Wadi Al Hitan which is located in the Fayoum Oasis, is often referred to as the Valley of Whales, and for very good reason. There are many reasons why someone would choose to visit this valley, and since it is only about 150 km to the south of Cairo, it is easily reachable.
Because of the unique qualities of this valley, it has been established as a protected historic site by UNESCO. What makes Wadi Al Hitan so special? There are several reasons:
An Abundance Of Sea Fossils
Despite the fact that Wadi Al Hitan is located in the desert, it is home to a large variety of sea fossils. Some of the fossils that can be found include whales, sharks, seashells, and shark teeth. Petrified coral and sea shells have routinely been found during excavations.
Today, most of the valley is considered to be a museum. Essentially, the fossils and skeletons have been uncovered and left in their resting place. There is something very unique about seeing a whale skeleton in the middle of the desert.
Restless Sand Dunes Of Wadi Al Hitan
Throughout Wadi Al Hitan are sand dunes that move regularly based on the wind. Sometimes, these dunes can move for miles over the course of a year. For that reason, the Valley of the Whales is constantly changing. If you visit today, you will see a vastly different place if you visit again after a year or two.
An Animal Friendly Desert
Despite being in a desert, Wadi Al Hitan is home to a number of different animals. You may be surprised that when you visit, you just may see:
- White Deer
- Fennec Fox
- Egyptian Deer
- Red Fox
- A variety of reptiles and birds
Four Bubbling Natural Springs
There are four natural springs that bubble up out of the ground in the Valley of the Whales. This is most likely why so much wildlife lives in the area. There is an abundance of water available for animals and humans.
It is important to keep in mind that Wadi Al Hitan is a protected area. That means animals cannot be harmed and the landscape cannot be changed by human hands.
If you would like to visit Wadi Al Hitan, you will need to plan a tour. Because it is a protected site, you cannot just drive anywhere in the valley and it is important to have an experienced and licensed tour guide show you the right places to visit. This way, you will not miss any of the unique landmarks in Wadi Al Hitan, including full whale skeletons.