Wadi El Rayan Falls
It is well possible that Wadi El Rayan Falls are the only waterfalls in Egypt. These falls were created by human activities some decades ago and since then have been turned into a popular local tourist destination.
Name in Arabic
Map of the site
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Waterfall has formed on some 7 km long stream which connects two lakes – Upper and Lower Wadi El Rayan lakes. Both lakes and the stream between them are located below sea level – Upper lake is 14 m below sea level but the Lower lake – 36 m below it.
These lakes were formed by human activity: there was a need to divert the excess agricultural drainage water from Faiyum oasis and it was decided that El Rayan depression would be suitable for this. Works were started in 1974 and there was built a system of water tunnels and channels.
Water at first reached the Upper lake but then a stream flew towards a deeper part of depression, forming there another lake. As the course of the stream was eroded, there were exposed natural rocks and waterfalls formed over them.
It is planned that the most impressive ones – lower falls – will disappear over the time, as the Lower lake will fill up.
There are several cascades on Wadi El Rayan stream. Most impressive ones are the lower falls – a system of two cascades, each divided by a large island, thus forming a group of four falls. Distance between the cascades is some 30 – 35 metres, the width of island dividing the cascades is 20 – 50 m. as these falls are close to the lake, there is an impressive view over the cascades towards the lake.
One more impressive cascade is some 700 m upstreams.
Falls have formed on limestone.
Falls, lakes and territory around them are a nature protected area. Here still live the rare rhim gazelles (Gazella leptoceros) as well as dorcas gazelles (Gazella dorcas).
Today whe falls are a beloved place for recreation such as sports fishing, hiking.
- Seif Camel, Egypt: Wadi El Rayan in the Fayoum of Egypt, Tour Egypt. Accessed in 02.12.2015.
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