Rayan Valley (Wadi El Rayan)Type: attraction Location: El-Fayoum Oasis
Declared as a protected area in 1989, Wadi El-Rayan, known for its waterfalls, is about 65 kilometers southwest of the Fayoum town. The contrast of the blue lake and the golden desert, alone, demands appreciation. Not only is the valley a protected area, but it is also home to several historic and signifcant sites, including Phaoronic and Roman ruins, lakes and waterfalls, and Egypt’s frst natural heritage site, Valley of the Whales.
After passing through the gates, there are a couple of cafeterias and several vendors selling, pottery wood crafts and baskets of all kinds and sizes, which Fayoum is known for.
Following that, the wide open desert becomes more beautiful with sculpted yellow dunes. There you will see, three sulphur springs at the southern side of the lower lake with extensive sand dunes. Jabal Manaqueer Al Rayan at the south and southeast of the springs is where marine fossils and archeological remains are found and Jabal Madwera, near the lower lake, is known for its extensive dune formations.
You will also enjoy the flora and fauna there. Vegetation is found around the springs and at the base of large dunes, covering around 13 species of plants.
The area is also home to the world’s only known population of the endangered Slender-horned Gazelle as well as eleven species of reptiles and nine species of mammals. In fact, the valley has the world’s smallest fox, the Fennec Fox, as well as a small population of the threatened Docras Gazelle.At the waterfalls, there are several cafes that offer hot and cold drinks, as well as fresh grilled fish.
Visitors can also take a boat ride around the serene lake or fsh during the early mornings around the waterfalls.