Brief description of the country
The Arab Republic of Egypt is a transcontinental state in North Africa and the Middle East. On land, it occupies about 1 million square kilometers. Egypt is divided into 27 provinces. They are called governorates. They are part of 6 regions, and each of them is interesting in its own way. The population is more than 100 million people. Mostly people live along the banks of the Nile.
Egypt is called the country of sea resorts and ancient attractions. This is the cradle of cultures and religions. The capital is recognized as the noisy and multifaceted metropolis of Cairo with a length of more than 1 million square kilometers and a population of about 95 million people. The national language is Arabic.
Travelers come to Egypt to get acquainted with the country of sands, which was previously ruled by pharaohs who triumphantly entered world history. Egypt is famous for its sea resorts. Most often, tourists come to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh. But there are other interesting places to visit.
Nile cruises, deserted squared trips, walks along the Color Canyon, mysterious paintings in the Valley of the Kings are fascinated. The most illustrious attraction is the pyramids in Giza, the capital suburb of Egypt. In this place, eras mysteriously intertwine. Many secrets remained a mystery. They are guarded by the majestic guard of the Sphinx. Giza monuments were appreciated at UNESCO, and the pyramids officially enter the 7 wonders of the world.
The underwater world of Egypt is of interest to beginners and professional divers. Red Sea reefs are called the most beautiful on the planet. You can study aquatic diversity near Dahab or in the Ras Mohammed Nature Reserve. Beware of crocodiles. In a natural habitat, they can really be dangerous.
The best time to visit Egypt is the end of spring and all autumn months. You can combine sea holidays with excursions and entertainment. Summer heat to + 40 ° C is difficult to tolerate even the Egyptians. People wear natural tissue clothes and use sunscreen.
Egyptian history began long before the advent of the pharaohs and pyramids. Researchers came to the conclusion that the first people appeared on the territory of the country tens of thousands of years ago. Atherian, Akhmar, Half culture are the forerunners of civilizations in North Africa and the Middle East.
From the first civilizations, tools of labor and life, drawings on stones have been preserved. During this period, the race of the Egyptians originates. Initially, the Sahara was not a desert, but a shroud where there was a lot of vegetation. Farmers lived in this place. Historians say 9 thousand years ago, Egyptians began to actively engage in agriculture, mastered pottery, and processed metals.
Thousands of years ago, the ancient Egyptians managed to tame cats, then they became sacred animals. They are still revered by local residents. It was in Egypt that a calendar of 365 days was introduced, and writing was created in the country. The Egyptians are especially proud of these facts.
Until our era, the state was divided into Upper and Lower Egypt. And about 5 thousand years ago they were united in one kingdom. Cairo was not immediately declared the capital. At first, this status was worn by Tenis and Memphis. In the early kingdom, people actively developed the agricultural and economic sectors. Then Egypt broke up into small warring states, which was characteristic of many countries. 2 thousand years before our era, he regains unity. Then the capital was Fiva. On its basis was built Luxor. The city has preserved temples, sphinx alleys and tombs of kings.
The golden age of Egypt is the period of possession of the pharaohs. Legends make up their reign. Then the state seeks unprecedented prosperity. The modern republic was formed in 1953. In the 19th century, a new science of Egyptology was created. She is studied at universities around the world. It symbolizes the interest of researchers, scientists and archaeologists in Egypt, its history, formation and development, as well as language and culture. The state considers the cradle of civilizations. A bust in honor of 23 Egyptologists of the world is installed at the Cairo Egyptian Museum.
Egypt is characterized by the weather of a tropical desert climate. This is due to the fact that the state is based in subtropical and tropical climatic zones. Summer in the country is very hot. The maximum temperature in the shade can be + 50 ° C. It's cool at night due to daily temperature differences. Intersessional differences do not make up a huge difference.
Winter is cold, the average temperature fluctuates between + 20 ° C and + 25 ° C. As in other countries, this time of year comes in December. But even in winter you can swim in the sea, although the Egyptians prefer not to. The cold temperature is + 10 ° C. Minus temperature also happens. Deserts can have frosts up to -5 ° C. Precipitation is rare, up to 25 millimeters per year. They are mainly characteristic of northern Egypt.
Spring begins in late February. From now on, seawater begins to warm up to + 25 ° C. This season, the weather can be deceiving due to the wind. They provoke sandstorms, which can complicate trips to the pyramids. Summer begins in May. Sandstorms stop from this month. You can safely travel all over the country.
Flora and fauna
Egypt is 95% desert. The rest of the territory falls on the Nile Delta and Valley. Due to the peculiarities of climatic conditions, flora is not diverse. There are more than 1000 species of plants. Nile Valley is occupied by agricultural vegetation. You can meet papyrus and date palms. Oleanders with fig tree grow. Cultural vegetation mainly consists of cotton, grain, sycomore trees, acacia. Banana trees and vines grow in oases. Lotus is found in southern Egypt. On the territory of the Sinai Peninsula are mangroves. These are the only trees that could take root.
The animal world is not rich either. The fact is that the local climate and natural conditions are not suitable for everyone. But Egypt has a wide variety of birds. Birds are represented in 430 species. The most popular are Sultan sparrows, goat-frames, falters, vultures, flamingos and pelicans. The falcon is depicted on the national flag. He is listed in the Red Book.
In Egypt you can find foxes, carcasses, gazelles, hyenas, mongooses. Hippos, crocodiles live in the waters. Crocodile population is declining annually. There are lizards and insects. In deserts, you can stumble upon sand snakes, Egyptian cobras, horned vipers. In total, approximately 30 species are common in the country. Snakes are poisonous, but the Egyptians noticed that in their nature they avoid residential areas. They attack to defend themselves. Most often, when they see a person, they simply crawl away. In the morning and afternoon they prefer to hide, and in the evening they are hunting rodents.
Tiger fish, perch and soms swim in the Nile. In total, more than 100 varieties of fish are registered. In the reserve, Wadi Rishrash is guarded by a Nubian goat. In addition to cats, scarab beetles have the status of a sacred animal. This is a symbol of overcoming all life barriers.
The closest neighbors of Egypt are Israel, Sudan, Palestine and Libya. A system of import and export of goods has been established with them and other countries. Egypt is washed by the waters of the Mediterranean and Red Seas, which reinforces tourist attractiveness and strengthens trade relations. They connect through the artificially created Suez Canal. Thus, the path to the Indian Ocean opens. From south to north, Neal flows, one of the largest rivers on the planet. Its length is almost 7 thousand kilometers.
The geographical position is caused by a hot climate. It’s not cold here all year round. In summer, however, it is very hot, and daily differences are very large. If it’s hot during the day, it will be cool at night.
Egypt is rich in minerals. Oil, natural gas, iron ore, limestone, zinc, lead and manganese are mined here. This ensures the status of the most economically developed country in Africa and the Middle East. Over time, economic potential is increasing. Egypt has great prospects for further development.
In national dishes they like to add aromatic spices in large quantities to enhance taste. At the heart of Egypt's cuisine ‒ rice and beans. Local often cook rice with pigeons, lamb stew and vegetables. A stuffed pigeon is called a delicacy. Birds are bred in special poultry farms.
Wheat cereal is called couscous. In most cases, it is run by olive oil. In restaurants you can order freshly caught fish and seafood. Servings visiting and restaurants are large and satisfying. No less popular is a catfish dish. It is prepared from rice, pasta, lentils and spices. Sometimes they add fried chickpeas or onions. Lamb, chicken or beef are used as meat. Greens and peppers are always put in minced meat, and then everyone is grilled. Many hotels include European side dishes and salads.
In hot weather, a cup of tea frame or a mug of cane juice asyr asab refreshes. Nobody drinks water from the tap, it is unhealthy. She is bought at the store. They eat halva as dessert. Sesame, pistachios and nuts are added to it.
Among the most visited restaurants: Noble House, where in addition to national dishes there is Chinese cuisine and food for vegetarians, Vivo Ristorante, where there is no paper menu, you can order by QR code, Sofra Oriental, where there are all national dishes.
The cash currency is the Egyptian pound. You can exchange currency at banks or special exchange points. Many large hotels have bank branches. If there are no pounds, you can pay for goods in US dollars. Waiters for tea and small services can leave $ 1.
It is better to buy products and water in stores with fixed prices. On the market, they can be spoiled due to hot weather, so sellers will sell them at discounts. Since the majority of the population professes Islam, women should not bare their shoulders and knees when they leave the street. This will help not to attract too much attention. Exceptions are beach areas. Also in hotels you can sunbathe in open swimsuits.
In Egypt, camel drivers can offer free animal riding. You really don’t have to pay anything for the trip, but the catch is to get off the camel, you need to pay. It is better to always discuss all the details in advance. And in order not to wait for the bus, people at the bus stop jointly order a taxi. The trip will cost the same, but you can get there faster.
Rent a Car
Car rental is a common service. There are many cashmering companies that rent cars of different brands. There may be used options. Before you get into a rented car, you should carefully examine it and make sure that there are no dents, scratches and malfunctions. Otherwise, it will be difficult to prove that they did not appear through the fault of the driver.
You can rent a car from the age of 21, but in some companies the age limit is from 25 years. A prerequisite ‒ an international driver's license. It is better to pay by credit card, otherwise you will have to leave cash as collateral.
In Egypt, the movement is right-hand, overtaking can be done on the left side. The average speed is 100 km / h. It is important not to ignore road signs. However, distance indicators are not highly accurate. If you are not right, you can rent a car with a driver or rent a bicycle. This service is also in demand. But helmets and safety equipment are not offered.
Visa and customs
Before traveling, you need to declare expensive cameras and computers. But before leaving the country, customs control will check their availability to ensure that there is no sale of equipment in Egypt.
Under strict prohibition are the import of narcotic drugs, firearms, ammunition, metal detectors, cotton, any items for espionage, porn products, materials that incite religious and racial hatred. Also in this list ‒ any seeds and plants, raw potatoes, poultry in any form, medicines in an open package and without a prescription from a doctor. This may be regarded as smuggling of drugs.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that corals and shells are considered the wealth of the Red Sea. This is a national state, and it is not allowed to take them with you as a keepsake. Violators will seize them and write a fine. Cigarettes can be taken with you only from the age of 20 and no more than 10 standard packs. It is allowed to import 1 liter of alcoholic beverages. Cash from 10 thousand dollars and above must be declared.
Egypt has 6 official holidays. This list includes New Year, the first Monday after Easter, the Liberation of the Sinai, Labor Day, Revolution Festival, Armed Forces Day. In addition, all Muslim holidays are celebrated in the country, because the majority of the population professes Islam. Other believers do not mind these traditions.
Before the New Year, cities are decorated with festive illumination, Christmas trees are installed on the squares. Hotels have an entertainment program. New Year's Eve is the main night. People have fun, on the eve they prepare treats and gifts. Muslims celebrate the Christmas of the Prophet Muhammad. At the end of January, processions and festivities take place.
February 22 is the Sun Festival. People come to the Ramses temple and watch the suns pierce the walls of the sanctuary. At this moment, the figure of Pharaoh is sanctified. The phenomenon lasts a little more than 10 minutes. They treat him like a miracle. Then there are dance, song events and fairs.
During Easter, the Egyptians rejoice at the arrival of spring. People have picnics and walk in the fresh air. This is a great opportunity to chat with friends and find new friends. In August, the Nile Strait passes. The holiday lasts 2 weeks. A tribute is given to the ancestors, people thank the Nile, because they remember that the survival of the people depended on the flood. Sports competitions, performances on the water and exhibitions are being arranged.
Shopping and souvenirs
Egypt has a special atmosphere for shopping. In this country, incense and aromatic oils, figurines depicting Egyptian gods, pharaohs and cats are often bought. You can also pay attention to gold and silver jewelry, national clothes, leather products. It is important to understand that gold contains many impurities. If you need jewelry made of pure gold, you need to go to jewelry boutiques. As a keepsake, you can take a sail, hookah, tea or locally made coffee.
Egypt produces high-quality cosmetics. It is persistent and does not cause irritation on the skin with prolonged use. The aroma of oil perfume smells nice and lasts a long time. It can remain on the body for several days, so they are exported to different countries. But you need to beware of fakes that are most often found in supermarkets. You can buy socks, slippers, camel carpets. They will not be demolished, as they are of high quality. Fur products are cheaper than in other countries.
You can not be shy and try to bargain. Egypt says: « If a person does not bargain, he simply does not need a discount ». Sellers themselves rarely offer a discount. You can go around the entire bazaar and analyze prices. It’s hard to call a country rich, so everyone is trying to earn as much as possible. Really bring down the originally announced value of the goods by 1.5 and sometimes even 2 times. Large bazaars work until 20:00, and most stores close an hour earlier. During Ramadan, trading starts after 12.00 and ends at sunset.
Egyptians advise visiting the pyramids in Giza at least once in their lives. There is a version supported by historians that they were erected as luxurious tombs for the pharaohs of Heops, Hefren and Mikerin about 4.5 thousand years ago. There are many unofficial versions, but in any case, many people are attracted to these giant buildings. A complex of 3 pyramids is considered the only monument of antiquity, which is included in the list of 7 wonders of the world of the Ancient World.
Those who are fond of the history of Egypt will be interested in visiting the Valley of Kings. It is called the most mystical necropolis on the planet. Tutmos I, who was the first Egyptian pharaoh, was buried in this place. The burial of rulers has been carried out for 500 years. Archaeologists have found more than 50 tombs.
Egypt has many museums. Mostly they work from 8.00 to 17.00. The Nubian Museum in Aswan contains a complete collection of artifacts of ancient civilization. Its area covers 5 thousand square meters. There are many exhibits of gold and jewelry.
The Ras Mohammed Nature Reserve will show the beauty of the underwater world of the Red Sea. Here, coral gardens are surrounded by colorful fish and marine inhabitants. Mangrove trees stretch along the coast. You can see different birds, lizards, foxes and gazelles. You can get to the reserve by bus or yacht.
Egypt has a large selection of hotels. The closer they are to the sea and places of worship, the more expensive it will cost. The most comfortable stay will be in luxury five-star hotels with meals « all inclusive ». They have pools and stunning views from the rooms. You can take food with you to your room or for walks before sending home. Servings are not limited.
No hotels on the principle of « Bed & Breakfast ». To save money, you can stay in a three-star hotel or rent a room in a guest house without food. Cheaper will book a room in advance. In addition, during the tourist seasons, all rooms in the selected hotel can be occupied, and you will have to look for accommodation in another hotel. There are many youth hotels in Alexandria and Cairo. They are called budget hostels. In large cities, club hotels operate, where incendiary parties with DJs are held every evening. Camping and chalets on the coast are open. Due to the variety of options, you can choose housing for every taste and wallet.