This new eco-resort in the Fayoum Oasis offers tourists and locals respite from Egypt’s ongoing chaos.
Without the steady influx of tourists and constant political trouble, Egyptians are wondering when their lives will ever return to normal. But the folks at El Mandara eco-resort in Fayoum promise that visitors to their new facility will experience the “real” Egypt and become re-acquainted with their inner selves. Sitting astride Lake Qarun in the Fayoum Oasis just one hour and fifteen minutes drive from Cairo, this tranquil eco-haven was built with environmentally-friendly building materials and pays deep respect to its incredible natural surroundings.
They explain that “the mentality of the resort is to represent simplicity, connecting with the beauty of nature, and enjoying silence away from the fast pace of day-to-day city life.”
To this end, the resort, which was previously a series of rundown buildings, was renovated using local, sustainable building materials including mud bricks (a la Hassan Fathy) and palm fronds that provide shading from the relentless desert sun.
Room sizes in this private resort range from 29m2 to 100m2. There are seven suites and three rooms, all enclosed for maximum privacy, and each of them has wonderful views of the nearby lake.
The project grew up in a matter of months once a group of friends decided to convert deserted huts into an eco-friendly timeshare that doubles as affordable lodgings. Entertainment options are decidedly non-digital, according to Urban Peek. Instead, visitors have access to a pool table and an inviting lake, as well as numerous opportunities to lounge about and enjoy the peace and quiet.
More active travelers can visit the nearby Hawara archaeological site and Wadi Rayan – Egypt’s largest waterfalls. Or they can try their hand at fishing, flying kites, playing beach volley, or bird watching.
El Mandara serves up traditional Egyptian cuisine, including locally-sourced fish, feteer and 3asal – all in an incomparable environment that will make returning to the bustle of every day life pretty darn difficult.
Egypt may not be ready to embrace eco-tourism en masse, since the former method of trucking in bus loads of tourists proved too profitable to let it slide completely, but we have seen a very steady rise in more sustainable options for tourists who want to have a positive impact on the country. El Mandara – which means Guest House – is great for foreigners and locals too!
These images were taken from the El Mandara Facebook page; for more professional imagery, please visit Urban Peek’s sponsored post.
:: Urban Peek
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