South Sinai is a great off-roading destination and many people visit at least a couple of sights in the desert – usually the Coloured Canyon and the lovely oasis of Ein Khudra with the adjoining White Canyon. However, to experience the magic of the desert at least an overnight tour is recommended. 4×4 safaris can last from 2 days to 2 weeks – there is enough to see in the interior.
Although often called Jeep safari, the other most popular 4×4 vehicle is the Toyota Landruiser. Jeeps are usually used for smaller groups and/or short distances, while Landcruisers for bigger groups and/or longer distances. Either way, a 4×4 safari is a memorable experience in the desert and highly recommended.
Note: at present there might be some restrictions on using 4×4 vehicles in Sinai – check with local operators!
There are many good local operators, mostly based in Dahab, St Catherine, Nuweiba and the beach camps along the Nuweiba-Taba road, as well as some in Sharm el Sheikh, Abu Zenima and Ras Sudr. Watch out though: virtually all Sinai operators offer desert safaris, but many are careless and have little knowledge of and respect for the environment. On the other hand, many of the best Bedouin operators are not listed on commercial portals such as TripAdvisor, so here are our own resommendations and listing.
Feel The Desert (Nuweiba)
Run by a Dutch lady, Feel the Desert is a small tour-operator specialized in responsible and community-based travel, and offers yoga holidays, camel trips, ladies only wellness programs and diving holidays. They work exclusively with the local Bedouin people – respect for people, culture and environment are the base of all their desert trips.
Sinai Bedouin Safari (Dahab)
Sinai Bedouin Safari is run by Salem, a friendly and professional Bedouin guide. He offers trekking and camel trips around the desert, horse rides, 4×4 jeep safaris, backpacking, rock climbing, dinners, Mt Sinai hikes.
Sinai Safari (Dahab)
Run by Maruan, a fluent English, French and Arabic speaker, with Salah Abu Musa from the Muzeina tribe, Sinai Safari lets you chose between a private tailor-made trip to suit your needs or join a group safari taking you to famous locations such as St Katherine’s Monastery, Mount Moses, the Coloured Canyon, or off the beaten track.
Wind Sand & Stars (UK)
Wind Sand & Stars are leading specialists in high quality historical and spiritual journeys. They have been operating in Sinai since the early 1990s and offer a distinctive, authentic and personal experience. Their desert retreats are based in a remote and beautiful sandstone area of South Sinai. They draw upon the area’s many Biblical associations and its tradition of spiritual reflection from the time of the Desert Fathers. Some retreats involve collective worship and prayer, while others are non-denominational. Days normally include time for silence, with optional excursions on foot and camel.
Yossef Safari (Abu Zenima)
Based in the little town of Abu Zenima on the main Cairo-Sharm el Sheikh road, Yossef Safari is an expert of the area around Serabit el Khadim, the Forest of Pillars (Jebel Fuqa), the Wadi of Inscriptions (Wadi Mukattab) and the turquoise mines of Wadi Maghara. Yousef is from the family of the late Sheikh Selim Barakat, the respected leader of the Aliqat tribe.
1 World Tours with Rabia Barakat Selim
Based in the little town of Abu Zenima on the main Cairo-Sharm el Sheikh road, Rabia is an expert of the area around Serabit el Khadim, the Forest of Pillars (Jebel Fuqa), the Wadi of Inscriptions (Wadi Mukattab) and the turquoise mines of Wadi Maghara. Rabia is from the family of the late Sheikh Selim Barakat, the respected leader of the Aliqat tribe.
Away Away Sinai (Dahab)
AWAY AWAY offers its services to make your stay in the Sinai and St. Katherine the way you would want it to be, and if possible even better. But in doing this we always keep in mind that the Sinai, with its desert and marine ecosystems, is very sensitive and susceptible to the slightest change.
Bedouin History Desert Safari (Dahab)
A tour company dedicated to offering visitors personal and distinctive desert safaris throughout Central and South Sinai. They arrange trekking, camel, and jeep safaris guided by experienced local Bedouins.
Bedouina Tours and Travel (Dahab)
A Bedouin owned Category A tour and travel operator established in 2006, Bedouina Tours specialise in safaris in South Sinai and tours of the Middle East.
Stichting Hadiya Reizen (The Netherlands)
The “Foundation Hadiya Tours”, as it translates to English, is an initiative of Marion Meulenbroek. They are involved in a number of Bedouin community projects, and offer special tours in Sinai. Information is in Dutch.