Egypt, the land of the Pharoahs, is a North African country with a land bridge, the Sinai Peninsula, to west Asia. Northern Egypt is on the Mediterranean coast. The River Nile flows northwards through Egypt. Most of Egypt’s large population lives along the banks of the Nile. Parts of the Libyan Desert and the Sahara Desert are in Egypt.
Egypt’s capital, Cairo, is a hectic city with a rich cultural history and a wealth of tourist attractions. The Giza Pyramids and the less well-known Saqqara Pyramids symbolise Egypt. The Sphinx, an ancient sandstone monument with the head of a woman and the body of a lion, is adjacent to the Giza Pyramids.
Other Cairo attractions are the Egyptian Museum, which houses a massive collection of Egyptian antiquities including Tutankhamen’s Mask; Khan el-Khalili, an ancient souk (market); and Al-Azhar Park. Luxor is 700kms south of Cairo and houses the Luxor Temple. Near Luxor, in the Theban Necropolis, is the Valley of the Kings, which contains some of the world’s finest tombs.
A relaxing method of covering the 250kms from Cairo to Luxor is to sail down the River Nile on a felucca, a traditional wooden sailboat. Things to see in Aswan are Kalabsha Temple and the Aswan High Dam. 300kms south of Aswan, on the banks of Lake Nasser, is Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel, one of Egypt’s best known tourist sites, comprises two enormous rock temples.
Egypt has beaches along the Mediterranean coast, notably around Alexandria. Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab are all seaside resorts on the Sinai’s Red Sea coast.
Accommodation in Egypt ranges from budget guest houses to luxury five-star hotels. The principal entry point for foreign tourists to Egypt is Cairo International Airport. Trains travel between Alexandria, Cairo and Aswan. Egypt has a good paved road network that even reaches some of the desert oasis towns such as Farafra.