Ecolodge – ‘Adrere Amellal‘ near Siwa Oasis in Egypt is a place one of a kind. It’s an ecological ‘resort’ built entirely from local resources like mud bricks and palm tree wood found on site and around the oasis, just like the Berber tribes of the Sahara would do.
The amazing, traditional architecture and materials used give this place an ‘ancient’ look and create unforgettable atmosphere. Even more so at dusk when the entire place gets lit up by hundreds of candles and live flame torches and a full sky of bright stars, it just takes the breath away.
There is no electricity, no phone reception, no noise or air pollution, no litter, no crowds of people, just piece and quiete and nature around you. You can lounge by the pool with crystal clear water coming right from a fresh spring. Eat locally grown produce cooked for you by the chef. Have a glass of cold (!!!) beer sitting under a palm tree and looking at a vast salt lake.
Even though there is no electricity, there is fresh running water, great shower with hot water and every bathroom wall is lined with beautiful salt stones that sparkle in the candle light. Everything is clean and at the highest level yet traditional and all ecological.
Last time I went there was in 2007 and since then Egypt went through radical changes and revolution. Times are tough and being close to the Libyan border probably does not help attract tourists to this isolated area. I would suggest contacting EQI office in Cairo before going there and checking with your embassy to see the current situation in that area. There is also the official website of Adrere Amellal Ecolodge here.
Now a little bit about the photos. As you can see I love using HDR technique to create my images. I know that some people love it and others absolutely hate it. We’ve all got our own taste and that’s good. I think that one can very easily overdo HDR and make it look just nasty fake, but if you perfect your technique and don’t use automatic settings but actually spend time to bring out the details and colours that otherwise would hardly be visible, then you can achieve really beautiful and tasteful results.
There is also another important reason why I used HDR in this situation. The sun in the desert is extremely strong and burns all colours from details, it also creates very bright spots in places where it shines whilst at the same time leaving everything in the shade really dark. HDR photography helps me to bring out all the details from those shadows and also control the bright areas much better. You can see this very well in this post’s feature picture at the top of the page. Without HDR you would not be able to see both the building and the sky and shadows in such great details. It would be one or the either but not both, especially when shooting towards the sun like in this example. Balance is the key.