Egypt is bordered by Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east. Coastline borders the Mediterranean Ocean to the north and the Red Sea to the east. The two are connected by the Suez Canal, a major shipping thoroughfare. Apart from the Nile Valley, the majority of Egypt's landscape is a desert. The winds blowing can create sand dunes more than 100 feet (30 m) high. Egypt includes parts of the Sahara Desert and of the Libyan Desert. These deserts were referred to as the "red land" in ancient Egypt. Despite Egypt’s size, due to the aridity of Egypt's climate, population centres are concentrated along the narrow Nile Valley and Delta, subsequently only 5% of the land mass is inhabited.
Electric Supply and Plugs
Egypt's electric current standard is 220/240V/ ~50Hz. Plug are round, European, 2 prong type.
The time in Egypt is GMT +2 hours and GMT + 3 hours in summer time.
The national language of Egypt is Arabic. French is also widely spoken and in some areas, basic English is also used. Using an alphabet very unlike our own, Arabic is one of the most difficult of languages to learn, however we do recommend that you take a pocket phrase book and learn some basics such as common greetings in Arabic and French.
Egypt is too hot for comfort in the summer months. However, from mid October through to mid April we can expect to find very pleasant temperatures for travelling and trekking. Daytime maximum temperatures are likely to be between 20 and 30°C dropping to 10°C at night. This part of the world receives very little rainfall and we can anticipate fine, dry weather.
The unit of currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound. For up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com . We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of currency rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange most of it on the day of your arrival in Cairo. Sterling, US dollars and euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Egypt. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. It is possible to withdraw cash from ATMs in Cairo using most credit cards and debit cards.
A valid passport (with at least 6 months remaining validity) and a current Egyptian Visa are required for entry into Egypt. You can apply for your Egyptian Visa in advance from the Egyptian Embassy in your home country or you can purchase your visa on arrival at Cairo Airport. Up-to-date information on visa cost and visa application will be sent to you when we confirm your booking.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis ‘A’. Malarial prophylaxis is not recommended for this trip. A very good online resource is the National Health Travellers website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Additional Sources of Information
Lonely Planet. Egypt Travel Guide. Various authors.
Footprint. Egypt Handbook. McLachlan.
Egypt Rough Guide. Dan Richardson.
Rough Guides. Egypt. 1:1,250,000
TPC – Topographic Map Series. 1:500,000. Sheets H-4B / H-4C
Lonely Planet - www.lonelyplanet.com
Rough Guides - www.roughguides.com