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Egypt has it all!

Crystal-clear Red Sea diving, the best historical sights and year-round sunshine.

Introduction to Egypt

If you are a diver then Egypt will act as a magnet and a visit is in no doubt. The Red Sea is the closest coral sea to Europe and although popular, offers top class diving year round. Often referred to as the cradle of civilisation the country has wonders both above and below the sea.

Since the pioneering days of diving in the late seventies and early eighties the Red Sea Riviera now boasts a wide range of good hotel accommodation, numerous 5* P.A.D.I. Centres and has one of the highest standards of liveaboards in the world. A far cry from the those pioneering days when not only was your diving gear an essential part of your luggage but Imodium also!

Our Egypt Holidays

Tours

Camel Safari, Classic Egypt Tour.

Liveaboards

M.Y.Aeolus M.V. Reefmaster, M.V. Royal Evolution.

Hotels & Resorts

Dahab, El Gouna, El Quseir, Marsa Alam, Lahami, Nuweiba, Sahl Hasheesh

Egypt - our rough guide

History

Egypt's history goes back some 5000 years with the Pharaonic Era divided into three main periods, ancient, middle and new Kingdom. These dynasties reigned Egypt for 3000 years and the great monuments of the Pyramids, Sphinx, Abu Simbal and the Temples of Luxor are a legacy of this. Contrary to popular belief it was Alexander the Great and not Brad Pitt who ended the Pharaonic Era !! The capital Alexandria still bears many lost buildings and divers have been excavating the harbour recently. After the death of Queen Cleopatra the Roman Empire ruled for six and a half centuries.

The city of Cairo came to prominence in 640 when the ruling Arabs made it there capital and has gradually grown until today it is one of the largest cities in Africa. Egypt was again colonised by the Turks for 300 years within the Ottoman Empire and was then a protectorate of the British until 1936. A monarchy reigned for 20 years under King Farouk before being overthrown and replaced by a republic under the leadership of famous statesman like Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Anwar Sadat and the current President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak.

Diving

The Red Sea is the nearest coral reef for UK divers and familiar to many of them. From the upper reaches of the Gulf of Suez all the way down to southern Sudan and beyond offers some of the finest reefs and greatest wrecks in the world. In the north there are many wrecks that have come to grief on the dangerous reef systems in the area. Probably the most famous being Shaab abu Nuhas which has four major wrecks lined up on the nothern edge of the reef, including the P&O passenger mail ship Carnatic, which went down in 1869 and the Giannis D, a Greek cargo vessel that hit the reef and sunk in 1983.

There are wrecks from the WWII, most notably the Thistlegorm, sunk by German Heinkel He III bombers in October 1941and also the Rosalie Moller, her sister ship that was sunk only 3 days later. Ras Mohammed is a world famous dive site and has lost none of its attraction even though it is probably one of the most frequently dived sites in the Red Sea. In particular the large shoals of Jacks and Baraccuda that congregate in June provide a wonderful spectacle. Islands down the Red Sea such as Big Brother, Little Brother, Daedalus and Elphinstone are spectacular with a good chance of encountering sharks as well as an abundance of marine life.

Rich in fish life and other marine species, especially the beautiful soft corals which are so abundant in the Red Sea, great wrecks, encounters with sharks such as oceanic white tips, hammerheads, whale sharks, and silky sharks continues to make the Red Sea one of the great diving experiences in the world.

Underwater Photography

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Egypt underwater photography gallery:

Highlights

  • Cairo: Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili.
  • Luxor: Temples of Luxor & Karnak, Valley of the Kings, Nile Cruises.
  • Aswan: High Dam, Philae Temple, Elephantine Island, Abu Simbel.
  • Sinai: St Catherines Monestary, Mount Sinai, Coloured Canyon.
  • Oasis: Siwa, Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla, Kharga.
  • Diving: Ras Mohammed, Thistlegorm , Brothers Islands & Southern Marine Parks.

Climate & Weather

It won't be a surprise to for you to hear that rain only falls for about 40 days a year and then only in a few places. It's the closest you will get to guaranteed sunshine. The interior is extremely hot during the summer months of June, July and August but this period is an excellent time to visit the southern dive sites due to the lack of prevailing winds. Other than these quirks all other destinations can be visited year round.

General Information

  • People: 90% Arabs & 10% other ethnic minorities.
  • Religion: Muslim is the predominant faith & Coptic Christian
  • Language: Arabic
  • Visas: British Tourists must obtain a visa. This can be bought in advance from the Egyptian Consulate at: 2 Lowndes Street, London, SW1X 9ET.
  • Health: Mineral water is recommended. Each resort has chemists and or clinics/hospitals with adequate provision of medicines. There are recommendations of inoculations but consult your G.P for the latest advice.
  • Time: GMT + 2 hours
  • Electricity: 220 Volts, 2 pin plugs Suggested
  • Clothing: Light weight cottons during summer with warmer clothes for winter and the cool evenings. Men & women should not wear revealing clothes in respect of the local culture.
  • Currency: The Egyptian Pound LE£ = 100 piasters. Denominations are LE£100, LE£50, LE£20, LE£10, LE£5 & LE£1. Local banks deal with foreign currencies and travelers. Cash dispensing machines are becoming more widespread in the major tourist destinations. Banking hours are Sunday-Thursday 08.30 - 14.00.
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