Basata Ecovillage | Sinai & Red Sea | Egypt
Basata, an ecovillage run by Sherif El-Ghamrawy and his wife Maria.
Basata is always booked on Egyptian holidays, so call ahead. But you can come anytime if you have your own tent.
“Basata” means simplicity in Arabic, and this place lives up to its name. The camp/ecovillage is right on the beach with two mountains on either side, so there are no other distractions. You can stay in mud brick bungalows, huts, or in your own tent. There is a main hut complex with kitchen facilities and a lounge area.
Basata is one of the most environmentally conscientious places in Egypt. They actually started a recycling program, the only (official) one in Egypt. All of the buildings and huts were made from locally available materials, such as mud, reeds, and stone.
Things to Do:
- Eat fish from the red sea and make friends over the nightly Bedouin style dinners. The dinners switch between vegetarian one night and fish the next. Many of the guests at Basata are European travelers, Egyptians from Cairo escaping the chaos of the city, or foreigners who live in Cairo. Come to think of it every time I’ve been there I’ve met a foreign journalist, and seen the same Italian couple.
- Snorkel/swim in the sea. There are patches of reef right off of the beach with all kinds of red sea fish: Angel fish, puffer fish, and lionfish to name a few. Watch out for the sea urchins and occasional eel!
- Beach volleyball (playing or watching!)
- Long walks on the beach (no this is not a personal ad)
- Watch the sun rise over Saudi Arabia. You can see all the way across the gulf of Aquaba to Saudi Arabia, but it is best when the sun silhouettes the mountains.
- Day trip to climb Mt. Sinai
- Desert hiking or camel trips
- Just plain relaxing
Basata is in the Sinai Peninsula, on the coast of the Gulf of Aquaba. It is located a little over 20 km north of Nuweiba, and south of Taba. There are lots of small beach camps along this stretch of road popular with back packer types, vacationing Israelis, and hip Cairenes.
You can reach Basata via an eight-ish hour bus ride from Cairo, you can ask the bus driver to let you off there or catch a taxi from Nuweiba. You can return the same way, only on the way back stand by the side of the road at the appropriate time and flag down any bus you see going by, it will probably be heading to Cairo.
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