Egypt is a presidential-parliamentary republic located in the northeastern part of Africa and on the Sinai Peninsula of Asia. It is washed by the Mediterranean and Red Seas, which are connected by the Suez Canal.
Geography of Egypt
Egypt borders on land with Libya in the west, Sudan – in the south, the Palestinian Authority, Israel – in the east. There is a maritime border with Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Egypt is washed by the Mediterranean Sea in the north, the Red Sea – in the east, which are interconnected by the Suez Canal – the largest artificially constructed canal, the shortest route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian.
The Nile River flows through Egypt, one of the longest rivers in the world. The valley and delta of the Nile River accounts for about 4% of the territory of Egypt, while the majority (96%) is occupied by deserts.
The country is rich in minerals: oil, gas, phosphates, iron ore, zinc, etc.
Capital of Egypt
According to allpubliclibraries.com, the capital of Egypt – Cairo is one of the largest cities in Africa. The city is located in northern Egypt on both banks of the Nile. The capital is divided by the Nile into eastern and western parts. Currently, in the western part of the city there are government offices and buildings built in a modern architectural style. The eastern part is the old city, where there are many mosques, narrow streets and other impressive reminders of the ancient eastern civilization.
Cairo is the main tourist center of the country. Here you can fully enjoy the heritage of Egyptian culture and history: see the pyramids of Giza, visit the medieval markets of Khan el-Khalili, the Egyptian Museum, admire the Nile Valley. But one should not think that Cairo stores only evidence of the past. The city has many shopping centers, hotels for every taste from 4-5 star to small, but very comfortable, there are cinemas, operas, theaters and much more.
The weather in Cairo varies throughout the year from more comfortable 15-20 C in winter to almost 40 C in summer.
The official language of Egypt is Arabic. At the same time, English and French are widely spoken.
According to cancermatters.net, Egypt is a democratic republic. The president is the head of state. Legislative power in the country belongs to the National Assembly. The head of government is the prime minister. The administrative-territorial structure of Egypt includes 28 governorates, each of which usually includes several cities and towns.
Climate and weather
The climate of Egypt is tropical desert. Most of the territory of Egypt (mainly southern) belongs to the tropical climatic zone, the northern part – subtropical. Egypt is characterized by sharp temperature changes throughout the day. During the day, the thermometer can rise to 50C above zero, and at night drop to 10C (in the desert, the temperature at night is even lower, frosts down to -5C are possible).
On the territory south of Cairo, in winter the daily temperature fluctuates between 20 – 25 C. The summer temperature reaches 50C. From April to May, the dry khamsin wind blows, bringing sandstorms. Air humidity reaches its maximum in July when the Nile River floods. Uneven and irregular rainfall. So, in Cairo, the average annual rainfall is only 28 mm. The national average is less than 100 mm, but there are increases up to 400 mm.
In the territory north of Cairo, the colder season lasts from October to April. Since May, the humidity of the air increases sharply, at the same time summer begins.
Sea in Egypt
In the east, Egypt is washed by the Red Sea. The water temperature here reaches 27 C in summer and does not fall below 20 C in winter. This is a great place for diving. The peculiarity of the Red Sea is its amazing transparency. This is explained by the fact that rivers do not flow into the sea and, accordingly, sand and silt do not enter the waters of the Red Sea.
In the north of Egypt, the Mediterranean Sea dominates, the total area of which is 2,500 thousand square kilometers. There are many bays on the Mediterranean coast. The water temperature is much colder than in the Red Sea (in summer – 23 C, in winter – only 14 C). In the coastal waters near Alexandria is the famous palace of Cleopatra.
Rivers of Egypt
The Nile is certainly not just a river for the Egyptians. This is the source of water, and hence life in the deserts of Egypt. The whole history of the ancient state is connected with it.
The Nile is the second longest river in the world. It flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The river is fed by precipitation from the southern regions, where the Nile originates. Along the Nile, as in ancient times, about 97% of the population of Egypt lives. The waters of the river make it possible to irrigate agricultural land.
History of Egypt
The settlement of Egypt began about 7-6 thousand years ago. In the V millennium BC. in Egypt, agriculture developed as the basis of the economic life of the local population. Approximately 4 thousand BC. There were two states on the territory of modern Egypt. In the north – Buto, in the south – Nekhen. In 3000 Pharaoh Menes annexed the northern kingdom and united Egypt. Egypt reached a huge prosperity during the Old Kingdom, which began its history in 2700 BC. At the same time, the capital of the Ancient Kingdom, Menefer (Memphis), was founded.
Menes is the founder of the first dynasty of the Egyptian pharaohs, which included the first eight rulers. In general, during the reign of the first thirty kings, hieroglyphs, a polytheistic religion, a cult of the dead, a calendar appeared.
The reign of the pharaohs is usually divided into the Old Kingdom, Middle and New Empires. The reign of the pharaohs ended in 341 BC when Egypt was invaded by the Persians. A little later, the country was conquered by Alexander the Great, who expelled the Persians and founded the city of Alexandria.
At different times, Egypt belonged to different states and empires, experienced ups and downs. So, until 395 Egypt was part of Ancient Rome, until 645 belonged to the Byzantine Empire. Since 645, Egypt was captured by Muslim Arabs, who included it in the Arab Caliphate and introduced the Muslim faith – Islam. During this period, Cairo was founded in 927. Egypt achieved special power after the Mamluk dynasty came to power and joined the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Egypt survived the invasion of Napoleon in 1798-1799.
After the construction of the Suez Canal under the administration of Ferdinand de Lesseps, Egypt attracted the attention of the British Empire. In 1882 the British occupation began. Before 1914 The country was under the control of the Turkish Empire. From 1914 to 1922 Egypt was under the protectorate of Great Britain.
In 1922, as a result of the national liberation movement, the independence of Egypt was proclaimed, led by King Fuad I. Despite this, the influence of England continued to be felt in the country’s foreign policy and military issues. A group of military men overthrew King Farouk I in 1952. As a result of these actions, already in 1953 Egypt was proclaimed a republic, and the British troops left the country. Mohammed Nasser becomes president. An important step for Egypt was the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956. Two years later, Egypt unites with Syria to form the United Arab Republic (UAR), which did not last long. Already in 1961, Syria withdrew from the republic.
In 1971, the UAR became the Arab Republic of Egypt. 1981 – Hosni Mubarak becomes president. In early 2011, civil uprisings by supporters of Hosni Mubarak and opposition forces took place in Egypt. As a result, on February 11, 2011, Hosni Mubarak handed over power to the Supreme Military Council.
Culture and religion of Egypt
Egypt gives an unforgettable experience thanks to its thousand-year-old culture and ancient traditions. Egypt can be safely called a multicultural country, where modern traditions confidently coexist with local customs. The influence of religion in society is moderate, but it still plays an important role.
Folklore and folk dances are an integral part of Egyptian culture. Nubian dances are especially famous, when Nubians dressed in colorful costumes incendiary dance to local songs. Sinai dances are performed with sabers and embroidered clothes. In the south, dancing on horseback is very famous. Most often, folk dances are shown during religious holidays, for example, during Ramadan.
In Egyptian society, the family is highly valued, which must be protected and protected. Egyptians are very fond of playing and watching football. They are friendly and have a great sense of humor.
Visiting the country, be sure to imbue the culture of ancient Egypt. Visit tombs, temples, museums, take a walk in the markets where you can buy many interesting souvenirs. The ancient Egyptian civilization left a huge mark on world history. The myths of ancient Egypt have come down to our times. The sources of the mythological views of the Egyptians are the texts of songs, prayers to the gods, inscriptions on the inner walls of the pyramids. “Texts of the Pyramids” – the oldest texts of the funeral rituals of the pharaohs of the V – VI dynasties. Each region developed its own cult of the gods. The gods of Egypt were embodied, according to the ancient Egyptians, in trees, stones, snakes, heavenly bodies. The most revered were Amun – the god of the sun, “the king of all gods”, the protector of the oppressed; Anubis – the patron of the dead, the god of funeral rituals and embalming;
Most of the population in modern Egypt professes Sunni Islam, the smaller one is Coptic Christians. The Christian religion appeared on the territory of Egypt (in Alexandria) much earlier than Islam. At present, Islam influences society and family values much more. Secular legislation is based on Sharia – a set of norms of Islamic law.
Delightful Egyptian cuisine requires special attention. It may not be as refined as in other Arab countries, but without a doubt it can be called simple and very tasty. The basis of Egyptian dishes is lamb, chicken, various herbs, vegetables and fruits. Also, the portions are very generous. You can find here dishes for every taste.
Be sure to try the traditional Egyptian dish hamam mahshi (stuffed dove). Small pigeons are stuffed with rice or green wheat, then fried. It turns out a very juicy dish. It should be noted that pigeon meat has a richer taste and aroma compared to chicken.
Another dish very popular in the Middle East and delicious is Dawood Basha (the name of the dish was given in honor of the prominent politician of the Ottoman Empire). For its preparation, minced meat, parsley, onions are used, which are rolled into balls and then boiled in a thick tomato sauce. Served with rice and roasted pine nuts.
Seafood is plentiful in Egypt due to the close proximity of two seas. You can try the freshly caught fish, the so-called “bolti” often eaten in Egypt. Prawns or “gambari” and squids (“kalamari”) are popular. In Egypt you will find many fish restaurants and cafes.
Perfectly quench your thirst and saturate the body with vitamin C hibiscus tea, made from dried flowers of red hibiscus. This tea can also be drunk hot. Also in local shops you will be offered various fruit juices mixed with ice and syrup.
Umm Ali is a delicious dessert adored in Eastern countries. Several layers of bread are dipped in milk and sprinkled with raisins and nuts. Then put in the oven until golden brown. It makes a wonderful creamy dessert.
Try, experiment and get real pleasure from the local cuisine! Bon appetit!
Sights of Egypt
The main attractions are the ancient Egyptian necropolises: the Valley of the Kings and Queens in Luxor, the pyramids of Giza, the tombs of the nobility; temples of the pharaohs in Luxor and Abu Simbel; Islamic and Old Cairo.
Cities and resorts of Egypt
Tourism is actively developing in Egypt. Entire resort complexes on the sea coast are being built and modernized. The most famous of them are Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.
Hurghada is the best tourist resort in the country, with a population of over 200 thousand people. Here you can find a hotel for every taste. Beautiful beaches, the cleanest lagoons for diving, desert safaris will not leave you indifferent.
Sharm El Sheikh is a resort of unique beauty. Peerless plains surrounded by mountains, clean air, sea – create a great impression. The coral reefs of Sharm El Sheikh are an ideal place for diving.
The largest city on the continent, the embodiment of the cultural heritage of an ancient civilization, the “Gate of the East”, the capital of Egypt – Cairo – amazes with its diversity and beauty. Here you can admire the famous Sphinx, the Mohammed Ali Mosque, visit the citadel of Saladin, the Egyptian Museum, the oldest Arab university, Al Azar. The Perfume Museum will surprise you with the uniqueness and variety of aromas.
Alexandria is the country’s second largest resort city, located on the Mediterranean coast. For a long time the city was the economic and cultural center of the Eastern Mediterranean. Alexandria is attractive, first of all, thanks to the Kite-Beit Fort, where one of the seven wonders of the world is located: a 150-meter lighthouse and a statue of Poseidon.
In addition to the listed resort giants, there are still many relatively young and no less attractive resorts in Egypt: Dahab – “East Amsterdam”, a resort town with many cafes, restaurants, discos, excellent diving sites; Marsa Alam is a resort actively developing infrastructure for diving enthusiasts.
An obligatory place in the route through Egypt should be Luxor (formerly called Thebes by the Greeks). Here is the world’s largest open-air museum (Karnak Temple).
In Egypt, you can buy various souvenirs: items made of silver, gold, semi-precious metals, hookahs, chessboards, items made of cotton and silk, perfumes, spices, aromatic oils, items made from cobra, crocodile skins and much more. Do not forget that in Egypt, as, indeed, everywhere in the East they like to bargain. Therefore, feel free to offer your price, and the more persistently you do it, the more respect the seller will show and will certainly give way in price.
Administrative offices are sometimes closed on Fridays, shops may be closed on Sundays, museums are open daily from 9:00 to 18:00. It is worth noting that all institutions may work on a reduced schedule during religious holidays, especially during Ramadan.
An open visa is required to enter Egypt. You can get it at the airports or seaports of Egypt upon arrival in the country. This visa is issued when you provide a valid passport and is valid for one month from the date of arrival.
The Egyptian pound is the official currency of Egypt. One pound (international designation: EGP) is equal to 100 piastres. In Egypt, banknotes of the following denominations are used:
1,5,10,20,50, 100, 200 pounds;
25 and 50 piastres.
There are also coins in denominations of 25, 50 piastres and 1 pound.
In hotels and shops you can pay with Egyptian pounds, dollars, euros.
For currency exchange, there are representative offices of major banks in many cities. Most often, banks are open from 8:30 to 14:00, from Sunday to Thursday. For the convenience of tourists, many hotels and shopping centers have bank terminals that operate around the clock.
In order to avoid problems at the Egyptian customs, take note of the customs regulations in force when entering or leaving the country.
According to Egyptian law, it is forbidden to export items made of gold and silver in large quantities, that is, the jewelry you purchase must be used only for personal use. Of course, the category of items prohibited for export includes drugs, weapons, and cotton, as well as the import of more than two liters of alcoholic beverages and 200 cigarettes.
You can import or export currency without restrictions, but the amount of 500 Egyptian pounds or its equivalent in foreign currency must be declared.
Requires permission to import or export antiques, that is, antiques or artifacts that are more than 100 years old.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Representative offices of the country on the territory of Ukraine
Embassy of Egypt in Kiev
Address: st. Observatornaya, 19
Tel.: + 38(044) 216 –94-28
Fax: +38(044) 216-94-28
E-mail: [email protected]
Ukrainian representatives of the country
Tourist police – 126
Ambulance – 123
Police – 122
Fire department – 180
Information service – 140
Cairo airport shuttles – 19970
Egypt, like Ukraine, is in the second time zone, i.e. if it is 09:00 in Kyiv, then it is also 09:00 in Cairo.
It should be noted that you are not required to tip anyone. But, usually, “baksheesh” (namely, as they call tipping for small services in Egypt) is customary to give to a person who opens a car door, to maids, to a waiter in a restaurant, and in general to anyone who has performed very well something that is not part of his direct duties.. The baksheesh usually ranges in size from 1 to 5 pounds.
When visiting Egypt, you need to be attentive to yourself, as the scorching sun can cause discomfort. In addition, the water contains some types of bacteria that vacationers do not yet have immunity to, so stomach problems can occur.
The Egyptian authorities are taking the most necessary measures to ensure the safety of tourists. But, all the same, try to be more vigilant in public places, watch your bags and wallets so as not to tempt thieves.