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Posts Tagged 'egypt overland trip'

Egypt for Dummies: The ‘Did You Know’ Guide

Friday, June 10th, 2011
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You open the glossy brochure: pictures of the Valley of the Kings, the Karnak Temple and the River Nile confirm what you think you know about Egypt; nothing has changed. You couldn’t be more wrong! 2011 is definitely Egypt’s colour, with so many new great discoveries adding to the destination’s appeal. Sure, Egypt still has its fair share of dust, camels and children playing with tyres, but the country’s historic and natural beauty seem to be expanding and they want to share these with the world.

egypt_by_unguviolet

Photo by Unguvioloet

Pyramids

There’s more than one way to skin a Sphinx. When wanting to view the pyramids, going to Giza seems to be the no-brainer destination for viewing the brilliant structures. Did you know that there are over a hundred more pyramids scattered through-out Saqqara, Dahshur and Ab Sir, simply waiting for an enthusiastic tourist, wielding a camera, to appreciate its beauty. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better; the Egyptian Minister of State for Antiquities recently opened seven, newly discovered, tombs located in South Saqqara, including a tomb built for a general who was to become king. It looks like the Valley of the Kings is going to have to share its precious 8 x 10 centimetres in the next brochure.

Cleopatra

It may come across as a ‘new discovery’ to some that Cleopatra wasn’t Egyptian. She wasn’t. Google it. Cleopatra was Greek but just lived and ruled in Egypt. Living in Egypt doesn’t make you an Egyptian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. I imagine anyone who was under the impression that she was Egyptian, would also like to know that the world isn’t flat and (you may need to sit down for this one) lions don’t roam the streets of South Africa.

Feluccas

Modern day feluccas have all the bells and whistles of new age sailing boats whereas in ancient times they were far simpler versions of their modern, spruced-up selves.  The tranquil experience of floating down the Nile in a quiet, breeze-powered felucca is probably the only thing holding craftsmen back from strapping two, four-stroke Yamaha motors on the back of the vessel. None the less, this shows us Egypt is embracing technology and moving with the times.

Freedom

Egypt is on the brink of discovering life as a democratic reform. Early 2011, Egypt’s existing president Hosni Mubarak fell out of power, giving way to the revolution lead by the masses. Currently in between ruling parties, the people of Egypt eagerly await the next elections in October/November 2011.This opportunity may see the state moving from autocratic rule into a new phase of democracy. Exciting times. Egypt is evolving and it’s high time you use that glossy brochure to line the hamster cage with and get out there and experience it yourself.

Keen? Check out our Top 3 overlanding trips to Egypt!

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Tags: best-of-egypt-trip, egypt, egypt-overland-trip, history, revolution


Egypt’s Most Talked About Attractions

Thursday, June 9th, 2011
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Egypt is awesome. It’s awesome from an architectural, archaeological and cultural perspective. Not only is Egypt brimming with historical wonders that manage to baffle even the most highly educated minds, but it’s also just so darn beautiful. When chatter of Egypt's breathtaking sites take flight, the main attractions always seem to be The Karnak Temple, The Valley of the Kings, the River Nile and of course the pyramids of Giza.

The Karnak Temple This is a city of temples which were built and dedicated to the Theben triad of Amun, Mut and Khonsu. The structures took over 2 000 years to complete. The Karnak Temple wins the proud title of being the largest religious building in the world. Covering about 200 acres of land, 1.5km by 0.8km, the destination has been a place of pilgrimage for almost 4 000 years.

karnak_temple_outside_by_classic_glass

Photo by Classic Glass

Karnak_Temple_Interior_by_Classic_Glass

Photo by Classic Glass

Karnak_Temple_by_argenberg

Photo by Argenberg

Karnak_Temple_by_Archer

Photo by Archer10

The Nile River

Regarded as the longest river in the world, the Nile stretches a length of 6,650 km. The river has two major tributaries: the White Nile and Blue Nile. The White Nile goes through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and southern Sudan, and the Blue Nile starts at Lake Tana and flows into Sudan from the southeast. Both sections of the river eventually meet up again at Khartoum, in Sudan.

nile_river_bylifeisart

Photo by Lifeisart

boat_on_the_nile_by_kiwik87

Photo by Kiwik87

CIMG0728

Photo by Juligomoll

Valley of the Kings

This piece of land was used to build tombs for Pharaohs and important people from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Dynasties. These tombs were built over nearly 500 years from the 16th to the 11th century BC. The valley shot into fame when the tomb of Tutankhamun was found in the area, making the Valley of the Kings one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.

Valley_of_the_Kings_by_astique

Photo by Astique

The_Valley_of_the_Kings_by_AndySimmons

Photo by Andy Simmons

The Giza Pyramids

Giza is home to three main pyramids (and a handful of smaller ones) and each one has its own mortuary temple joined to it. For over 4 000 years, until modern architecture stole the show, it was the tallest building in the world. Giza_Pyramids_by_Bruno_Girin

Photo by Bruno Girin

Egypt is home to some of the biggest and best sites in the world, its no wonder the above are so famous. Feeling an itch to experience Egypt first hand?

Go ahead... scratch: 'Top 3 Overlanding trips to Egypt'

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Tags: egypt, egypt-overland-tour, egypt-overland-trip, top-attractions, tourist-attractions


Huey’s Trip Diary - The ‘Best of Egypt’ - Part 3

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
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One of our intrepid travellers, Huey, travelled on the 'Best of Egypt' 14 day accommodated trip which started on the 5th December 2010 in Cairo, and wrote us a daily diary! Here is the third part of her series of diary entries....

Day 4 - Abu Simbel & Aswan At 3am, we joined the first police convoy & begun our 258km journey to Abu Simbel to see one of the most astounding temples ever. Upon arrival, the footpath curves its way around a large mount, making the first glimpse of Great Temple of Ramses II a breathtaking one. With 4 massive statues of Ramses II, it is built by him to honor him & another 3 Gods.

abu simbel

Also a temple who was rescued from rising waters due to construction of Aswan dams, UNESCO relocated stone-by-stone of this amazing temple where massive statues & its carvings all remaining intact. The sheer scale of Abu Simbel is testament to how ancient Egyptians revered their Pharaohs & Gods. Next to it is the temple dedicated to Ramses II's favorite wife - the Queen Nefertari. Its smaller size is no compromise on its grandeur inside, with amazing preservation of colours from 3,400 years ago on its carvings. Dedicated mainly to the Goddess of Hathor (the Goddess of Music & Art), it depicts few of her transfiguration as bovine & as lady.

The temple is filled with beautiful intricate carvings of Nefertari & Ramses II, offerings made to Gods shows the immense respect the ancient rulers had for their Gods & Goddesses. Upon return to Aswan, it's a much welcomed day off to catch up on sleep & also to wander Aswan's less chaotic souqs for some shopping.

Day 5 - Aswan & Felucca

We awoke early to yet another interesting experience - camel ride in the Sahara desert! Led by the local Nubians, we embarked on camel back to experience the vastness that is the Sahara desert. Even in the crisp cold winter morning, we quickly heated up when the sun rays beat down on us, making us wonder how remarkable the Nubians are in being able to thrive despite such harsh environments. After the camel ride, it's back to hotel to pack up & get ready for 2 days of peaceful sailing down the Nile on a traditional felucca!

felucca

We arrived at the port & boarded our felucca. With the Nile waters glittering in the sunlight, we just lazed around reading, playing games & just doing nothing. The crew onboard the feluccas were very seasoned sailors (and cooks!), where we were spoilt with basic but very tasty traditional meals of bread, stew, salads & fruits. Some can indulge in quick (and cold!) dips in the Nile, while the rest stretches their legs on sandbanks wherever needed for toilet breaks (yes, there are no restrooms so it's being one with nature, literally)

The felucca anchors on sandbanks right before sundown as sailing is not allowed after dark, where everyone dines & enjoy some song & dance around bonfires, games of cards or just snuggling up in sleeping bags before sleeping under the stars. To find our more about overland trips in Egypt and the Middle East contact the OverlandingAfrica.com team or post your comments below.

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Tags: egypt-budget-travel, egypt-overland-trip