Saturday, December 05, 2009

English voyager finds whales in the Sahara desert

"My mind began to draw pictures of the rickety old jeep, driven by Mohammed, valiantly fighting through the desert dunes to the isolated valley where I would find the remains of ancient whales jutting out picturesquely among the rocks."
- Dr. Garry Shaw

UK Independent reports:
The whales were in Wadi El Hitan, ‘The Valley of the Whales’, deep within the Wadi Al Rayan Protected Area just south-west of the Faiyum Oasis. In the 1970s three artificial lakes were created here consisting of agricultural drainage water from the Faiyum, although one of these lakes had since dried up. In recent times the area has become a popular weekend holiday destination for Cairenes wanting to escape the bustle and pollution of the city. In 1989 the Wadi Al Rayan was designated a protected area, not surprising given that it is rich in wildlife and geological attractions, including a small oasis, waterfalls, and a large and varied bird population. My aim, however, was just to see the whales. READ MORE