Egypt / Geography /
Arabic: 'al-wāha al-bahariyya
Ancient Egyptian: Zezes
In Egypian Arabic, the name means "northern", but the name is also linked with the Arabic words for "travel", "bewildered" and "pool".
The oasis stretches 60 km across a barren depression 94 km long and 42 km wide., consisting of 4 separate areas. The largest of these is also the administrative centre, the village of Bawiti.
Bahariyya is 360 km southwest of Cairo and 180 km north of Farafra Oasis.
The main source of income remains agriculture producing dates, mangos, guavas, olives, rice and corn. Tourism is becoming increasingly important; while Bahariyya is the least attractive oasis in the Western Desert, it is the closest to Cairo, and also benefits from proximity to the Black Desert and White Desert, arranging trips into this region.
Tourism has had destructive side to Bahariyya, causing neglect of traditional quarters.
Bahariyya was part of Ancient Egypt since the New Kingdom, and has many interesting tombs. In ancient times, Bahariyya produced and exported wine to the Nile Valley.