EGYPT

Explore some of the world’s greatest treasures

The cradle of civilisation

An overview

Home to one of the oldest and most influential civilisations ever known, there are few countries on Earth as rich in history, culture and epic archaeological sites as Egypt. Some of the world’s greatest treasures and iconic ancient sights can be found here, including the Pyramids of Giza and the temples of Abu Simbel. Tourists have journeyed to this fascinating land for centuries, eager to witness them firsthand. Cruising down the Nile, the longest river in the world, is an unforgettable way to explore monuments and temples all the way from the must-see city of Luxor to the Nubian city of Aswan.

In the north of the country there’s the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria; El Alamein, the site of the famous Second World War battle; the fertile Nile Delta; the chaotic, cosmopolitan capital of Cairo; and the Suez Canal. The natural wonders of the Red Sea coast are also legendary. Here you can go scuba diving in some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs and relax in glam resorts at the south end of the Sinai Peninsula.

This extraordinary country of cultural, historical and natural wonders is a place like no other.

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About Egypt

Sitting in the northeast corner of Africa, Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean in the north and the Red Sea in the east. With a total area of just over one million square kilometres, it’s roughly twice the size of Spain and shares land borders with Sudan, Libya, Israel and the Gaza Strip. It also includes the Sinai Peninsula, which is actually located in Asia.

Civilisation has flourished – and continually changed – in Egypt for more than 5,000 years. Today, Egypt has a population of around 95 million people. The official language is Modern Standard Arabic, but the major spoken language is Egyptian Arabic, while lots of people also speak English and/or French.

Different regions experience different weather patterns, but Egypt has an arid desert climate and in general is hot and sunny all year round. Summers (June to August) can be sweltering, especially in the desert and other areas in the centre of the country, where temperatures regularly exceed 40C. Summer temps are still high on the Red Sea coast, but regular cool breezes make them much more bearable. Meanwhile, winters (November to January) are much milder, although temperatures can fall below 10C at night. There’s very little rain in any season, although Cairo and the Nile Delta experience the odd rainy day in winter. Temperature-wise, the most pleasant time to travel is probably October to April.

Egypt travel information

All Australians require a visa to enter Egypt. You can get a tourist visa online at www.visa2egypt.gov.eg. You can also get a visa on arrival in Egypt, but be aware that you’ll need to pay for it with US dollars or euros – you can’t pay for tourist visas with Egyptian pounds. To enter Egypt, you need a passport valid for at least six months from the date of issue of your visa. Visitors must register with the police within one week of arrival in Egypt (although this service is normally undertaken by hotels). The local currency is the Egyptian Pound. All travellers to Egypt should ensure that their routine vaccines are up-to-date. Other recommended vaccines include hepatitis A, typhoid and rabies. Yellow fever is not a problem in Egypt, but those visiting from a yellow fever-endemic country must provide proof of vaccination upon arrival. Be sure to speak to your GP or travel doctor specialist for current advice regarding health precautions and immunisations for travel in Egypt. Eating from street stalls and cafes is not recommended. The local water supply is heavily chlorinated and should be safe, but it is advisable to drink bottled water.

For more inspiration about where to go and what to see when you’re visiting this incredible country, click on the buttons on the adjacent map.

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