ESCORTED SMALL GROUP TOURS TO EGYPT
The fact that Egypt is home to the sole surviving monument of the Seven Wonders of the World-the breathtaking Pyramids of Giza-seems appropriate; few other cultures have had so much influence on and bequeathed so much to the development and evolution of man, than has that of the Egyptians. From their hieroglyphic art as a basis for contemporary written language, to their remarkable feats in architectural and engineering spheres, and not to mention their impact on modern-day systems of governance, the ancient civilisation’s deeds of yore yet permeate every aspect of modern life. Just as other civilisations have risen and fallen without managing to leave as indelible a mark on the world, their structures crumbling into decay and their influence coming to an end, Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza have remained standing tall through the test of time and can now be seen as a symbol of the enduring nature of a great and ancient nation and of its people. A tour to Egypt is to experience a mysterious and fascinating ancient society in an evolved and contemporary setting.
The second most populous country in Africa, second only to Nigeria, and bordered by Libya, Sudan, Israel and the Gaza Strip, Egypt is a country dominated by desert and its habituated regions are for the most part centred on the banks of the longest river on earth: the mighty Nile. Perhaps no other country lends itself to a more ideal tour destination in this respect, as travellers can follow the snaking route of the Nile through Egypt, making various stops to take in the splendorous landscape and sights along the way. Tours on Feluccas-wooden sail boats of ancient design-are available for just this purpose, either to cast off for a short trip under the red and setting sun, or for longer, more comprehensive cruises.
Aside from the Giza Pyramids, the most popular sites in Egypt include the two majestic temples at Abu Simbel-which were reconstructed close to the original site in the 1960s and were rebuilt brick-by-brick in exactly the same relation to each other and to the sun-the Valley of the Kings-the ancient Pharaoh burial ground which is home to, among others, the tomb of the famous King Tutankhamun-and the regal Great Sphinx of Giza, whose imposing 66 foot stature silently guards over the tombs of the exalted kings of old. A tour to explore the ancient face of Egypt would not be complete without a visit to the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo, where more than 120,000 artifacts are on display.
But a tour to Egypt is not solely for those curious about ancient civilisations. The country’s man-made magnificence and beauty is only equalled by the natural environment, with white, glittering sand cascading over the dunes, stunning purple mountain landscapes and the turquoise waters that are unique to the Red Sea. Adventurous travellers can participate in camel tours, scuba diving on the world-renowned reefs, trekking in the desert or even golfing or fishing.