Black Desert

70 million years ago this area was all under the sea and very volcanically active. The volcanic activity caused magma to spew which cooled into this black lava

Giza, Egypt

Coordinates: 28.150711, 28.728561

The Black Desert is a region of volcano-shaped and widely spaced mounds, distributed along about 30 km in western Egypt between the White Desert in the south and the Bahariya Oasis in the north. Most of its mounds are capped by basalt sills, giving them the characteristic black color.

The mounds of the Black Desert, up to 100 m high, vary in size, composition, height, and shape as some are dark consisting of iron quartzite while others are more reddish as its surface rocks consist of iron sandstone.

On the outskirts of the Black Desert are volcanic hills proving the eruption of dark volcanic dolerite, dating back to the Jurassic period 180 million years ago.

Even more interesting to contemplate is the contrast between the White and Black deserts. Both are just a 100 km apart. How is it that one is so black and volcanic and the other is so white and limestoney? Were they both under the Mediterranean sea at the same time? what happened to make one region so volcanic and the other not? It is an interesting visual contrast but becomes more interesting as one delves into the geological history of the land.

Declaration of Natural Reserve

After discovering a large dinosaur skeleton on its borders, the Black Desert has been declared a natural reserve as of 2010.

Know This

It is the Sahara Desert, there are no amenities of any kind, you need to be prepared to either hold it or use the facilities outside. Your guide will give you a list of what to bring to help you be prepared for the desert. Be prepared not to see anyone there, I went in July. it was very hot.