From: Africa Travel Guide
Egypt Travel Guide
Egypt has a wealth of history, culture and monuments left behind from ancient civilizations with treasures such as the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Abydos that can but leave you inspired by their enormity and which combine brilliantly with Egypt's own natural wonders such as the desert landscapes, the Nile River, rugged mountains, stunning oases, and the Red Sea coral reefs that team with life and colour.
The city of Cairo is bustling night and day and has the contrast of very old meets incredibly new and yet still manages to retain all of its charm and cultural heritage, leaving you with a totally unique experience.
Egypt is located in North Africa and is bordered to the North with the Mediterranean Sea, to the East you have the Red Sea and Israel, to the South is Sudan and to the West is Libya. Egypt's official name is the Arab Republic of Egypt and the large towns and sites of interest are Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Sinai and Cairo which is also the Capital City. The official language in Egypt is Arabic although English and French are widely used and Egypt's currency uses the Egyptian Pound (EGP). Islam is the State Religion of Egypt with the vast proportion of Egyptians being Muslim.
Egypt has a desert climate and during the summer months the sunshine averages around 12 hours per day. The Spring months of February, March, April and May are excellent months to visit because the temperatures are hot but not unbearable often averaging between between 15 and 29 *C. During the summer months of June, July, August and September the temperatures start to soar and are pretty unbearable reaching well into the mid to high 30*C's and often into the 40's before cooling a little for October, November staying at around 20 to 26 *C. With the winter months of December to February seeing the coolest temperatures of around 15 to 23*C. At night the temperature often drops quite quickly and can be between 0 and 10*C. The months of March, April and May are also prone to a strong wind known as Khamsin which lasts for a good few hours and produces sandstorms combined with a steep rise in temperature which can rise as much as 20 degrees in a matter of hours, along with gusts up to 140 kilometers an hour.
Egyptian Customs Advice
There are few things to be aware of when visiting Egypt such as tipping or baksheesh which is done for just about everything you can think of so have a supply of small change available. Haggling is also a way of life here and is often expected behavior so be prepared to give it a go especially if you visit any of the markets. During Ramadam you will find many businesses close as Muslims abstain from drinking, smoking and eating between dawn and sundown. Also be aware that homosexual acts are strictly forbidden in Egypt.
Egypt Cuisine Guide
Traditional Egyptian cuisine is strongly flavoured, especially with garlic and is largely vegetarian with peas, beans, lentils, fruit and vegetables all in regular use with bread being served with just about every meal. Fish dishes are also very popular especially along the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts. Meat dishes used to be considered a bit of an expensive treat although it is more widely used now with the exception of Pork which is not served due to the Muslim Culture.
Some of Egypt's most popular dish's are Ful Medames which is a mixture of fava beans, onion, garlic and parsley and sliced egg. Kushari is another Egyptian classic that is also the National Dish and consists of pasta, rice, lentils, chick peas, garlic which is topped with a spicy tomato sauce. The dish known as Falafel is also widely found and contains fried balls of fava beans and chickpeas usually served with pita bread, vegetables and a sauce.
In the the larger cities such as Cairo you will find all your western food chains such as KFC, McDonald's, Wimpy and Pizza Hut as well as several more classy restaurants serving Italian, French and Asian food. Alcohol is not consumed a great deal in Egypt and in some areas will need to be searched out, it is worth remembering that during the month of Ramadan alcohol is strictly forbidden and very difficult even for a foreigner to obtain.
Dress Code Information
The dress code in Egypt applies more to women than to men where the more modestly you can dress the greater respect you will show and in turn be given. When entering any of the mosques dress code is particularly important and a head scarf should be worn along with covering up your shoulders, cleavage, arms and legs and removal of shoes being before entering.
There are several shopping opportunities available throughout Egypt ranging from small and unique shops and markets to large shopping malls such as the Citystars Mall by Cairo airport which has many of the well known Western shopping chains situated within it. Markets such as the famous Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar in Cairo are extremely popular and are where you will find a large selection of products such as clothing, jewelry, glass, pottery, herbs, fabric's and many other products for the home. Haggling is a must if you go to any of the markets so be prepared to give it a go as its all part of the fun of this wonderful country. The quality and prices of products will vary quite dramatically so take your time and have a really good look around before you buy anything.
Traffic in India is generally very fast and chaotic, especially in the cities, taxi's are readily available and are a recommended mode of transport for travelling in and around many cities. Take extreme caution when crossing over any roads.
Egypt Adventure Travel
With its mountains, deserts, rivers, Red Sea and plenty of beaches there is plenty to offer the adventurist... more about Egypt Adventure Travel
Egypt Travel Attractions Guide
Egypt is packed with a bountiful supply of history and culture and offers many places of beauty and cultural significance that show detailed relief work, paintings and architecture which is of great importance such as the Pyramids, temples, monuments, tombs, museums and Oases some of the many highlights you will discover are focussed around the main areas of Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria, Sinai and Cairo.
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt and is home to several historical buildings such as monuments, temples and tombs and iconic landmarks. The city is modern, bustling and full of energy... more about Cairo Travel Guide
The city of Luxor was once the location of Thebes, the ancient capital city of Egypt. The city can readily be described as an open air museum and features historic buildings on the both the west and east banks of the Nile River.
The city of Aswan is positioned in the south of Egypt approximately 216 kilometers away from Luxor and sits along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Nile River.
The city of Alexanria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC and is steeped in history. The city is positioned next to the Mediterranean Sea and is only 225 kilometers away from Cairo and offers a great deal of culture and atmosphere.
The Sinai Peninsula is a vast expanse which covers some 60,000 square kilometers and is positioned to the south of the Red Sea and has the Mediterranean sea to the North. The Sinai Peninsula is the only part of Egypt which is located in Asia as opposed to Africa.
Oases in Egypt
There are several Oases throughout Egypt, some of the most visited are Bahariya Oasis, Siwa Oasis, Dakhla Oasis, Farafra Oasis and the Kharga Oasis... more about Oases In Egypt
Superb natural beauty can be found amongst the varied terrain and volcanic mountain ranges which sit beautifully next to the vibrant Red Sea coastline that borders with it.
The Red Sea has beautiful beaches and some of the best diving conditions in the world with a huge variety of aquatic life and superb coral reefs... more about The Red Sea
Ras Mohammed National Park
The park covers an area of both land and sea and forms one of the most diverse and beautiful areas of Egypt, which contains stunning coral reefs, the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm the famous Solar Lake... more about Ras Mohammed National Park
Egypt Festivals and Events
Throughout Egypt there is plenty going on from traditional events such as the South Sinai Camel Festival and eagerly awaited Spring Festival to religious celebrations and exhilerating sporting events... more about Egypt Festivals and Events