In September and October 2015, expedition teams from adventure travel company Secret Compass will set out to cross the southern Sinai desert in minimalistic, Bedouin style. To mark the expedition's pending departure, Secret Compass investigates previous expeditions into this 60,000km2 peninsula, an area that has long been of interest to scholars, scientists and explorers alike.
Sinai has historically been Egypt's first line of defence, of interest to scholars, scientists and explorers alike. To mark the expedition's pending departure, Secret Compass investigates previous expeditions into this 60,000km2 peninsula (see below).
Teammate and Secret Compass operations advisor Bryony Balen said, “This 220km, camel-supported trek between the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba eschews the hi-tech trappings of post-Millennial exploration.
“Modern kit is banned: we will be given bare essentials such as a Bedouin cloak and water bladder to help us feel truly immersed in this harsh, nomadic world.”
Local expert and expedition leader Dave Lucas said, “Few if any outsiders have attempted this crossing in this manner before. As part of our original caravan, we'll locate water and barter for food en route, swapping camels periodically and sleeping beneath the stars.”
Concerning unrest in the north, a local travel organiser recently said in the New Statesman, “The Sinai narrative is framed by journalism and government travel advice. Unfortunately, that takes away that ability of the local people to represent their own land.”
Musallam Faraj is Secret Compass's local leader and part of the 'Sinai is Safe' campaign. Faraj said, “We are working with tourism so we feel responsible for everyone that comes to this area.” He believes that a strong governmental response and tribal protection will prevent troubles spreading to the south.