Egypt, or Masr in local Egyptian Arabic, is a transcontinental country situated in the top northeastern corner of Africa and is linked to the Asian continent by the Sinai Peninsula. Like Mesopotamia, Egypt was the home of one of the world’s earliest literate and urban societies, dating back to the 10th century BC. Long considered one of the cradles of civilization, Ancient Egyptian society has left behind a wealth of important archeological works such as the Giza Pyramids, Karnak, the Great Sphinx, and the Valley of the Kings among many others.
The Nile river, the second longest in the world, runs the length of the country from Sudan on the southern border to the Mediterranean coastline, one of the only north-flowing rivers in the world! Most of Egypt’s cultural and historic sites are found situated alongside the river and the most populous cities too. Today the river supports half of the population of Egypt, farms, transportation and fishing are all reliant on it. Travelers can enjoy a felucca (traditional wooden sailing boat) ride along the river banks in Cairo or even a longer trip from Aswan to Luxor in the Nubian cities of the South!
Cairo is well served with flights from all over the world and travelers can take connecting flights from here to Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula in the east. A world away from the hustle and bustle of the city and mainland Egypt is the Sinai Peninsula, surrounded by water and a mecca for sun-seekers and scuba divers alike, the world class Red Sea reefs and beaches have been drawing travelers from all over the world for many years. And the local Bedouin culture entices travelers to stay a while longer and immerse themselves in a cultural experience outside of the ordinary
On the western side of the country, Egypt is home to the Western Desert, part of the Sahara. The Western Desert is a vast expanse of rolling sand dunes and fascinating rock structures shaped by the winds and time. Within the desert, the Great Sand Sea leads to the edge of the Siwa Oasis. 25m below sea level, Siwa is a traditional desert Oasis, palms and olives grow in abundance and the clear springs provide a welcome break from the soaring temperatures. The isolation of the oasis has meant that local traditions and the Berber language Siwi, have survived.
It’s clear to see why a trip to Egypt is on many travelers’ bucket lists. From the metropolis of Cairo and her ancient treasures to the pristine beach living in the Sinai, Egypt offers her guests a wide variety of memorable experiences, sights, and cultures.
The local language in Egypt is Arabic, spoken mostly in the Egyptian dialect. Although English is widely spoken, the friendly locals always appreciate travelers trying out the language!
The currency is the Egyptian Pound, EGP.
The climate is generally hot and sunny for most of the year. During the mild winter (late November – early April) temperatures can reach below 10 degrees centigrade overnight.
The majority religion is Sunni Islam followed by Orthodox Christianity and Judaism.
The main airports used by travelers are Cairo in the mainland and Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai.
Buses which run frequently, link major cities and key tourism areas. There is a daily sleeper train runs from Alexandria to Luxor.
Visa are easily and affordably available upon arrival for most nationalities. Visitors who arrive into the Sinai region can choose to receive a free 14 day ‘Sinai Only Visa’.