Hidden Gems is a series where we share our insiders guide to places that are not well known for the public and we’re happy to start off with Egypt, the land that never runs out of magical places and unique spots.
We’ve been invited to the amazing Wadi Sannur Cave protectorate and it was a beautiful treat that we decided to share all the details of the place and how to get there and enjoy. Here we go…
1-The road to the Cave
The cave is 10 km away from the city of Beni Suef which can be reached in 2 hours driving distance from downtown Cairo “within normal traffic”, preferably using a 4×4 car as the route include some off-roading. The cave itself is created due to scientific reasons stated on Egyptian Ministry of Tourism website :
“Groundwater percolating through the Eocene limestone of the Galala Plateau. As the water percolates downwards, excess calcium carbonates are deposited on the roof and floor of the cave forming …”read more
2-Reaching the protectorate
First thing you’ll notice when you get there is the rest house within the protectorate. You’ll have the option of resting from your off-road trip and drink a tea maybe or use the rest house bathroom. There’s nothing special about the rest house area so you can take a 5 to 10 min walk to reach the cave location where you’ll be met with a vast open mining area, when the Cave was accidentally discovered through 54 big cavities leading to it (discovery not confirmed if in1980s or 1990s). The cave extends on an area of 700 m, with a width of 15m and a depth of 15m.
3-Inside the Cave
The entrance to the cave is quite adventurous as you’ll hold on to an iron ladder up the opening of the cave then down again. Once you’re in, you’ll keep on getting down for about 3-5 min till you finally reach the base of the cave.
The First thing your eyes will meet is the jaggy alabaster formations covered in mud and dust coming out of the cave wall around you and the path will extend to take you further inside till you reach a part of the cave that’s truly beautiful and creepy at the same time with a huge bulk of alabaster in supposedly the middle of the cave. It reminded me of the movie “Sphere” for some reason. The Place is poorly lit to say the least, yet you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty hiding in every corner of the cave.
Now for about 1:30 to 2 hrs you’ll forget all about the outside world and you’ll feel like you are on a different planet with unique geology and beautiful formations that led it to be declared a “geological protected area and national heritage” in 1992.
The trip is an overall joy ride for all off-road trails, desert and geology fans. Just remember to join an organised trip with many adventure groups out there as going on your own might be a challenge. We recommend Astrotrips for off-road trips within Egypt.
This country is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.