If you think that Fayoum has only the Waterfalls of Wadi Rayan Natonal Park, then you are mistaken!
In the middle of Fayoum Governorate’s lush and green fields, lies a system of seven waterfalls, hidden in a magical way. The Waterfalls are located in Mansheet Zafer also known as El Mokhtalata village in Itsa administrative center (South western part of The Fayoum). These Waterfalls is the result of Fayoum’s special topography of its land which slopes downward steeply from south to north for 67 meters along a distance of 35 km towards Qaroun Lake, with a sloping average of 2m/km. Therefore, most of the Governorate’s land (93%) is being irrigated directly through waterfalls. The total height of the Mokhtalata Waterfalls is approx 20 meters high.
The existence of these waterfalls urged the government in 1930s to build a hydroelectric power plant to generate electricity before building the High dam in Aswan. El Mokhtalata Hydraulic Power plant is Located in the middle of the spectacular Fayoum rural landscape. The plant was first constructed in 1936 to supply electricity to El Gharak El Sultani village, located in the south western part of the Fayoum. The power plant was inaugurated in 1940, making it the second Hydroelectric Power Plant in Fayoum and Egypt after El Azab Village Hydroelectric Power Plant which was inaugurated in 1926 and located 8Km south of Fayoum City.
El Mokhtalata Hydroelectric Power plant was built by English and German electric companies on an area of 45 Feddans (about: 189000 m2). It was fully operational until 1971 then the work was stalled due to the start of Wadi Rayan water storage project which reduced the water capacity that was once flowed to the plant. The plant used to work through 7 magnificent waterfalls, more beautiful than Wadi Rayan National Park waterfalls. The strong water flow of these waterfalls made the turbines move and generate electricity.
The plant used to distribute electricity to three electric transmission plants, located in various areas in Itsa administrative center. It was once supplying Fayoum Governorate with 75% of its power needs. El Mokhtalata Hydroelectric Power Plant consists of three administrative buildings, a maintenance workshop, mosque and rest houses for the workers and the engineers.
The surrounding scenery is haven for natural lovers and bird watchers. The area is overlooking a spectacular valley with a natural canal called Masraf al-Wadi which takes most of the excess water down to Lake Qaroun. Characterized by an extensive terrace cultivation, the valley is a sight particularly appealing and amazing. Go up to the top of the valley to have a strikingly magnificent panoramic view of its bed which is half tamed , half wild – small fields of neat crops are set off by palm trees and other aromatic and medicinal plants (Marigold – Chamomile) around a busy, twisting, braided stream. This is a uniquely Fayoumi landscape that you will not see anywhere else in Egypt.