Rayyan Valley

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The Rayyan Valley lies about 20 km west of El Fayyoum, a fertile depression south west of Cairo, Egypt. It is visible from any airplane passing over the area, where the two lakes (see below) are clear. It is a spectacular view to see the Fayyoum oasis, surrounded by desert and barren mountains from all sides, Lake Qarun from the North West, and the life-giving Bahr Youssef (a tributary from the Nile River).

Below are some pictures. Here is another link to Rayyan Valley photos by an Egyptian Canadian.

The area is a Nature Preserve, and each car and person have to pay a fee to enter the park.


The lakes were formed from excess irrigation water from the Fayyoum area. Why did they form in the last decade and not before, I have no clear answer for!?


The excess irrigation water have caused two large lakes to form on a North-South axis. They are on different elevations, and are connected by the only known water fall in Egypt. It is not large by any measure (only 3-4 meters high, but for us Egyptian it will do!

The area is frequented by Desert lovers, who use 4-wheel drive cars to discover the surrounding areas.


These pictures were taken by a regular 35mm. film camera, and were later scanned into the JPEG images you see below. Click on any picture to see a larger image.

(Click here for a larger image) Here is a very nice view of sand dunes rolling over to the endless horizon. It is amazing how these formation come to have this sort of undulating symmetry.

(Click here for a larger image) My uncle, with my brother's Landrover in the background.

(Click here for a larger image) The Landrover 4-wheel drive. It is a 1983 Defender 110.

(Click here for a larger image) The Landrover again.

(Click here for a larger image) The Landrover passing a rock formation surrounded by sand dunes.

(Click here for a larger image) The landrover again.... Note the typical cloud formations on the winter sky over Egypt. Spectacular views!

(Click here for a larger image) My uncle, brother and his friend with the Landrover. Note that they are just over the edge of a sand dune.

(Click here for a larger image) Here is a close up view, showing the front left wheel stuck in the sand.

(Click here for a larger image) Here is a clearer view of the edge of the sand dune where the Landrover got stuck in the sand. The two young men are trying to clear the tires, while my uncle watches over them!

(Click here for a larger image) Here is a photo showing the reall magnitude of the problem. The front left wheel was stuck, and revolves fruitlessly in the sand.

(Click here for a larger image) This is my brother, looking over car tracks in the sand. Note that the Egyptian desert is really cold in winter.

(Click here for a larger image) I do not know what this meeting was about, but you can see the shadow of a rocky hill. Note what my uncle is wearing: It is really cold in the Egyptian desert in winter.