Camels and their guides in the Telah Braika gorge, with Jebel Um Shomer in the background, Sinai Desert, Egypt
5.0
| 16 reviews

Nomadic Trek Through Egypt's Sinai Desert

7 nights
Challenging

Follow ancient trails with Bedouin nomads for a wild expedition through the valleys and mountains of the Sinai Peninsula

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with professional, English-speaking Bedouin guides

All accommodation

5 nights wild camping and 2 nights in a hotel

Meals

Munch on tasty, traditional food throughout

Transfers

Airport and local transfers; camels to carry overnight luggage and supplies during the trek

Equipment

Carpets will be provided for wild camping in the desert

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 14 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

5.0
| 16 reviews
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
The ultimate escape
March 2024
William H.
A Father and son trip
January 2024
Tom B.
A Father and son trip
January 2024
Tom B.
An amazing week off-grid
January 2024
Alessandra B.
An amazing week off-grid
January 2024
Alessandra B.
An amazing week off-grid
January 2024
Alessandra B.
An amazing week off-grid
January 2024
Alessandra B.
An amazing week off-grid
January 2024
Alessandra B.
If you have ever wanted
January 2024
Ben B.
If you have ever wanted
January 2024
Ben B.
If you have ever wanted
January 2024
Ben B.
If you have ever wanted
January 2024
Ben B.
If you have ever wanted
January 2024
Ben B.
This is a truly special adventure. The moun...
November 2023
Stephen
This is a truly special adventure. The moun...
November 2023
Stephen
This is a truly special adventure. The moun...
November 2023
Stephen
This is a truly special adventure. The moun...
November 2023
Stephen
This is a truly special adventure. The moun...
November 2023
Stephen
Extraordinary experience and utterly unique...
October 2023
Craig
Extraordinary experience and utterly unique...
October 2023
Craig
Extraordinary experience and utterly unique...
October 2023
Craig

Hike through the desert landscape via boulder-strewn wadis, dramatic switchbacks, remote ravines and lush oases

Scramble to the jagged summit of Jebel Um Shomer (2587m) for spectacular vistas across arid peaks and the Red Sea

Learn the traditional desert way of life from nomadic Bedouins, cooking over fire and sleeping under the Milky Way

Explore Sinai further by combining with our adventure Rock Climbing, Hiking and Snorkelling in Egypt

Key Information

Day 1

Welcome to Egypt!

Your host will meet you at Sharm El Sheikh airport and transfer you to Sharks Bay Umbi, a relaxed family owned hotel from where you can enjoy your first glimpse of the Red Sea. If you are arriving early, you can arrange an optional visit to Nabq Protected Reserve – the world’s northernmost mangrove area, the edges of which can be explored with careful wading. Kick off your adventure with a group dinner and welcome briefing, then enjoy a good night's sleep and get ready for the epic desert expedition to come.

Day 2

Into the desert

Hiking

4-5hrs · 12-15km · 450 up · 400-500 down

After breakfast, pack the supply vehicles and head into the Sinai Desert. Travel off-road by Jeep to Ein Um Saieda to meet your friendly Bedouin team, and help load the support camels with water and the rest of the equipment. Then, you’re off! Follow an undulating path through El Homer to the top of Om Rajoum, where you can rest for a bit and soak up the views. Descend to Naqb Al Jamoose via a zig-zagging trail which connects two very distinct sections of the desert. Finish your hike through a beautiful section of soft sand. Camp in Wadi Isla during the longer summer days, or at Am Saqr during shorter winter days, enjoying your first night in the desert wilderness under a star-studded sky.

Day 3

Trek Wadi Rimhan

Hiking

5-6hrs · 12-17km · 500-600m up · 170m down

Today's hike is all about Wadi Rimhan. At times tracking a steep ravine, at others a gentler path, this wadi (valley) ascends from Aqsuraya to the base of Om Shomer. Its position means that it catches any rainfall off most of Om Shomer and surrounding peaks, so despite just two or three rainfalls annually, this is as lush as it gets in the desert. Wind your way through Tarfa trees as the camels munch on grasses, stopping for lunch in Zalaga. Reach Crum Nassir late afternoon, an old Bedouin stone house and garden that will become your base for the next two nights. Help your Bedouin guides set up the camp and cook dinner, then get some rest – as tomorrow's summit challenge awaits.

Day 4

Summit Jebel Um Shomer (2587m)

Hiking

9-10hrs · 13km · 1170m up · 1150m down

If scrambling is your thing, today is your day! At 2587m, Um Shomer's jagged summit towers over a rugged wilderness of peaks, wadis and ravines. Until the 19th century, it was believed to be Sinai's highest mountain and as such, it became a prestigious goal for lots of European mountaineers (today, it is officially recognised to be the second-highest peak in Egypt, after Jebel Katherina). Start hiking early with a steep and challenging scramble, using your hands for balance. At the top, you'll be rewarded with epic views over the Gulf of Suez to mainland Egypt, as well as across the Red Sea continental divide. Descend back to camp and tuck into a delicious meal before curling up in your sleeping bag, gazing up at the Milky Way above.

Day 5

Telah Braika gorge and the Rahaba wadi

Hiking

5hrs · 18km · 540m up · 515m down

Rise early and catch the spectacular sunrise from Crum Nassir while sipping on coffee. After breakfast, begin with a gradual ascent that criss-crosses the long Telah Braika gorge. Up and down, through sun and shade, over sand and rock - this beautiful hike is the perfect tonic after yesterday’s challenging climb. Enjoy a break in an olive tree garden planted by monks before hiking along the Rahaba wadi - halfway between plateau and valley, it is lined by shallow peaks on each side. After days of complete isolation and remoteness, you may bump into a few locals along the way, before turning into El Waara, where you'll be welcomed to the guests' quarters in the home of a local family. Warm up with a crackling fire and some authentic Bedouin hospitality.

Day 6

Naqb El Ahemar: the Red Passage

Hiking

6-7hrs · 19-24km · 150-300m up · 700-930m down

Today, your life as an honourary Bedouin is filled with immense variety and wonder. After a breakfast of farashay - local Bedouin bread - enjoy a later start, giving the sun time to warm the landscape after a cool night. Follow remote walking trails, heading southeast through the valleys and peaks that eventually feed into Wadi Kidd. Traverse the astonishing switchbacks of Naqb El Ahemar (the Red Passage) which enable the camels to bypass massive boulders which block the middle of the wadi. Rain can alter the trail here, so the exact route may vary between the distances described. Marvel at the way the camels and their guides tackle this vast and challenging landscape, before setting camp on the soft sand of Ahssy Marziga.

Day 7

Ein Kidd Oasis

Hiking

2-4hrs · 4-9km · 100-500m down

Many of the old Bedouin routes through the Sinai move from oasis to oasis, seeking shade and fresh water. Your final and gentle hike follows the nomads' trails as you head south towards the sea. Then magically, after five days surrounded only by the remote Sinai wilderness and arid desertscape, walk into Ein Kidd. Hidden from view until the very last corner, you'll be amazed by the sight of a lush palm tree oasis. Take time to explore it while your guides prepare a final open air-lunch, before saying your goodbyes to the Bedouin team and meet the vehicles for a drive to Sharm El Sheik. Celebrate the end of this memorable desert adventure with your fellow travellers, and take time to slowly readjust to city life and the comfort of a hot shower and comfy bed.

Day 8

Sun, sea and coral reefs

After six days in the remote Sinai desert, today is all about chilling and soaking up the sun on the hotel's tranquil private beach. You can also head out to the reef for some snorkelling or soothe your muscles with a massage. Travel back to Sharm El Sheikh Airport late afternoon for goodbyes and flights home (or, you may wish to extend your stay here or in Dahab, an adventure mecca known for its diving, rock climbing and other activities).

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Wild camping · Bivvy

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Homestay · Bivvy

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Wild camping · Bivvy

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

A selection of fresh Egyptian Bedouin-style dishes, including flatbreads, salad, fuul, cheese and honey

Traditional Egyptian meals are usually mezze-style, with several kinds of hot and cold dishes made with beans, eggs, cheese, salads or vegetable dishes and bread. During the desert expedition, your Bedouin guides will prepare all meals on fire and you are invited to help out - this is a great opportunity to learn some of their traditional desert wilderness skills. Breakfast will include jams, pitta bread, cheese, teas and coffees etc, while main meals are fragrant veggie stews, eaten with rice, pasta or mopped up with Bedouin bread - all hearty, healthy food freshly cooked on the fire, to fuel you up for the daily hikes. Bedouin tea and coffee are also included throughout your time in the desert.

Vegetarian and vegan meals are possible, but a gluten-free diet will be more difficult to accommodate due to the importance of bread in Bedouin cuisine, so please some bring some extra snacks with you. Please make any specific requests on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Sharm El Sheikh

Your first and final nights will be spent at the comfortable Sharks Bay Umbi on the shores of the Red Sea. The peaceful hotel offers traditional Bedouin style and warm hospitality - a sanctuary away from the big resorts. Rooms come with private bathrooms, air-conditioning and a TV. The hotel also has a great seafood restaurant veranda right by the beach.

For four nights during the trek you will be sleeping out in the desert under the stars - exactly as Bedouins do - for an incredible and unforgettable wild camping experience. Don't expect a standard campsite with toilets and tents: you'll be sleeping in the wilderness, in your sleeping bag or under warm blankets. On day five, you'll be hosted by a local Beduin family in their guests quarters sheltered in an old stone building - although basic, this is a more comfortable setting to face the cold desert night and also an opportunity to use the electricity to recharge cameras and power banks.
Sinai Desert

For four nights during the desert expedition, you will be sleeping out under the stars exactly as Bedouins do, for an incredible and unforgettable wild camping experience. Don't expect a standard campsite with toilets and tents: you'll be sleeping in complete wilderness, tucked into your sleeping bag or under warm blankets.

On Day 5, you will be hosted by a local Bedouin family in the guests' quarters of an old stone building. Although basic, this is a more comfortable setting to face the cold desert night in El Waara and provides an opportunity to recharge your camera and batteries.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked during the first and final nights (at El Madawa Eco Village and Sharks Bay Umbi), for an extra charge. See Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking, as this is subject to availability.

This trip has been rated as Challenging

Overall, this is a moderate to challenging trek - although most of the hikes are not demanding, there may be some challenging elements, either due to the extreme weather conditions, the remoteness of the desert and lack of facilities, or the long days. No technical experience is required, but a good level of fitness and stamina is needed. The day on which you summit Um Shomer is challenging as it includes scrambling and a significant elevation gain of over 900m. Trails on this hike are rough and steep, and although they are rarely exposed there is the occasional tricky section to tackle before you get to the top. You should have a strong sense of adventure for this expedition, particularly as the wild camping in the desert will be a true wilderness experience with little comfort and very basic conditions (no toilets, electricity or tented camp).

What will I need to carry?

You'll need to have a larger soft duffle bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you by camels and Jeeps, and a small daypack to carry personal items each day. Please don't pack more than you would want to carry yourself - 15kg is the limit for the kitbag and any extra weight (such as spare clothes) can be left with your host at the beginning of the adventure if needed. Bags with wheels/hard suitcases are not suitable for the camels. On Day 4, the camels won't climb to the summit of Um Shomar, so you will need to carry some extra weight (water and food) on that hike.

This trip runs between October and April, when the daytime temperatures are lower and more pleasant for trekking (usually ranging from 18 to 30 °C). Your guides will also schedule the hikes to avoid the hottest hours of the day, and will seek shade during lunch breaks. Nights can get pretty cold in the desert, with temperatures plummeting to 10°C, or occasionally lower, but blankets and a 3- or 4-season sleeping bag (depending on the time of year) will be enough to make your experience safe and comfortable.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Sharm El Sheikh International Airport

Arrive any time

Ends

Sharm El Sheikh International Airport

Depart any time

Transfers

Private airport transfers are included for any time (and day) you choose to arrive or depart. Please provide your flight information upon booking so that your host can book these services prior to the trip.

Travel options

There are direct flights to Sharm El Sheik International airport from major airports across the UK (usually scheduled weekly, Friday to Sunday) as well as from Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Carpets and warm blankets (if requested) for wild camping in the desert
  • All group cooking equipment, cups and utensils

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack (max. 15 kg)
  • Daypack (20-30 litres)

CLOTHES

  • Warm clothing for cold desert nights, but lighter clothes for warm daytime trekking
  • Warm jacket plus fleece jacket or similar
  • Thermals (December to February; merino is best)
  • Sun protection (hat/scarf, sunglasses, sun block)
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • T-shirts
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirt (for sun protection)
  • Broken-in hiking shoes (for Um Shomar, you might want to bring approach shoes, although the summit can also be tackled in regular hiking shoes/boots)
  • Sandals
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear and beach clothes (can be left in Sharm whilst on the trek)
  • Something to sleep in

SLEEPING

  • Sleeping bag (4-season for Dec-Jan-Feb; 3-season for Mar-Apr and Oct-Nov)
  • Travel pillow or pillowcase
  • Good camping mattress, puncture resistant, to insulate you from cold and hard ground
  • Sleeping mask for nights when the moon is bright

OTHER

  • Pen (to complete your Landing Card at the airport)
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger (El Waara on Day 5 is the only recharging point on trek)
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first aid kit, including rehydration salts, blister protection, ibuprofen, antiseptic cream, analgesic gel (e.g. Voltaren)
  • Personal items (such as sanitary wear, lip balm and moisturiser due to dry climate)
  • Sanitary supplies (toilet paper, wet wipes, and ziplock baggies to carry out)
  • Travel sickness tablets (optional; the off-road drive to the trek start/end points can get bumpy)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Ties/carabiners for securing wet towels/clothing to pack during the day to dry
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • 2 reusable water bottles x 1 litre each with a good filter or water purification tablets (essential)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Additional Night in Dahab Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Dahab Single Room

Additional Night in Dahab Twin/Double Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Dahab Twin/Double Room

Additional Night in Sharm El Sheik Double/Twin Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Sharm El Sheik Double/Twin Room

Additional Night in Sharm El Sheik Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Sharm El Sheik Single Room

Optional Private Room Upgrade (2 nights)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (2 nights)

John C.(March 2024)
The Nomadic Trek through the

The Nomadic Trek through the desert was a fantastic experience. The route chosen was balanced in terms of the stunning array of varying scenery and the terrain to cover. It was a challenging and enjoyable hike. The views from Um Shoma were incredible. The food was always very plentiful and welcome. Said and his team were informative and eager to pass on their enthusiasm for the Bedouin way of life. The experience was authentic, unspoiled and genuine. The trip was an opportunity to see and enjoy a wilderness with the people who know it best.

William H.(March 2024)
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape
The ultimate escape

Special.

Robert T.(March 2024)
Unique trip to a beautiful and remote area

Superb trek through seldom visited parts of the Sinai desert, and a fun ascent scrambing up the granite of Jebel Um Shomer.

Said was a outstanding guide, with a passion and depth of knowledge of the area that's hard to find. The whole team worked hard to look after us. The itinerary was well designed to show varied areas of desert, and surprisingly diverse flora. We saw no-one except maybe a dozen locals for all the desert section of the trip.

The long evenings looking up at the stars by the fire in the absolute silence of the desert are pretty magical.

The trip is fairly strenuous and I suffered with blisters from day 4 so prepare better than me! Much of the trip is very remote, it may be difficult to get help if things go wrong. Also some people found the scramble up Um Shomer a bit daunting so it may be a good idea to do a few scrambles in the UK to get familiar.

The excellent snorkelling right off the beach at the hotel was also a bonus.

Tom B.(January 2024)
A Father and son trip
A Father and son trip
A Father and son trip

This was a father and son trip for us. We loved the austere beauty of the South Sinai- mountains, gorges and wadis. The walking was significant, but not overly taxing, with breaks on the way. Evenings by the fire, under the stars, were magical. Make sure you bring warm clothes and a decent sleeping bag and mat for the nights. It was a treat to experience such an extraordinary environment and a privilege to be lead through it by Said and his team. They were fantastic at all times.

Alessandra B.(January 2024)
An amazing week off-grid
An amazing week off-grid
An amazing week off-grid
An amazing week off-grid
An amazing week off-grid
An amazing week off-grid

Such an amazing and educational experience. Tanis and Said are amazing guides supported by a real dream team of local Bedouins. Expect cold nights (bring extra layers and thermals if you are doing this hike ver the winter months), bonfires, amazing food and countless teas and cardamom coffees. Sleeping under the stars it's an indescribable experience, as well as it's scrambling up Jebel Um Shomer. I will keep these memories in my heart for a long time, and hope to be beck to magical Sinai soon!!

Ben B.(January 2024)
If you have ever wanted
If you have ever wanted
If you have ever wanted
If you have ever wanted
If you have ever wanted
If you have ever wanted

If you have ever wanted to experience a desert trek this is surely one of the best places to do it, Tanis, Said & all of our guides, the locals we met along the way were very welcoming and brilliant hosts displaying the renowned Bedouin hospitality and are fantastic cultural ambassadors. The scenery is stunning and felt varied day to day, from dry river beds to canyons, scrambling up mountains, vast plains and oasis. Learnt a lot about the desert, its wildlife, fauna and history. A trip I wont forget, highly recommended.

Dilini K.(January 2024)
Brilliant

My first of now many much better adventures thanks to this trip! Tanis and Said have put together an amazing trek through the most stunning and varied desert landscapes that could never be seen unless you take this adventure. There were so many highlights but suffice to say it was the most special, beautiful, challenging, inspiring and exhilarating experiences of my life. To top it off I met the most wonderful group of people. The hosts look after you so well so don’t worry about anything, just embrace the experience.

timothy s.(January 2024)