In 2021, some camps are organising camp experiences for you to participate in. We are hopeful that they will be able to go ahead. Camps will follow the local conditions closely, and may have to cancel activities if the local COVID-19 situation forces them to do so. If you have already signed up for a camp-activity you will be informed when this happens. We will update the website also, when such decisions are taken. Please check your own local authority travel advisory to see if you can travel to or return from the camp after the activity. At all times, when at camps, please observe it’s COVID-19 policy (such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, etc).
10 years ago the SEKEM farm in Wahat-Bahareya was established – with the aim of bringing the desert to life by restoring the ecosystem and building a new community that serves it.
SEKEM-Wahat is part of the Egyptian development initiative “SEKEM”, that has worked with unwavering dedication for more than 43 years and transforms hostile desert landscapes into functional ecosystems and sustainable communities.
Based on SEKEM’s vision, the initiative is primarily relying on biodynamic cultivation of desertificated land. We believe that caring about natural soil management and organic plant growing is fundamental for sustainable development and people’s livelihood is ensured alongside.
Inherently, the SEKEM community is based on an integrative and holistic perspective of sustainable development in every single activity. Apart from the environmental work SEKEM is building new sustainable and self sufficient communities, providing artistic activities for workers, families and community members, providing school education and is working on infrastructure improvements.
Join our camp! Become part of a social innovation that integrates ecological, economic, cultural and community life to restore desertland.
Restoring the Desert
Our main work on site is reclaiming desert soil and creating functional land. We would love to have long term volunteers staying in SEKEM-Wahat , but we are also happy about any short or medium term support.
Workshops and Ecosystem Retreat
Take part in one of many workshops at the time and learn how to build an Ecosystem Restoration Camp.
We will soon announce dates of workshops for:
SEKEM-Wahat campsite is a place where your personal interests, skills, visions and talents are always warmly welcomed gifts. We appreciate hands-on people who take their own initiative to make that place continuously better.
Working in the SEKEM-Wahat camp means that you will collaborate with SEKEM’s mainly Egyptian employees, volunteers/interns and engaged people from all over the world.
Expect the unexpected!
Working in the Egyptian Desert – in a place where a lot still has to be established – means that not everything can be planned in advance. Flexibility and trust in the process as well as initiative are probably the most important attributes that are required.
Living in the Egyptian desert means that you will be confronted with a cold temperature in winter and high temperature variation over the day. Nights are usually quite moderate in summer/spring while it can move up to more than 45°C during daytime. We always recommend you to take this issue seriously. Stay hydrated and out of the sun! To protect everyone from being exposed to the midday heat in summer, we’re always taking a long break during the hottest hours of the day.
Arabic culture onboarding
We will take you on an on-boarding journey to learn about different aspects of Arabic local culture and learn about Bedouin traditions .
Our kitchen is almost fully organic freshly picked up from our permaculture garden from the campsite. Our local kitchen chef prepares our meals freshly every day, except for weekends where we all gather and share our cooking skills.
After working hours
After work you can enjoy going to al-Harra where you can meet local people, enjoy Egyptian tea or a qahwa turki (turkish coffee) and have a real beudiun culture exchange. It is located 20 minutes away from our camp.
You can also go to a bigger city called El-Bawity, which is a 1 hour drive from the Camp. There you can enjoy natural hot spring water.
On request we can organize trips to the famous white and black desert, which is 120 km from the Campsite. Costs need to be covered by the participants.
At the moment basic telephone and internet services are available on certain locations of the campsite.
The SEKEM-Wahat camp is located in the Bahariya oasis in the Egyptian Western-Desert – a 5 hours ride, alongside sand dunes and rusty train tracks, from the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The camp is surrounded by a beautiful desert mountain landscape right on the edge of the ecosystem of the Bahariya oasis.
The SEKEM-Wahat camp is part of the SEKEM farm in Belbeis . At the camp we are already developing:
Further explanation of costs
We can offer basic shared rooms at the campsite, but in spring you can also come with your own tent or you can use our bedium mountain view tents.
Prices are available upon request. We expect roughly 1500 EGP / month / person for food and 1500 EGP / month / person for accommodation.
The latter cost depends strongly on what accommodation you need and what we can offer.
Costs also depend on the time you stay on the farm. Of course, we are also willing to engage medium and long-term community members individual agreements can be discussed.
The camp is still in its early days and we are looking for people who have experience with:
If you don’t have experience you are very welcome to learn with us through hands-on work!
The overall vision for SEKEM-Wahat is related to community building through land reclamation and biodynamic agricultural activities. Thereby we are following a holistic view on humans potential to live and to shape their surrounding environment in a natural and sustainable way.
Due to a lack of job opportunities, infrastructure systems, food insecurities, SEKEM wants to face today’s issues by offering stable jobs, education, vocational training, medical aid and a natural environment that suits the needs of a flourishing community.
You can find further information about the project greening the desert here.
For general information about SEKEM its vision goals and other ongoing projects look here.
Camping-basic Kitchen-vegetarian Electricity Cell service No Sanitation facilities or Wifi
Water retention Tree planting Compost making Soil restoration Food growing Community building Natural building
Please complete the form below to express your interest in joining the team at Camp Sekem Wahat
Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.
Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.
Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020