Cairo, Egypt’s capital
Capital, Egypt
 16 Apr '20
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Cairo is by population the largest city of Africa and of the Arab world with 21.3 million inhabitants in the Greater Cairo metropolitan area. After Lagos in Nigeria it is the 2nd largest urban agglomeration in Africa. By population again it has the sixth place on world level. Pyramids and ancient cities are witnesses of Cairo’s association with ancient Egypt. For all these reasons Cairo is among the places you should have seen before you die.
Photo 138341915 © Olekseii Hlembotskyi | Dreamstime.com

De Nijl

Vroeger kon je cruises maken over heel de Nijl van Cairo to Aswan wat ongeveer twee weken in beslag nam. Maar door de ontwikkeling van de Nijl is dit alleen nog mogelijk tussen Luxor en Aswan (of in verschillende dagen. Van oktober tot half april zijn de sluizen open en kan je de Nijl over heel zijn lengte bevaren. Maar het toeristisch hoogseizoen is in de zomer en dan zijn de sluizen gesloten om de waterstanden te beheersen. Hierdoor zouden passagiers bij elke sluis moeten overstappen op een andere boot en dat is te onpractisch bij toeristische cruises. Er zijn ook langere cruises via de Noordelijke stad Dendera.

En dan zijn er de talrijke cruises binnen het grondgebied van Cairo.

Naargelang de aard van de cruise vertoef je aan boord van een soort drijvend hotel, of op een felucca. Dit laatste is een traditionele zeilboot. Tijdens een nachtelijke reis slaap je hier vaak in open lucht op het en de matrozen kunnen als koks fungeren.

De woestijn per jeep, kameel

Tot het Egyptisch grondgebied behoren qua woestijngebied de Eastern en Western Desert of Egypt. If you are looking for an unforgettable adventure in the Egyptian desert, you should try a camel ride from Cairo. You can explore the stunning landscapes of the Wadi El Rayan waterfalls, the Mudawara Mountains, and the sand dunes on the back of a friendly camel. You will feel like a true Bedouin as you enjoy the views, the breeze, and the silence of the desert. A camel ride from Cairo is a great way to experience the culture and nature of Egypt in a unique and fun way.

Western Desert

The Western Desert in Cairo is a vast and diverse region that covers more than two-thirds of Egypt’s land area. It stretches from the Nile Valley to the Libyan border, and from the Mediterranean coast to the Sudanese border. The Western Desert is home to many natural and cultural attractions, such as oases, sand dunes, rock formations, ancient tombs, monasteries, and temples. The Western Desert also offers a variety of activities for visitors, such as camping, hiking, safari, and stargazing. The Western Desert in Cairo is a place of beauty, history, and adventure that awaits exploration.

Giza Plateau

One of the most iconic and ancient sites in Egypt is the Giza Plateau, where you can find the majestic pyramids and the mysterious sphinx. The pyramids are the tombs of the pharaohs and their consorts, built with remarkable engineering and precision. The sphinx is a colossal statue of a lion with a human head, believed to represent the pharaoh Khafre. The Giza Plateau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see destination for anyone interested in history and culture.

Great Sand Sea

The Great Sand Sea is a vast desert region in North Africa that covers parts of Egypt and Libya. It is one of the largest sand seas in the world, with an area of about 650,000 square kilometers. The Great Sand Sea is characterized by its enormous sand dunes, some of which can reach heights of over 100 meters. The sand dunes are formed by the action of wind and water on the loose sand particles, creating various shapes and patterns. The Great Sand Sea is a harsh and inhospitable environment, with very little vegetation or wildlife. Only a few nomadic tribes live in this area, relying on oases and wells for water and survival.

Black Desert

One of the most striking features of the Western Desert in Egypt is the Black Desert, a vast area of dark-colored sandstone and basalt that covers about 300 square kilometers. The Black Desert was formed by volcanic eruptions that occurred millions of years ago, creating cone-shaped hills and mounds that resemble miniature volcanoes. The contrast between the black rocks and the golden sand is stunning, especially at sunrise and sunset. The Black Desert is located near the Bahariya Oasis, a green and fertile spot in the north of the desert that has been inhabited since ancient times. The oasis is famous for its palm trees, hot springs, and archaeological sites, such as the Valley of the Golden Mummies. The Black Desert and the Bahariya Oasis are popular destinations for adventure seekers and nature lovers who want to explore the beauty and diversity of the Western Desert.

Volcano shaped mounds and Bahariya Oasis in the North.

Museums are places where people can learn about the history, culture, and art of different civilizations and regions. One of the most fascinating types of museums are those that display mummies, the preserved remains of humans and animals from ancient times. Mummies can reveal a lot about the beliefs, practices, and lifestyles of the people who made them.

One example of a museum that showcases mummies is the **Mummies** exhibition at the **American Museum of Natural History** in New York City. This exhibition features mummies from both Egypt and Peru, two cultures that practiced mummification for thousands of years. Visitors can see rare artifacts, interactive touch tables, and cutting-edge imaging that reveal the secrets of the mummies.

Another example is the **Egyptian death and afterlife: mummies** gallery at the **British Museum** in London. This gallery explores the complex funeral preparations and rites that ancient Egyptians performed to ensure the transition of the individual from earthly existence to immortality. The gallery displays mummies, coffins, funerary masks, portraits, and other items designed to be buried with the deceased.

A different type of museum that is worth visiting is the **White Desert National Park** in Egypt. This is not a conventional museum, but rather a natural wonder that showcases the beauty and diversity of the desert landscape. The park is famous for its white chalk rock formations, which have been sculpted by wind and sand into surreal shapes and figures. The park also contains cliffs, sand dunes, oases, and fossils . The White Desert National Park is a place where visitors can admire the artistry of nature and feel a connection with the ancient past.

White Desert

The White Desert is a unique natural wonder in Egypt, where the landscape is dotted with chalky rock formations that resemble mushrooms, animals, and other shapes. The desert is part of the Farafra Depression, a large oasis in the Western Desert. The rock formations are the result of wind erosion over millions of years, creating a surreal and beautiful scenery. The White Desert is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the tranquility and majesty of this remote area.

National parc with animals:

One of the most popular attractions in Cairo is the national parc that hosts a variety of animals from different regions of the world. The parc covers an area of 40 hectares and has more than 200 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. Visitors can enjoy a safari ride, a zoo tour, a botanical garden and a museum. The parc also offers educational programs and conservation activities for children and adults. The national parc in Cairo is a great place to experience nature and wildlife in the heart of the city.

Pyramiden en sphinx en museum

Pyramiden en sphinx zijn enkele van de meest iconische monumenten van de oude Egyptische beschaving. Ze getuigen van de macht en het geloof van de farao’s die ze lieten bouwen. Het museum van Caïro herbergt een schat aan artefacten die het leven en de cultuur van deze fascinerende beschaving onthullen. Een bezoek aan het museum is een must voor iedereen die geïnteresseerd is in de geschiedenis en de mysteries van het oude Egypte.

Per express trein of per vliegtuig of hete lucht ballon naar Luxor of Aswan

Wil je even weg uit cairo dan zijn er een aantal bestemmingen waarvoor U kunt intkenen en wel elk met verschillende transport types. Maar allemaal tijd sparende.

Zo kunt U met de nachtelijke express trein naar Luxor of Aswan. Een echt aanradertje met veel 5-star ratings. Luxor is vaak gekarakteriseerd als het “grootste openluchtmuseum ter wereld”, aangezien de ruïnes van de Egyptische tempelcomplexen in Karnak en Luxor in de moderne stad staan. Direct tegenover, aan de overkant van de rivier de Nijl, liggen de monumenten, tempels en graven van de Thebaanse Necropolis op de westelijke oever, die de Vallei der Koningen en de Vallei der Koninginnen omvat. Duizenden toeristen van over de hele wereld komen jaarlijks om de monumenten van Luxor te bezoeken, wat een grote bijdrage levert aan de economie van de moderne stad.

De bevolking van Luxor is 422.407 (2021), [1] met een oppervlakte van ongeveer 417 km2 (161 vierkante mijl). Het is de hoofdstad van het gouvernement Luxor. Het is een van de oudste bewoonde steden ter wereld.
Aswan

Zo kunt U langs de Nijl naar de Rode zee, per vliegtuig naar

Shopping

Shopping in Cairo is a unique experience that offers a variety of options for different tastes and budgets. You can find everything from traditional souvenirs and handicrafts to modern malls and luxury brands. Whether you are looking for spices, carpets, jewelry, antiques, or clothes, you will surely find something that suits your style and needs. Cairo is also home to some of the oldest and most famous markets in the world, such as Khan el-Khalili and Bab el-Louk, where you can bargain with the vendors and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Bab el-Louk is a district in downtown Cairo, Egypt. It is known for its historical buildings, cultural venues and vibrant street life. Bab el-Louk has a rich and diverse history, dating back to the Ottoman era. It was once a hub of political and intellectual activity, hosting many prominent figures such as Taha Hussein, Naguib Mahfouz and Gamal Abdel Nasser. Today, Bab el-Louk is still a lively and dynamic area, attracting visitors with its cafes, bookstores, art galleries and antique shops.

Flea and street markets

If you love to explore the local culture and history of Cairo, you should not miss the flea and street markets that offer a variety of goods and experiences. Here are some of the most popular ones:

– Bab el-Louk market in Cairo is a bustling place where locals and tourists can find a variety of goods, from fresh produce and spices to handicrafts and souvenirs. The market is located in the heart of downtown Cairo, near the famous Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum. It is open every day from early morning until late evening, and offers a glimpse into the rich culture and history of Egypt.

– Khan Al-Khalili: This is one of the oldest and largest bazaars in Cairo, dating back to the 14th century. You can find everything from souvenirs, antiques, jewelry, spices, perfumes, carpets, and more. You can also enjoy a cup of tea or coffee at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area.

– Street of the Tentmakers (Sharia Khayamiya): This is a unique street where you can see the traditional art of tentmaking, which involves stitching colorful fabrics into intricate patterns. You can buy some of these fabrics as wall hangings, cushions, bags, or even tents.

– Birqash Camel Market (Souq al-Gamaal): This is a lively and chaotic market where you can witness the trading of camels and other livestock. You can also interact with the local traders and learn about their culture and lifestyle.

– Suuq el Ataba: This is a modern and bustling market that sells a variety of items such as electronics, clothes, books, toys, household goods, and more. You can also find some street food stalls and vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

– Souk al Fustat: This is a relatively new market that showcases the work of local artisans and craftsmen. You can find pottery, glassware, leather goods, woodwork, metalwork, and more. You can also watch some of the artisans at work and learn about their techniques and skills.

– Tent Market: This is a seasonal market that takes place during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. You can find tents of different sizes and shapes that are used for celebrating the festivals. You can also enjoy some traditional food and drinks at the market.

Shopping malls

Shopping malls in Cairo are popular destinations for locals and tourists alike. They offer a variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment and services in a comfortable and modern environment. Some of the most famous shopping malls in Cairo are:

– **City Stars Mall**: This is the largest mall in Egypt and one of the biggest in Africa. It has over 750 stores, 100 restaurants, 21 cinemas, a bowling alley, an indoor theme park and a five-star hotel.
– **Cairo Festival City Mall**: This is a mixed-use development that includes a mall, residential areas, offices and hotels. The mall has over 300 stores, 95 restaurants, a cinema complex, a kids zone and a live music venue.
– **Mall of Arabia Cairo**: This is one of the largest malls in the Middle East and North Africa. It has over 900 stores, 100 restaurants, a cinema complex, an amusement park and a hypermarket.
– **Katameya Downtown Mall**: This is an outdoor mall that has a European style and atmosphere. It has over 200 stores, 40 restaurants, a cinema complex and a fitness center.
– **Nile Mall**: This is a unique mall that specializes in Egyptian spiritual and unique jewelry and gift ideas. It has over 100 stores that sell products made by local Egyptian artists.

Eten en drinken

Lekker eten kun je naar hartelust in Cairo. Zij het op straat of bij mensen thuis. Als je geen vrienden hebt die je uitnodigen voor een maaltijd bij hen thuis, neem dan tenminste deel aan een georganiseerde activiteit. Zo leer je de Egyptische keuken beter kennen. Maar afhankelijk van streek kennen de maaltijden kennen een grote variatie binnen Egypte. Dus ook de keuken in Cairo is speciaal en onderscheidt zich van de rest.

Hier zijn enkele voor heel Egypte typische gerechten:
(Hover dish for description)

Starters and salads

Ta‘meya (Falafel), Baba ghannoug, Duqqa, Gollash, Salata baladi, Tehina (Tahin), Torshi.

Main dishes

Bamia, Besarah, ‘Eggah, Fattah, Fesikh, Feteer, Ful medames, Hamam mahshi, Hawawshi, Kabab, Kamounia, Kaware‘, Keshk, Kersha, Kofta, Kushari, Macaroni béchamel, Mahshi, Mesaqa‘ah, Molokhiya, Mombar, Rozz me‘ammar, Sabanekh, Sayadiya, Shakshouka, Shawerma, Torly, Qolqas.

Desserts

Basbousa, Baqlawa, Ghorayiba, Kahk, Kunafa, Luqmet el qadi, Atayef, Rozz be laban, Umm Ali or Om Ali

Other desserts include:

Couscous, Halawa, Ladida, Malban, Mehalabeya, Melabbes, Mifattah.

Activities

Going out

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