Nestled within the greenery of Dakhla Oasis is a retreat that promises calm and therapeutic nature. Located 750 km from Cairo’s din, Shanda Lodge offers environmentally friendly facilities built in a Nubian style with respect to the surrounding environment. Treatments such as sand bathing, hot spring dips, and mud treatments are also available in addition to an ideal location to practice yoga and meditation.
Facilities and Benefits
With 24 rooms and suites available, the location for Shanda Lodge was primarily chosen due to the climate, historical significance, and surrounding water wells and hot springs. The New Valley contains an astonishing 800 mineral water eyes and wells, many of which are heated to 28 – 45 degrees Celsius throughout the year. Containing iodine, sulfur and radon gas, bathing in these hot springs is said to assist in the healing of kidney diseases and allergies.
This area has been popular with environmental therapy since ancient times. The hot desert sands have long provided comfort and healing in the form of sand bathing, argued to heal arthritis and rheumatic pains. The New Valley has attracted holistic healers from around the world to take advantage of the climate, natural mineral water hot spring springs in an effort to alleviate pain and cure numerous bone, muscle, kidney, skin and stomach diseases.
Ancient Civilizations and Exploration
Shanda Lodge offers a chance to explore ancient civilizations in the surrounding areas, combining ecotourism with exploration of history. The New Valley boasts a mix of cultures and historical periods of interest beginning from the prehistoric ages to the Pharaonic, Ptolemaic, Roman, Christian and Islamic eras. Pharaonic sites can be found in various parts of the oases, most notably the Temple of Hibis. The Ptolemaic era is recorded at the Al Goath Temple, while the Romans left their mark at the Dush Temple, Deir El Hajar Temple, and Temple of Azayan. In the third and fourth centuries AD, Christians left significant monuments in the region of Al Bagawat in Kharga.
Cuisine on offer also borrows from the surrounding environment and draws from the organic goodness of the land. Oriental dishes are prepared using ingredients void of any agricultural pesticides or chemicals. Meat is sourced from the valley, and all dishes, feteer and breads are baked on the premises. Classics like cheese feteer, local olives, lamb tajen with vegetables, molokheya with rabbit or chicken, kabab and kofta, grilled chicken and pigeons are all on offer.
Additional activities can be arranged by the lodge staff such as desert safaris, sand boarding, Bedouin dinners and star gazing, a visit to Magic Lake, camel rides, and desert yoga and meditation retreats.
Historical Sites & Monuments to See
- Bashandi Village
- Ballat Village
- Al Qasr Islamic Village
- Mowzawaka Cemetery
- Deir El Hajar Temple
- Bagawat Necropolises
- Hibis Temple
- Nadura Temple
- Ghaweta Temple
- Zayan Temple