The Siwa Oasis, whose ancient name was Ammonium, meaning “Field of trees”, is a gorgeous oasis located between the Quatarra Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea in the Libyan Desert, around 50 kilometers east of the Libyan border. The oasis enjoys 300,000 palm trees, 70,000 olive tress and over 300 springs and it is located near the famous Oracle of Amun.
Siwa is one of Egypt’s most isolated settlements and most of its inhabitants are ethnic Berbers. In fact, Siwa has been known to be inhabited since 10,000 BC and its earliest evidence of any connection with ancient Egypt dates back to the 26th Dynasty. The Oasis was officially added to Egypt in 1809 by Muhammad Ali.
Siwa has gotten the interest of anthropologists because it was known to accept male homosexuality and even same sex marriages were performed despite the effort of authorities to repress this. It is thought this practice was due to the fact that unmarried men and adolescents were forced to live and work together in seclusion from women.
From Cairo, direct buses leave to Siwa from Cairo Gateway Bus Station and cost 95LE