baatharaan fail in its job to cure a stomach upset. The Bedouin say that if you take a lot if it regularly it would take care of even the most serious bacterias or viruses affecting the digestive system.
Other know uses appart from cleansing are to tackle certain skin disorders and breathing it in for clearing the nose (some recommend to sleep on a pillow filled with baatharaan to clear the sinuses.
This is the desert’s version of camomille, with yellow flowers and sticky little green leaves on thin twigs. A very pleasantly strong smelling and tasting plant with medicinal properties. N’heyda is good for colds in general and as a calming drink. It is also used to clean the kidneys and is know to eliminate kindey stones. The Bedouin also add this plant to their tea, a tasty and special combination.
This plant means ‘cures’ in Bedouin. It produces long stems that are boiled slightly and produce a light greenish drink. The Bedouin usually place the stems on a rock and crush them with repetitive blows with a stone in order to obtain the most out of it before using it. Eilejaan is basically good for blood circulation and therefore numerous things such as headaches- stiff neck- muscular tension- digestion- healing bruises and cuts- swelling- blood clots- poor blood circulation and anything related to cleaning or regulating blood flow.
This a rarer plant and not so well known. It has an incredibly good smell (a bit like peach) but it is inedible. It dries out quite quickly and is mainly in all its splendour after rainfall. Nigd has a very particular use, it is an eye cleanser. I have used it once myself, and it is very effective. I did well to listen to advice and dilute if with a lot of water after boiling it. It basically made my eye produce tears for about 10 minutes (without any emotion ivolved). This was slightly stinging, however not aggravating.
An even rarer plant, well know in some areas for its anti-venemous properties. There are many stories of Bedouin getting bitten or stung by either spiders, scorpions or snakes, and surviving thanks to ghagha. The plant is boiled and then drank as well as administered on the area of the bite/sting. It apparentely sucks the poison out of the body. Also know to accelerate the healing of cuts. In this case the plants is steamed over the affected area.
This Acacia tree is probably the emblem of Sinai, which is why we chose to have it on our logo. This a favourite food for camels that can actually chew through its tough thorns. It also produces a very light, ‘fluffy’ yellow flower that falls easily to the ground and is loved by all desert herbivourous animals. It is used to tan leather and its medicinal properties are also numerous and cover such ailments as stomach upsets and colds. It also produces shade at all times of the days making it ideal for resting under in the hot summers. Wadi Saal, Wadi al Ogda, Wadi Mitoura, Wadi Zaghra, Wadi Gnei are all full of beautiful acacia, Siyaala trees.
More updates and photos with new plants as well to come…