Black Desert
الصحراء السوداء
Volcano-shaped mounds of the Black Desert
Volcano-shaped mounds of the Black Desert
Black Desert is located in Egypt
Black Desert
Black Desert
Location in Egypt
Coordinates: 28°09′03″N 28°43′43″E / 28.150711°N 28.728561°E / 28.150711; 28.728561
 • Length30 km (20 mi)
100 m (300 ft)

The Black Desert (Arabic: ‏الصحراء السوداء, aṣ-Ṣaḥrāʾ as-sawdāʾ) is a region of volcano-shaped and widely spaced mounds, distributed along about 30 km (19 mi) in western Egypt between the White Desert in the south and the Bahariya Oasis in the north. Most of its mounds are capped by basalt sills, giving them the characteristic black color.[1]


The mounds of the Black Desert, up to 100 metres (328 feet) high, vary in size, composition, height, and shape as some are dark consisting of iron quartzite while others are more reddish as its surface rocks consist of iron sandstone. On the outskirts of the Black Desert are volcanic hills proving the eruption of dark volcanic dolerite, dating back to the Jurassic period 180 million years ago.[2]


Remains of shrubs, and fossilized woodlands have been found in the Black Desert indicating that plants once grew there.[3]

Declaration of Natural Reserve

After discovering a large dinosaur skeleton on its borders, the Black Desert has been declared a natural reserve as of 2010.[4]


  1. ^ Ekaterina E. Plyusninaa, Emad S. Sallamb, Dmitry A. Rubana; Geological heritage of the Bahariya and Farafra oases, the central Western Desert of Egypt, Journal of African Earth Sciences (2016).
  2. ^ A.M. Afify, M.E. Sanz-Montero, J.P. Clavo, H.A. Wanas; Diagenetic origin of ironstone crusts in the Lower Cenomanian Bahariya Formation, Bahariya Depression, Western Desert, Egypt. Journal of African Earth Sciences 2015, vol. 101, pp. 333-349.
  3. ^ The Black Desert Retrieved 2020/04/20.
  4. ^ Samir, Aya (6 January 2018). "Egypt's western desert: magic lies within". Egypt Today. Archived from the original on 2018-01-06. Retrieved 20 April 2020.