WADI EL RAYAN WATERFALLS
The valley of Wadi El-Rayan, 65 km southwest of Fayoum city, in Egypt, is home to two large artificial lakes created to divert excess drainage water from Fayoum oasis. It is also home to the country’s only waterfalls.
Fayoum oasis originally drained into Lake Qarun. However, the lake can only take a certain volume of drainage water.
There was a need to find alternative drainage, and the large area of Wadi El Rayan was the best choice.
In 1974, a channel and tunnel were cut through the desert from the western side of Fayoum to the large, dry area of Wadi El Rayan. Water now flows into Wadi El Rayan forming two large lakes.
When the first lake is full to capacity, a stream flows towards a deeper area, where another lake is formed. As the stream flows, natural rocks were exposed and waterfalls then formed.
The area around the lakes is a nature reserve and is densely vegetated making it a perfect habitat for migrating birds.
The area is also home to the world’s only population of Slender-horned Gazelles, as well as 8 other mammal species and 13 species of bird.
There are several cascades on the stream, which have attracted lots of attention from the local Egyptians. The waterfalls have also been featured in many Egyptian pop videos and films.