30 Jan 2019
Siwa, Egypt
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

It all began long before Siwa came to light as a hot destination in Egypt’s western desert. Ehab El-Sayed and his family decided in early 2000s to move and settle in Siwa. “My parents are the pioneers who ensured the continuity of Taziry Ecolodge,” El-Sayed says.

Although El-Sayed and his two brothers weren’t a permanent feature in Siwa, they took it upon themselves in 2011 to start Talist Siwa and by 2014, they were receiving guests. “Talist’s accommodation is part of a big organic farm spanning over 40 acres. It’s more of a settlement where we also live and use the communal kitchen,” El-Sayed adds.

He highlighted that they’d always like to receive visitors as guests and send them off as friends; a common saying El-Sayed stands by. “We accommodate 40 guests distributed over 16 rooms, between doubles, triples and quadruples,” he notes.

El-Sayed and his family are constantly working on upgrading their property to take in more guests with a goal to reach 24 rooms while keeping the family spirit. He also described the vibe as rather intimate:“We don’t have room numbers — just room names after people staying in.”

The family of architects and hospitality experts also offer architecture services. “We offer excursions and sightseeing services – assisted by locals – to visitors who request them. We’re also largely promoting handcrafts made by Siwan women. Additionally, locals provide us with food products such as bread,” he remarks.

Talist Siwa does not target a specific section of society but all sections. “People who would enjoy Siwa the most are usually those prone to quiet, serenity and observing the beauty of a nearby lake and two mountains,” El-Sayed says.

Until recently, Siwa was a far-away notion and an unlikely destination to a lot of Egyptians. “We were lucky to establish our business in 2001 and make a model out of it for other businesses to follow,” El-Sayed adds.

According to him, the media, cinema and social media played a role in portraying Siwa as the beautiful haven it is. “People come here looking for a shooting set or a backdrop they saw in a movie. Besides, Siwa is more accessible than other destinations in Egypt,” he notes.

 

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Talist Siwa Sustainable tourism
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