The Nile: Longest River in the World

the Nile River

The Nile River, considered the longest river in the world, is approximately 4,258 miles (6,853 kilometers) long, but its exact length is a matter of debate. Flowing northward through the tropical climate of eastern Africa and into the Mediterranean Sea, the river passes through 11 countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.

The Nile has two major tributaries: the longer White Nile, considered the prime stream and headwaters; and the Blue Nile, which carries about two-thirds of the river’s water volume and most of the silt.

The White Nile begins at Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, which touches the countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. But Lake Victoria isn’t necessarily the most distant and “true” source of the Nile River because the lake itself has many feeder rivers coming in from the surrounding mountains. In 2006, a British explorer named Neil McGrigor said he’d traveled to the Nile’s most distant source at the beginning of the Kagera River, Lake Victoria’s longest feeder river.

Still, experts do not agree which tributary of the Kagera is the longest — and therefore the most distant — source of the Nile. Ultimately, it would be either the Ruvyironza in Burundi or the Nyabarongo from the Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda.

Much less disputable is the Blue Nile’s source at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The Blue Nile meets up with the White Nile near Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum. From there, the river flows north through the desert in Egypt, and finally, by way of a large delta, the Nile flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

The Nile Delta

The Nile waters flow at an average volume of 300 million cubic meters (79.2 billion gallons) per day, according to Travelling Along Rivers, a Dutch bilingual travel magazine. It takes approximately three months for the waters near the town of Jinja, Uganda (the point where the Nile leaves Lake Victoria), to reach the Mediterranean Sea.

The Nile Delta is approximately 100 miles (161 km) long from north to south, and it spreads out along about 150 miles (241 km) of Egyptian coastline, from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east. It is one of the world’s largest river deltas with about 40 million inhabitants — approximately half of Egypt’s population. Just before reaching the Mediterranean Sea, the river splits into two main branches, the Rosetta Branch (to the west) and the Damietta (to the east).

Ancient mythology of the Nile

Perhaps no river on Earth has captured the human imagination quite like the Nile River History. From stories of Pharaohs and man-eating crocodiles to the discovery of the Rosetta stone, it was here, along the river’s fertile banks, that one of the world’s most remarkable civilizations — Ancient Egypt — was born around 3000 B.C. The Nile was not only the source of life for the ancient Egyptians, but is still so today for the millions of people living along its banks.

Known as both the “Father of Life” and the “Mother of All Men,” the Nile was the center of life in Ancient Egypt. In the ancient Egyptian language, the Nile was called Ḥ’pī or Iteru, meaning “river.” The Ancient Egyptians also called the river Ar or Aur, which means “black,” in reference to the black silt left behind after the yearly flooding.

The Nile River was central to the Ancient Egyptians rise to wealth and power. Since rainfall is almost non-existent in Egypt, the Nile River and its yearly floodwaters offered the people a fertile oasis for rich agriculture.

The Nile is associated with many gods and goddesses, all of whom the Egyptians believed were deeply intertwined with the blessings and curses of the land, weather, culture and abundance of the people. They believed the gods were intimately involved with the people and could help them in all facets of their lives.

In some myths, the Nile was considered a manifestation of the god Hapi who blessed the land with abundance, according to the Ancient History Encyclopedia. Isis, the goddess of the Nile and the “Giver of Life,” was believed to have taught the people how to farm and work the land.

The water god Khnum, who ruled over all forms of water, even the lakes and rivers in the underworld, was believed to be in charge of the amount of silt that flooded the river banks every year. In later dynasties, Khnum branched out to become the god of rebirth and creation as well.

Flooding

Each year, heavy summer rains upstream and melting snow in the Ethiopian Mountains would fill the Blue Nile well over its capacity and send a torrent of water downstream. The extra water would then spill over the banks onto the dry desert land of Egypt. Once the floods subsided, thick black silt, or mud, would be left behind on the ground. The silt created rich, fertile soil for planting crops — vital in this land of so little rain. Approximately 96 percent of the sediment carried by the Nile River originates in Ethiopia, according to the New World Encyclopedia. The silt area was known as the Black Land, while the desert lands further out were known as the Red Land.

Each year, the Ancient Egyptian people eagerly awaited and thanked the gods for the life-giving floods. If the floods were too small, there would be difficult times ahead with little food. If the floods were too large, it could cause flooding harm in the surrounding villages.

The Egyptian calendar was divided into three stages based on the yearly flood cycle: Akhet, the first season of the year, which covered the flooding period between June and September; Peret, the growing and sowing time from October to mid-February; and Shemu, the time of harvesting between mid-February and the end of May.

In 1970, the Aswan High Dam was built in Egypt to help regulate the Nile’s flooding. Although the floods were desperately needed in older times, they are less necessary and even a nuisance to modern civilization with its irrigation systems. Even though the floods no longer occur along the Nile, the memory of this fertile blessing is still celebrated in Egypt today, mainly as an entertainment for tourists. The annual celebration, known as Wafaa El-Nil, begins on August 15th and lasts for two weeks.

Sharing the Nile

Because 11 countries must share one precious resource, there are bound to be disputes. The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), an intergovernmental partnership among all the Basin States, was formed in 1999. It offers a forum for discussion and coordination among the countries to help manage and share the river’s resources.

Joseph Awange is an associate professor in the department of spatial sciences at Curtin University in Australia. Using satellites, he has been monitoring the volume of water in the Nile River and reporting the findings to the Basin countries so they can effectively plan for sustainable use of the river’s resources.

Of course, getting all the countries to agree on what they believe is fair and equal use of the Nile’s resources is no easy task. “Lower countries (Egypt and Sudan) rely on some old treaty that they signed with Britain decades ago to impose unrealistic water use conditions to the upper countries,” said Awange. “For this reason, some countries, e.g., Ethiopia, have decided to disregard the treaty and are busy constructing large hydropower dams within the Blue Nile.”

Awange is referring to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), currently under construction on the Blue Nile. It is located just over 300 miles northwest of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. When complete, the GERD will be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa and one of the largest in the world. Controversy has surrounded the project since its beginning in 2011 as downstream nations rely heavily on the Nile’s waters for their drinking water, agriculture and industrial needs.

Wildlife

The Nile River and its banks are abundant with many varieties of animal life. These include the rhinoceros, African tigerfish (the “piranha of Africa”), Nile monitors, enormous Vundu catfish, hippopotamuses, wildebeests, baboons, frogs, mongooses, turtles, tortoises and over 300 species of birds. Hundreds of thousands of water birds spend their winters in the Nile Delta. This includes the world’s largest concentrations of little gulls and whiskered terns.

Possibly the most well-known animal — and most feared — is the Nile crocodile. This fearsome predator has a reputation as a man eater and rightly so. Nile crocodiles can reach lengths of 18 to 20 feet, and unlike their American cousins, can be quite aggressive toward people. Estimates say that about 200 people a year are killed by these reptiles, according to National Geographic.

5 Razones por las que debes conocer Egipto

Egipto se jacta de un paisaje espectacularmente hermoso lleno de joyas  culturales. Sol, mar y arena intercalados con un toque de cultura y patrimonio exóticos, el río Nilo, monumentos antiguos, vastos desiertos, arrecifes de coral de fama mundial y ciudades cosmopolitas, ¡existen suficientes razones para visitar Egipto! ¡Hoy en Supercurioso te contamos 5 razones por las que debes conocer la fascinante tierra de Egipto la cual lo tiene todo! Con estos viajes a Egipto podrás disfrutar de esto y mucho más.

5  Razones por las que debes conocer Egipto

1. Su legado histórico

La primera de nuestras razones es probablemente también la más obvia. Egipto está lleno de rica historia, encontrándose entre los países más fascinantes de las antiguas civilizaciones. Visitar este destino es gozar de una experiencia cultural inigualable, donde podrás acercarte a algunos de los hitos más emblemáticos del planeta. Por nombrarte sólo algunos ejemplos, no podrás dejar de fascinarte con las Pirámides de Giza, el templo de Luxor, el Museo Egipcio, el Valle de los Reyes y ciudades famosas, como El Cairo, Hurghada, Asuán, Luxor, Sharm -El-Sheikh… ¡Y mucho más!

2. Sus desiertos

Los  paseos en camello o en quad por el desierto occidental de Egipto es algo que no puedes perderte, pues es otra de las mejores razones para visitar Egipto. Así que en nuestras recomendaciones no podía faltar la de disfrutar con tu familia, tu pareja o tus amigos de alguno de los desiertos más grandes de Egipto, como el Gran Mar de Arena, el Desierto del Sinaí, el Desierto Azul, el Desierto Oriental o el Desierto de Libia. Te aseguramos que se convertirán en una gran aventura que te permitirá escapar de las multitudes de la ciudad y explorar la magia de los paisajes desérticos al máximo.

3. Sus playas

Cuando pensamos en Egipto, lo más probable es que asociemos este destino con las pirámides, los templos y las tumbas. Por supuesto, estaremos en lo correcto, pero nos sorprenderemos al descubrir que Egipto es también un destino de playa con innumerables actividades acuáticas. No en vano, puede presumir de albergar algunas de las mejores playas del mundo, tales como Agiba Beach, Playa de Cleopatra, Gharam Beach y la playa de Hurghada.

Además, el buceo es uno de los mayores atractivos de las zonas costeras de Egipto. El Mar Rojo egipcio es conocido por sus hermosos corales y hay algunos sitios de buceo de fama mundial en la zona. El Blue Hole, ubicado cerca de Dahab, es el favorito de los buzos: un sumidero de 120 metros de profundidad con paredes cubiertas de corales. Tentador, ¿verdad?

4. Nilo

¿Qué te parecería navegar por el Nilo en un bonito barco mientras disfrutas de una preciosa puesta de sol sobre el desierto? Al mismo tiempo, podrías vislumbrar a los lugareños que cultivan a lo largo de las costas y obtener impresionantes vistas desde el agua de algunos de los templos y ciudades de Egipto. Desde luego, un plan irrechazable. Y es que realizar un crucero por el Nilo es una de las mejores experiencias que puedes vivir.

Los barcos paran en distintos puntos de interés a lo largo del Nilo para que puedas dedicarte a explorar. Entre sus paradas más habituales se encuentran las Pirámides, el Museo Egipcio, la Ciudadela, la Mezquita de Muhammed Ali, el Templo de Karnak, el Templo de Luxor, el Valle de los Reyes, el Templo de Habu, el Templo de Hatchepsut, Edfu, Templo de Philae y muchos más.

 5. Gastronomía

Y llegamos al último de nuestros motivos, pero no por ello el menos importante. Para los amantes del buen comer, la gastronomía es una parte indispensable de cualquier viaje. Si eres uno de ellos, estás de enhorabuena, pues la comida egipcia no solo es deliciosa, sino que además también está a muy buen precio. La gastronomía egipcia es resultado de su historia, su geografía y su religión, así como de la evolución de estos tres aspectos. Incluye abundantes verduras con carnes (las más populares son el pollo, el pato, el conejo y la paloma). A lo largo de las áreas costeras, también encontrarás pescados y mariscos frescos.

¿Te has convencido ya de que ya es hora de visitar Egipto? Esperamos que conozcas esta gema preciosa muy pronto y que puedas tomar el mejor tour y conocer todo lo que te hemos contado hoy. No olvides siempre asesorarte bien cuando viajes a destinos exóticos, y déjanos un comentario con tus impresiones. ¿Qué es lo que más te emociona de Egipto? ¿Piensas viajar a este destino próximamente? ¡Te leeremos!

Dies sind die beliebtesten Aktivitäten für eine Ägypten Rundreise

Im nordafrikanischen Land Ägypten herrscht eigentlich das ganze Jahr über gutes Wetter. Das ist einer der wesentlichen Gründe, warum das Land ewig als eines der beliebtesten Urlaubsländer galt. Denken Sie auch dieses Jahr wieder darüber nach, dem kalten Winter zu entfliehen und sich ein paar schöne Tage in der Sonne zu machen? Wir haben für Sie die besten Tipps, wie Sie Ihren Urlaub in Ägypten gestalten können!

Ein Land für Entdecker und Abenteuer

Ägypten bietet für jeden Geschmack eine Auswahl an Aktivitäten. Wissbegierde wird im alten königlichen Land vollständig befriedigt, doch auch Abenteuerlustige kommen alles andere als zu kurz. Es ist sinnvoll, schon vor der Reise darüber nachzudenken, ob Sie nicht direkt eine der Ägypten Rundreisen buchen sollten, um all die verschiedenen Facetten des Landes kennenlernen und vielfältige Aktivitäten vereinen können. Bevor Sie diese Entscheidung treffen müssen, möchten wir Ihnen aber erst einmal die gefragtesten Aktivitäten Ägyptens vorstellen.

    1. Wüstensafari

Besonders faszinierend ist der Wüstenanteil des LAndes. Ägypten ist das Zuhause der weltweit größten Wüste, der Sahara. Wenn Sie schon einmal hier sind, sollten Sie sich dieses Naturphänomen auf keinen Fall entgehen lassen. Eine Wüstensafari können Sie in Ägypten auf verschiedenen Wegen antreten: mieten Sie einen Jeep inklusive Fahrer und rasen Sie abenteuerlich auf vier Rädern durch die Wüste, machen Sie eine Wüstentour per Quad oder gehen Sie es gemütlich an und reiten Sie auf Kamelen durch die ewigen Sandlandschaften. Zu den Highlights in den Wüstenlandschaften zählen natürlich die weltbekannten Pyramiden, die es nirgendwo anders auf der Welt so zu sehen gibt. Besonders beliebt ist eine Wüstentour durch die Oase Siwa sowie die außergewöhnliche Weiße Wüste, die südwestlich von Kairo liegt. Kairo eignet sich perfekt als Ausgangspunkt für eine Wüstentour.

    1. Tauchen und Schnorcheln

Ägypten ist ein Traumziel für Meeresbegeisterte. Aufgrund der guten Lage am Roten Meer stehen zum Tauchen und Schnorcheln einzigartige Aussichten zur Verfügung. Das Rote Meer bietet wunderschöne Korallenriffe und uralte Wracks. Taucher- und Schnorchelausflüge werden am liebsten von Sharm-El-Sheikh und Hurghada aus gestartet. Von hier aus geht es an der Küste entlang und weit hinaus aufs Meer, wo spannende Bewohner warten, entdeckt zu werden.

    1. Nilfahrt

Eines der Dinge, die wir sofort mit Ägypten assoziieren, ist der Nil. Dieser ist als längster Fluss der Welt bekannt und verläuft durch das gesamte Land. Auf einer Nilfahrt kann man die bedeutendsten Städte und Orte Ägyptens abdecken. Dieser verläuft nämlich an wichtigen Orten wie zum Beispiel Assuan, Luxor, Kairo und Alexandria entlang. Mit einer Nilkreuzfahrt können Sie eine andere Art von Ägypten Rundreise erleben, die Sie sicher so schnell nicht vergessen werden. Sie durchfahren dabei verschiedenste Gebiete, von Wüstenlandschaften, über Großstädte bis hin zu unbegrenzten grünen Berglandschaften.

    1. Kulturreise – Museen und Tempelstätten

Ägypten ist besonders reich an Geschichte und Kultur. Eine Reise in das Land der Pharaonen sollte auf jeden Fall den Besuch einiger Museen und natürlich der Pyramiden beinhalten. Kairo gilt als Anlaufstelle für Museumsgänger. Hier finden sich zahlreiche Museen, die mehrfach ausgezeichnet worden sind. Doch auch Assuan im Süden des Landes bietet mit seinen bedeutenden Grabstätten und vielen historischen Museen jede Menge Einsicht in Geschichte und Kultur.

Entspannung und Erholung werden nicht fehlen

Wem das alles nach viel zu viel Action klingt, der kann jetzt durchatmen. Natürlich darf die richtige Balance an Entspannung und Erholung im Urlaub nicht fehlen – und davon bekommen Sie in Ägypten genug! Egal, ob Sie sich für eine Kreuzfahrt oder Übernachtungen im Hotel entscheiden, die Gastfreundlichkeit der Ägypter ist enorm. Gäste werden hier von Kopf bis Fuß verwöhnt und können es sich so richtig gut gehen lassen.

Interesting Abu Simbel Temple Facts To Know

 

1. The Abu Simbel Temple is actually two individual temples, both rock cut structures, and both built during the reign of King Ramses II sometime in the 1200 B.C. time period. One temple is dedicated to King Ramses II, and the second temple is dedicated to his beloved wife Queen Nefertari.

2. Many Nile River cruises include views of the temple location, and some may stop so passengers can visit and explore. There is a fee to visit the temples, and cameras are not permitted. Some cruises include the entrance fee for cruise attractions in the price of the cruise while others do not.

3. Abu Simbel Temple does not include a temple to any of the other wives of King Ramses II, only Queen Nefertari. This is because she was his first and principal wife, and he cherished her above all other. Many ancient Egypt temples were built because of devotion in this fashion.

4. A Lake Nasser cruise has a side stop to visit the temples, but this lake posed a threat to the attraction at one point. The lake waters rose because of the High Dam construction, and this risked placing the temples in close contact with the water.

5. In 1964 the two structures of Abu Simbel Temple were cut into many different pieces, and both temples were moved further away from the rising water of Lake Nasser. The structures were moved to a location sixty five meters above the original spot, and two hundred meters further back from the shoreline.

6. The Nefertari Hotel Abu Simbel is conveniently located very close to the temple site, and is considered the closest one available. Visitors who want to explore the temple structures do not even require a vehicle, because the hotel is within walking distance for almost everyone.

7. The carvings and artwork that decorate both structures of the Abu Simbel Temple are incredible. Hand carved pillars, wall paintings, carvings, statues, and much more delight anyone who sees them. This artwork is thousands of years old, and very delicate. This is one reason why cameras are not allowed, to prevent any accidental damage or fading.

Tips to choose the best Cruise on the Nile

The Nile cruises are really the best way to explore ancient Egypt. Not only is it a convenient and convenient way to get around the different sites and cities, but they also offer a relaxing and picturesque way to explore the country.

However, certain aspects must be taken into account before choosing to really enjoy a great experience. The choice can be based on your tastes, the money you can spend, or simply according to the time you want to invest. For you to make the wisest decision, Today, we will give you 5 important tips.

Budget
Obviously, the more basic the cruise, the cheaper it will be. Remember that the price will also affect the rest of the expenses that may arise during the tour. For example, if you need to bring food, drinks or a guide. Regarding guides, you will find options that include a group guide for many people or a private guide just for you and your companions.

Still, cruises on the Nile can be very affordable. In fact, depending on the type you choose, it could end up costing you less than if you visit all the sites by land. Either way, one of the best things is there really are options for all budgets.

Cruise Style
As prices vary, so does the variety of styles. The cheapest and basic option is the Feluca. While these can be traditionally lovely, don’t expect much. You will sleep on the terrace, and it is important to keep in mind that not all Feluca have bathrooms on board.

Most likely, that is not what you had in mind for a Nile cruise, but there are many cruises with private rooms and adequate pipes. Of course, these also vary from each other. Do you want a luxury front line cruise with nightly entertainment and good food? Or are you simply looking for something comfortable with private rooms and normal inclusions?

So, if you like to travel in a little more luxury, opt for a Dahabiya or a cruise. The Dahabiya experience can be expensive, but cruises are more affordable. Not only are they cheap, but they generally have a swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar. No matter what you are looking for, you will find several options that will adapt perfectly to your style.

Best season
Any month is excellent to enjoy the Nile, although it all depends on when you visit the country. For example, spring and autumn are the best times of the year to navigate the Nile, with October and November especially beautiful.

If you yearn for a serene cruise experience, don’t go at peak times. And if you are looking for a bargain, consider June, July and August as the best months. During these, they are cheaper because temperatures soar, but if you can handle the heat, it is possible to get a real discount.

Where to start from
The Nile cruises start at one of two destinations: Aswan or Luxor. There is no difference between the cruises, depending on the starting place because on the way they will stop at the same places of interests and attractions. However, there are a couple of things that are worth considering.

When it comes to things to do in Luxor, many people look for a hot air balloon ride over the Nile and the Valley of the Kings. If this is on your list, you will have to plan your cruise around this activity. Since hot air balloon rides happen at dawn, you will usually have enough time to make the balloon trip before your cruise begins.

Alternatively, in Aswan, many people choose to make an early morning trip to the temple of Abu Simbel in southern Egypt, which can be reached by car or plane. Again, this is a morning activity that can usually be scheduled to fit the cruise.

Weather
For some people, the Nile cruise experience is about the thrill of enjoying the ancient sites of Egypt, but for other people it is about having a cocktail on the deck and enjoying the great views.

One of the first things you will want to determine is how long you are going to navigate. Do you only have a couple of days? Or do you have a week? Cruises vary in time, even if they follow the same route. Some cruises are as short as 4 days, 3 nights, but to really get the best experience, it is recommended that you do at least 5 days and 4 nights.

Unlike Feluca and Dahabiya, larger cruises are faster, and spend less time in the water, which means more free time to explore great historical sites. If in your case, it is the opposite, and you want to relax in the river, you will enjoy the slowest rhythm of a Feluca or Dahabiya.

HOLIDAYS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The Christmas holidays are just over and we are already wondering where we are going for Easter. And what’s better, at the end of the winter to plan a trip under the sun of the Middle East?

Many will think that this can be dangerous given the more or less unstable political situation of the region and especially because of the continuous news channels that do not miss an opportunity to highlight the real or imaginary danger of these countries.

But if you want to be a little smarter, and avoid areas really at war, you can visit the Middle East safely and enjoy one of the richest regions in the world. terms of history and breathtaking scenery.

THE STORY WITH A BIG “H”

It is in the Middle East, cradle of Western civilization, where the three great monotheistic religions have emerged that we find the most monuments and historical remains.

The choice is huge, from the Valley of the Kings in Egypt that can be visited on a Nile Cruise for five to seven days, to the ruins of Persepolis in Iran passing the Masada fortress in Israel, the region abounds amazing sites.

And if Egypt, Israel or Iran can scare some, although these countries do everything to welcome tourists in the best conditions, we can opt for a trip to Petra in Jordan and admire the temples carved in the pink sandstone cliffs.

BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPES

If you love the breathtaking landscapes in the true sense of the word, then the Middle East is the place to go if the views are grandiose and authentic. From the surrealist cities of the Emirates to the discreet charms of the Sultanate of Oman, there is something for everyone. Exploring the region allows you to go from futuristic places to lush gardens bordering the desert or ancient mountain landscapes. In short, if you like the change of scenery and adventure, the Middle East offers many routes that you can borrow safely for his greatest happiness.

The landscapes not to be missed: the Galilean Valleys, Jabal Darek, Masuleh in Iran, the Zagros Mountains between Iran and Iraq and the Jordanian desert of Wadi Rum where you can admire the seven pillars of wisdom.

Not only the landscapes are beautiful but the welcome is just as warm. Aboriginals, contrary to popular belief, are welcoming and smiling in most towns and villages.

AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE

All these countries, which are not far from France can be reached in a few hours by plane, just ask to be known. They are full of treasures and have the same ingredients as the usual tourist destinations. We must really disregard the images we use television, and discover and get closer to those people who have a lot to offer. So, for Easter or for the summer holidays we drop all prejudices and embark on holidays off the beaten track in the footsteps of our origins!

Ce qu’il est bon de savoir avant d’aller en Egypte

Il y a bien longtemps que vous aviez envie d’un voyage en Egypte. Cette année, c’est décidé, vous allez enfin réaliser ce rêve et partir découvrir le pays des pharaons.

Si vous avez prévu de partir avec un Voyage Organisé Egypte, vous savez que tout sera prévu pour votre confort et votre sécurité. Vous avez certainement déjà pris un grand nombre de renseignements, mais pour faire en sorte que vos vacances soient parfaitement réussies, nous vous conseillons de lire attentivement les quelques conseils et les idées de lieux de visite incontournables que nous avons réunis ici. Nous sommes sûrs qu’ils vous seront fort utiles une fois sur place.

Que mettre dans vos valises ?

Tout d’abord, faisons un petit tour du côté du climat. Il ne fait jamais froid au Caire avec une température minimum de 10 °C en janvier. Par contre, de mai à septembre, le thermomètre oscille entre 33 et 35 °C.

Renoncez aux vêtements de couleur noire en raison de la chaleur. Si vous êtes une femme, il est impératif que vous emportiez des pantalons ou robes descendant en dessous des genoux ainsi des hauts à manches longues pour vous vêtir pendant les visites touristiques. D’une part, la tenue vestimentaire dans les pays musulmans doit être respectée comme toutes les coutumes locales et d’autre part, vous éviterez à la fois les coups de soleil et les piqûres de moustiques.

Bien évidemment, dans le cadre de votre hôtel, vous pourrez adopter la tenue qui vous convient sans problème, particulièrement au bord de la piscine.

Vous n’oublierez pas d’emporter de la crème solaire, des lunettes de soleil, un chapeau ou une casquette avec une visière qui protège vos yeux contre la réverbération, un produit anti diarrhéique, et un vêtement chaud pour vous couvrir le soir si besoin est.

Que visiter ?

Beaucoup de sites sont très attractifs, mais il est certain que vous ne pourrez pas tout découvrir au cours d’un seul voyage.

Commençons donc par ceux qui apparaissent les plus à même de vous laisser d’impérissables souvenirs.

La ville du Caire et la nécropole de Gizeh

Si plusieurs pyramides s’élèvent sur ce site d’une longueur de 8 km, trois sont plus particulièrement connues. La plus imposante revient au pharaon Khéops, puis on trouve celle qui est attribuée à Khéphren, son fils. La troisième fut érigée pour Mykérinos, fils de Khéphren. Elles sont inscrites au patrimoine mondial de l’humanité depuis 1979.

Les autres merveilles du Caire

Le Caire

À côté des pyramides, cette ville vous réserve bien d’autres possibilités de vous émerveiller. Ainsi vous pourrez vous promener dans Le vieux Caire islamique et découvrir la mosquée Al-Rifa’i, l’une des plus grandes qui est située dans le Midan Al-Qalaa. Elle fait face à la mosquée-madrasa du Sultan Hassan. C’est ici que reposent différents membres de la famille royale, dont le roi Farouk et le dernier Shah d’Iran.

Vous pourrez également visiter les églises orthodoxes du quartier copte, sans oublier de faire vos achats dans le souk de Khân Al Kalili.

Enfin, en attendant l’ouverture en 2021 du Grand Musée d’Egypte au Caire qui est actuellement l’objet de gigantesques travaux et dont la superficie devrait être le double de celle du Louvre, vous pourrez visiter le musée séculaire du Caire. Pour vous donner un avant-goût de ce que vous pourrez bientôt y découvrir, vous pouvez vous rendre à Paris jusqu’au 22 septembre pour visiter l’exposition de Toutankhamon avant que toutes les merveilles qui y sont réunies rejoignent définitivement le Grand Musée d’Egypte au Caire.

En vous éloignant du Caire

Si vous avez la possibilité de quitter Le Caire pour pénétrer plus avant en Egypte, vous découvrirez au sud la nécropole de Saqqarah. C’est ici que reposent les tombes des premiers pharaons et la première pyramide, celle de Djéser. Elle est particulièrement intéressante, car elle fait partie des quelques pyramides dont les degrés sont encore visibles. Beaucoup d’autres se sont malheureusement effondrés avec les années.

Si vous continuez à vous éloigner du Caire en descendant vers le sud, vous serez surpris de trouver à une centaine de kilomètres, des paysages verdoyants. Il s’agit de l’oasis du Fayoum. Située dans le désert libyque, elle est un havre de paix irrigué par un bras du Nil, ce qui permet de faire pousser de magnifiques fruits et légumes.

Louxor

Vous pourrez rejoindre Louxor (connue également sous le nom de Thèbes) par avion après un vol d’un peu plus d’une heure. Cette ville recèle certainement les vestiges les plus prestigieux de l’Egypte antique. Son centre se situe sur la rive est du Nil où vous découvrirez le temple de Louxor qui est dédié aux trois divinités de Thèbes : Amon, Mout et Khonsou. On y accède par une allée rectiligne de 2,5 km bordée de plus de 700 sphinx.

Si vous le souhaitez, vous pourrez rejoindre la ville de Karnak où se trouve le temple d’Amon-Rê. C’est avec le temple de Louxor le plus grand lieu religieux de l’Egypte ancienne. Vous y découvrirez des temples et de nombreuses chapelles, dont celle d’Osiris.

Alexandrie

Bibliothèque d’Alexandrie

Nous repartons tout au nord pour découvrir Alexandrie, la 2e grande ville d’Egypte surnommée « la perle de la Méditerranée » et située à environ 220 km du Caire. C’est donc une excursion qui peut se faire en une journée.

C’est un port maritime où se côtoient le Moyen-Orient et les pays méditerranéens. Vous pourrez vous y promener en flânant le long de la corniche près du Fort de Quaitbay pour goûter à son atmosphère. La légende dit que ses pierres viennent du phare d’Alexandrie considéré comme une des sept merveilles du monde antique. Vous pourrez également parcourir quelques lieux très intéressants, comme l’amphithéâtre ou le musée gréco-romain, sans oublier la Bibliotheca Alexandrina où se trouvent une quantité impressionnante de livres, des musées ainsi que des salles d’exposition.

Il nous était difficile de tout citer dans ces quelques lignes, mais nous sommes certains que dès votre retour, vous songerez à approfondir votre visite de l’Egypte. Alors, pourquoi ne pas prévoir une croisière sur le Nil pour un autre voyage ?

Egypt, a land of a thousand faces

One of the places that deserves to be seen at least once in a lifetime is definitely Egypt. Cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations and rich in archaeological sites, in this land it is possible to take a journey back in time and immerse yourself in a millenary civilization. From Cairo, passing through the pyramids of Giza, to Sharm el Sheikh: a journey that combines culture with fun, for a 360-degree vacation that will win you over. The most classic idea to visit Egypt is to book a Nile cruise . In fact, along the river you will be able to admire the pyramids and beautiful natural landscapes.

Nile cruise: how to organize it

Many tour operators now offer a trip of this type and it is better to rely on them rather than planning the cruise by you. The organized trips in fact have the advantage of offering a complete package of flight booking, cabin, excursions … On board the boat is also almost always present entertainment, so you can cheer even your evenings.

The prices are very varied and you can find some for all budgets: you go from a luxury cruise with a ship equipped with every comfort to low cost trips, with the possibility of last minute booking.The duration usually ranges from three to eight days, depending on the number of attractions planned for the visit.

The classic route goes from Aswan to Luxor and each bank of the river is characterized by a particular meaning. The eastern part is dedicated to life, with the valley of the temples, while the west side represents death, with the tombs of the pharaohs. In addition to archaeological wonders, along the river you can see herds of gazelles and other animals, for a natural spectacle that will leave you breathless.

The most beautiful archaeological attractions to visit

It’s easy to say pyramids. In Egypt there is one of the largest archaeological complexes in the world, with unforgettable monumental works. First of all there is certainly the Giza necropolis, located near Cairo and the last of the seven wonders of antiquity to still be standing. Here are the three pyramids of the Pharaohs Cheops, Chefren and Mycerinus, as well as the Great Sphinx with a lion’s face, which is said to portray just Cheops.

Near the town of Luxor we then have the famous Valley of the Kings, an ancient complex where for over 500 years the sovereigns were buried. The tombs are numbered in order of discovery and it is also possible to visit the interior. Among these is the famous tomb of Tutankhamun, one of the most iconic pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Inside the area there is also the complex formed by the Great Temple of Amon and the Temple of Luxor, whose overall size is 300,000 square meters.The complex consists of various layers that date back to the different pharaoh dynasties and it is not possible to distinguish which was the first nucleus.

Another necropolis that deserves to be mentioned is that of Saqqara, which houses Djoser’s famous stepped pyramid which is said to be the oldest in the country. Another place that must be absolutely visited is the archaeological site of Abu Simbel, which was erected by the pharaoh Ramses II. This consists of two very large stone temples, the largest and the smallest and for several years it has been a UNESCO heritage.

Cairo, the capital

You can’t go to Egypt without obviously visiting the city of Cairo, chaotic and mysterious, but above all rich in places to discover. The capital of Egypt is a perfect example of how antiquity and modernity are based to perfection, giving life to a capital where narrow streets and contemporary buildings are intertwined.

The first destination to visit in this city is the Egyptian Museum, where it is possible to admire the golden sarcophagus of Tutankhamun and the riches that have been found inside. In the Islamic quarter it is then possible to walk among the characteristic buildings and visit the mosques, fantastic examples of Ottoman style architecture.

There is also a visit to the bazaar of Khan el-Khalili, the characteristic open-air market where you can have fun negotiating the price of spices, perfumes and small objects. There is also the Citadel, a massive fortress from which you can enjoy a beautiful view over the whole city.

Diving in Sharm el Sheikh

If you want to combine culture with a sporting activity, a suggestion is to go to Sharm el Sheikh, known for its wonderful seabed where you can practice scuba diving and admire the incredible variety of tropical fish and turtles.

The coral reef offers a breathtaking spectacle and also the dives can be carried out all year round thanks to the pleasant temperature of the water that fluctuates between 18 and 26 degrees. One of the most recommended areas for snorkeling is the Ras Mohammed National Park, near Sharm, where it is also possible to go hiking.

Nightlife

To complete your dream vacation in Egypt, it can’t be a little fun, and from this point of view the main cities have a lot to offer. There are many bars, pubs and nightclubs where you can spend an evening with friends. If you love dancing the discos of Sharm el Sheikh are definitely for you. The most famous is the Pacha, open every night, with themed events and various attractions.

In Cairo, instead, the reference area is the central area of ​​Piazza Tahrir, where there are many restaurants, cafes and theaters. Many places are furnished like beaches, with cushions instead of chairs. Here you can enjoy excellent tea and try smoking the narghili, a water pipe. It should also be mentioned the Oriental Dance Festival which takes place every year in the capital and offers fantastic shows for belly dance fans.

The dishes to taste

Finally, for a total immersion in the Egyptian culture, food should not be forgotten. Egyptian cuisine has a double influence, the Mediterranean (Greek and Lebanese), more present in the north of the country and the African one, which characterizes the south. The two main foods are whole wheat bread and rice. Vegetables such as aubergines and legumes such as beans and beans are used a lot.

One of the typical dishes to try absolutely is the torly, a casserole made with lamb stew and vegetables, a real delicacy. There are also numerous meat, fish or legume soups called shurbahs, all to be tried. Here all the dishes are very colorful and enriched with sesame seeds and spices like cumin and coriander. In short, it is a cuisine different from ours and waiting to be discovered!

In conclusion: Egypt awaits you with its many attractions, organize your trip, you will not regret it!

Things first-time travelers to Jordan should know

Award-winning Canadian novelist, Colin McAdam, once said, “The best advice I heard before going to Jordan was ‘don’t read anything about it’.” It is indeed true because however much you do your research nothing will prepare you for the overwhelming beauty of this country. Jordan is proud of its rich culture and heritage, warm and welcoming to its tourists, offering them an experience of a lifetime. It is so magnificent that you will need multiple Jordan vacations to get a feel of this land, its culture, lip smacking food, and everything else that it has to offer. Here are some tips for first-time travelers to Jordan which can make their trip a little smoother.

Dress appropriately

Jordan is a Middle Eastern country and contrary to popular notion, it is not a hot desert all year round and to be honest, weather can be quite fickle. Even light snow is not uncommon in the colder northern parts of the country. Therefore, watch out for the weather predictions around your time of visit and pack your clothes accordingly. Certain religious places might require you to dress conservatively, and it is a good thing to be respectful of the culture. Therefore, irrespective of gender, try to carry a few conservatives, clothes covering your legs, chest and arms, to wear when you visit religious spots. Always carry a scarf on you to drape around yourself in case you are required to cover up. Although it is a popular tourist spot and thus, there are no dress codes or restrictions at large, it is a smart idea to be respectful and ditch your skimpy outfits.

Vegetarian options are limited

Food here in Jordan is simply mind blowing and you will fall totally in love with the rich delectable, lip smacking cuisine here. It is a paradise for food lovers, and you are bound to go back home with a few extra kilos. But if you are a vegetarian or vegan you might find your options slightly limited as the entire country is absolutely in love with its various forms, kinds and preparations of meat. Most popular dishes in Jordan are made with some form of animal product or other which is why you have to do a little bit of research to find items which do not contain any form of animal product else you might end up with a seemingly vegetarian dish and it comes out to contain meat.

Try to avoid rush hours

Rush hours in Jordan are mostly during the office hours but traffic jams reach their peak around 2-5pm. Although the yellow cabs of Jordan are super affordable, you might like to avoid taking a cab during these hours in order to avoid higher fares and being stuck. Sometimes taxi drivers are also hesitant or they even tell you honestly that it is better to avoid a certain area due to the jams. If possible, plan your travel accordingly and try to avoid longer distance travel during this time and instead opt for walking around.

Be careful about the water you drink

The weather here, especially around summer can present you with sweltering heat and intense perspiration which demands you to stay hydrated, more so during your sightseeing around Petra, Wadi Rum and other hotter places. You cannot drink water straight out of a tap as tap water here is not potable water and has to be filtered to be drinkable. Avoid drinking water from a source you are unsure of. It is advisable to rely only on packaged drinking water to save yourself from stomach upsets. When you go for sightseeing make sure you carry your own bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated. If you feel dehydrated, opt for ORS for quick re-hydration.

Jordan is a beautiful country steeped in a beautifully ancient culture, where the modern life is growing rapidly, coexisting with the ancient, so that the past in not wiped out by the future. The people are friendly, helpful and kind enough to help you around with directions or guidance so feel free to ask around. It is also quite safe, making it perfect for solo and family vacation alike.

Nile cruise to ancient Egypt

A cruise can be a great way to learn a new skill, polish up an old one or study an ancient culture. Maggie O’Sullivan combines a Nile cruise with a tour of Egypt’s temples and tombs.

 

The ancient Egyptians believed that their gods travelled up and down the Nile by boat. This would have been far easier to imagine when boats were elegant feluccas, powered by wind and graceful oar, rather than the ugly floating hotels that chug along the river today.

I say floating hotels but even a two-star wouldn’t get away with a room the size of the average Nile cruise cabin. However, you shouldn’t judge a cruiser by the size of its cabins. And a good job, too, I think, as I survey my accommodation on Oberoi’s new Zahra, billed as the most luxurious cruiser on the river. Suites measure a roomy 50m² but I’m not in a suite, I’m in a cabin and at 26.4m², it feels rather snug.

There’s room for two single beds (or are they berths?) and bedside tables, a built-in wardrobe, a desk that doubles as a dressing table, two armchairs and small table. The chairs are arranged side by side, facing the opaque glass wall of the – very luxurious – bathroom, and at right-angles to the picture window. I rearrange the chairs so that they are both next to the window and place the table against the wall to clear more space. When I return from lunch, the chairs and table have been restored to their original positions.

I notice that I can hear my neighbour moving about in her cabin. Perhaps you shouldn’t judge a cruiser by the quality of its soundproofing, either.

But it doesn’t matter, because I won’t be spending much time in my cabin. I’m on an introductory cruise, which means that we will only be spending two nights/three days on the Zahra Nile Cruise and travel from Luxor as far as Qena – the real thing goes from Luxor to Aswan (or vice versa). But as on the longer cruises, we are provided with our own Egyptologist who will guide us around the sights; transport will be on a small, private coach.

Our Egyptologist, Ahmed, announces that he will be calling us the “Royal Family” group. We don’t understand what he means until later at Luxor Temple he extracts us from the general mêlée by calling out: “Royals… follow me.” After that, we rather enjoy being addressed as Royals, particularly as we are following in the footsteps of so many real kings and queens.

We are mesmerised by the temple, for most of us, our first taste of ancient Egypt. Guarding the entrance is an 82ft high obelisk that looks strangely familiar. “There were two – the other one is in the Place de la Concorde. Empress Eugenie did a swap for a kiss and a clock. The clock has never worked. You can see who got the best end of the bargain,” sighs Ahmed.

But it isn’t the obelisk that stuns us into silence, it’s the two beautiful, colossal statues of Rameses II seated just behind it. It’s hard to believe that they were carved more than 3,000 years ago, and not something made up by a special-effects department. We’ve clearly all seen The Spy Who Loved Me too many times.

It’s still blisteringly hot at four in the afternoon but the temple is surprisingly uncrowded. This, says Ahmed, is because Zahra times its tours to be out of synch with everybody else’s. It’s true: when we get to Tutankhamun’s tomb on our third morning, we Royals are the only ones gazing down over the boy king’s sarcophagus. Although we try to obey Ahmed’s exortations not to talk – “when you talk, you exhale 20g of moisture, which harms the tombs” – we find it impossible to stay silent.

With Ahmed at the helm, the tours are also delightfully concise, so although we do the Luxor Temple and Luxor museum, Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, Dier el-Bahri, Dier El Madina and the Temple of Denderah, in just three days, we never feel templed-out.

The other reason we’re so relaxed is why, I suspect, people will happily spend £1,795 on this particular cruise. Think of all the facilities you would expect to find in a luxury hotel – spacious room excepted, obviously – and they’re all on the Zahra: outdoor swimming pool (14 breast strokes from end to end), a gourmet restaurant serving – albeit rather slowly – superb Egyptian and Indian food (the chef is Indian), a swish bar area, a cigar room, a library, a gym and a small presentation theatre for lectures and films.

There’s a spa with four treatment rooms and, up on deck, an automated misting system to keep you cool (frizz alert, girls). I like the contemporary décor, too: lots of cream and chocolate with wooden flooring in the cabins and opaque glass stairs between the decks. Very different from the British colonial look that other Nile cruisers go in for.

It isn’t just the boat that’s relaxing – the Nile has the same effect, particularly once we get going. On the banks, fields of crops and half-finished houses slide by to a soundtrack of muezzins calling the faithful to prayer and the muted throb of the Zahara’s engines.

It’s also another chance to see some of the sights we have already visited: Hatshepsut’s glorious terraced temple at Dier el-Bahri looks especially dazzling from the water. We’re rather obsessed with Hatshepsut – Ahmet calls her “the Egyptian Margaret Thatcher – beautiful and intelligent” but we’ve all read the recent research which concludes that she was actually extremely fat.

There’s a wake-up call when we reach Qena: we are escorted to the Temple of Denderah by an armed tourist police car. This appears to be more for show than anything – and the car is so ancient that on our return journey it needs a push start – but it serves to remind us that the risk of terrorism against tourists remains high in Egypt. There’s a gun mounted on the deck of the Zahra, too, though this is quickly dismantled once we leave Qena.

It’s late in the afternoon and the ostentatiously armed guards at Denderah are irritable and keen for us to leave. It’s a shame because this is the loveliest temple of all – dedicated to Hathor, goddess of love, music and beauty – and really needs a little more time than we have.

In the end, the guards lock the gates and we have to walk across flowerbeds and round the back of the information centre to get out.

On our way to the airport to fly back to Cairo, we stop off at Luxor Museum. Cairo gets all the good stuff, of course, but there are still some interesting artefacts here, including a stunning statue of Thutmosis III in granite and several mummies. Wandering around the artefacts, I meet someone I know from London. I feel a stab of envy – for while my journey along the Nile has ended, his is just about to begin.