Egypt is located at an important junction of Europe, Asia and Africa. Egypt is a country which fascinates the entire world with its mystic architecture, ancient Egyptian Civilization, rich Christian and Islamic heritages and medieval markets and souks of Cairo. Egypt is one of the most popular countries in terms of tourism. This country is full of intriguing and fascinating attractions which left tourist enthralled. Egypt is not just about history and architecture, it also offers lots of adventure, romantic and family vacation also and caters to all section of tourist. Egypt is also a major power in the Islamic world and holds considerable influence in world affairs and plays a major role in the Middle East. Egypt is bordered by Israel and the Gaza Strip to the north-east, by Sudan to the south and by Libya to the west. The country is bounded by the Mediterranean and Red Seas (to the north and east respectively) and geographically dominated both by the Nile River and its fertile well-watered valley, and by the Eastern and Western deserts. Egypt stimulates the imagination of western tourists like few other countries and is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations world-wide.
The River Nile played an important role in shaping the destiny of this country. Nile River floods left a highly rich fertile soil which helped in agriculture and creates one of the greatest civilizations on earth. The Egyptian Civilization was not only a civilization that is renowned for its unique engineering and architecture but also for its significant contribution in culture, science and administration. The Egyptian civilization leads to a first unified kingdom in Egypt around 3200 B.C. The glorious Egyptian Kingdom lost its relevance to the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines. The Arabs came in and brought Arabic language and Islam along with them. The Arabs ruled Egypt till 7th Century and were replaced by the Mamluks who were further replaced by the Ottoman Turks. The complex Suez Canal in 1869 is considered as one of the most important engineering landmarks. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Britain seized control of Egypt and after World War II and a revolution by Colonel Gamel Abdel Nasser. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in agriculture and the ecology of Egypt.
The 99% of population of Egypt is concentrated along the narrow Nile Valley and Delta and the North Coast of Mediterranean Sea. The majority of Egypt's landscape is desert. Winds create prolific sand dunes that peak at more than 100 feet (30 m) high. Egypt includes parts of the Sahara Desert and of the Libyan Desert. Towns and cities include Alexandria, the second largest city; Aswan; Asyut; Cairo, the modern Egyptian capital and largest city; El-Mahalla El-Kubra; Giza, the site of the Pyramid of Khufu; Hurghada; Luxor; Kom Ombo; Port Safaga; Port Said; Sharm el Sheikh; Suez, where the Suez Canal is located; Zagazig; and Al-Minya. Oases include Bahariya, el Dakhla, Farafra, el Kharga and Siwa. Protectorates include Ras Mohamed National Park, Zaranik Protectorate and Siwa.
Egypt in recent few days was much in news and discussion due to the popular Arab Spring Movement. On 25 January large scale mass protest began against Hosni Mubarak’s regime at the iconic Tahrir Square in Cairo. These took the form of an intensive campaign of civil resistance supported by a very large number of people and mainly consisting of continuous mass demonstrations. By 29 January it was becoming clear that Mubarak's regime had lost control when a curfew order was ignored, and the army took a semi-neutral stance on enforcing the curfew decree. On 11 February 2011, Mubarak resigned and fled Cairo resulting in a jubilant celebration in Tahrir Square. Egypt is now making transition to a free democratic country ushering a new and bright future prospect for this culturally rich country.
Things to do in Egypt
Botanical Garden and Elephantine Island Tour
You will enjoy the peaceful ambience of the Botanical Garden and will be awed by the Greco-Roman relics and architecture. You will enjoy a Felucca ride in the Nile River and will visit the Botanical Garden which was created by Lord Kitchner. The garden has a wide variety of exotic plants and trees from all over the world. Next you will see the Elephantine Islands and will explore the hidden secrets of the temple relics dedicated to the Egyptian god Khnum. You will see the Roman ‘Nilometer’ and will be amazed explore the collection of Greco-Roman relics displayed in the museum.
Luxor Museum and Mummification Museum Tour
In this amazing tour you will visit the famous Luxor Museum and the relatively new the Mummification Museum. The Luxor Museum houses some important and valuable artifacts of ancient Egyptian Civilization. Look out for mummies and treasures of Tutankhamen’s tomb and see the collection of 26 well preserved New Kingdom statues. At the Mummification Museum, you will come across ancient Egyptian mummies of both humans and animals. Learn about the process of mummification and the ancient Egyptian concept of life after death.
Quad Biking in Sharm El Sheikh
Enjoy a short drive from Sharm El Sheikh to desert of Sinai to enjoy hiking and quad biking. Enjoy a bumpy ride with a quad bike and race down the sand dunes across the desert. You will spot some wild animals of the desert while enjoying the quad bike ride. You will next enjoy a hike through the mountains and canyon which is full of colours due to Oxidization through the several ages. Enjoy this fun filled day and explore the vast wilderness of Sinai’s Desert where many tales and legends have born.
Red Sea Glass Bottom Boat Ride
Enjoy a tour of Red Sea in a glass bottom Boat and see the beauty of the underwater world. Learn more about the fragile ecosystem of Red Sea and admire the rich marine biology and beautiful Coral reefs. The 90 minutes Glass Bottom Boat ride will offer you view of the beautiful and complex coral formations of great brain which is one of the world’s biggest coral reefs. Enjoy the tour and learn a great deal about the Red Sea’s fragile ecosystem and its rich marine life.
Half Day City Tour of Sharm El Sheikh
Enjoy a half day city tour of Sharm El Sheikh and explore the city. In this tour you will simply enjoy the bright sun, beautiful sand beaches and sea and will see Bedouins and colourful tents, mountains. You can enjoy shopping at the Sharm El-Sheikh Mall and can buy books, jewelry, souvenirs, leather goods, clothing, pottery and many more.
Egypt has typical dry and warm climate which remains constant round the year. Egypt receives very little rainfall south of Cairo while on the northern coast it receives up to 410 mm rain. Sinai’s mountains and north coastal cities receives snow fall year round. The average temperature hovers between 32°C and 43°C during the summer while 13°C to 21°C during the winter. North Coast cities enjoy a more moderate Mediterranean climate.
Egypt is renowned for its cuisine which is the reflection of its rich cultural heritage and has strong influence of Arab peninsula, Turkish flavours and indigenous Egyptian spices. Egypt being an Islamic country observes the Halal food practices and customs. This country is renowned for its culinary delights. Try out the Ful Medames, an Egyptian dish consists of fava beans slow cooked in a copper pot. Try out the classic Falafel which is a deep fried ground fava bean balls. This dish was invented by Egyptian Bedouins and is usually served as fast food or snacks. Try out the Koshary which is a famous dish which is usually a mixture of macaroni, lentils, rice, chickpeas and tomato sauce. Besides Egyptian, Arabic cuisine and Mediterranean delights are widely available. Egypt also has good quality of various international cuisine and specialty restaurants serving good quality of international delights.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Egypt is in between the months of November to March. The temperature is cool as compares to the rest of the year. However, in the north coastal areas, be prepared to receive rains and occasional snow fall. Rest of the year remains dry, harsh and hot.
How to Reach
By Air: Egypt has several international airports and is very well connected with rest of the world through direct and transit flights. Many regular flights connect Cairo, the main international airport of Egypt. Alexnadir, Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada and Sharm al Seikh all have international airport where many charter and commercial passenger aircrafts land.
By Boat: There are regular ferry services from Aqaba to Nuweiba on the Sinai Peninsula. A new weekly ferry service from Venice to Alexandria, via Tartus in Syria, started in summer 2010. A weekly ferry also runs between Wadi Halfa in Sudan and Aswan. Ferry boats also between the Red Sea coast to ports in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
By Bus: Travelers can easily access Egypt by bus from Israel from the bus stations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. You will take a bus to Eilat where you can cross over the border into Taba and take a bus to Cairo or into the Sinai. The Jordanian state bus company, JETT, also operates a direct bus between Amman and Cairo takes approximately 19 hours to reach Cairo.