Black and red lands

By | Travel
Tomb of Tutunkhamun in Egypt.Credit@tonaandyo.flickr.com

Home to what may be some of the greatest architectural creations in history; evidence of Egypt’s ancient civilisation may still be found to this day. Situated in the North of Africa, Egypt has long been a go-to location for tourists travelling to Africa for a beach holiday. According to a recent report by The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) tourism contributes a large percentage to Egypt’s economy, highlighting the importance of maintaining high tourist figures. Despite recent events, Egypt may continue to attract visitors seeking to learn more about the country’s unique history and architecture that has stood the test of time.

Egypt’s ancient civilisation was said to be historically situated around the River Nile, the longest river in the world. It is claimed that parts of Egypt were known as the ‘black’ lands and the ‘red’ lands, a reference to the fertile land on the banks of the Nile and the contrasting barren desert of the Sahara. Many archaeologists still travel to Egypt on research projects funded by The Egypt Exploration Society, in order to bring new information about Egypt’s heritage to light. This suggests there is more to be discovered on the ancient and historical cultures of Egypt.

Pyramids of Giza.Credit@jaybergesen.flickr.com

Pyramids of Giza.Credit@jaybergesen.flickr.com

Perhaps the most well known attraction in Egypt, the Great Pyramids of Giza are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Located in Cairo, the Great Pyramids may still be visited and on some occasions, may be entered. There are tours that include visits to the Pyramids and also the opportunity to stay overnight at a hotel which is in close proximity to the ancient structures. In Cairo, visitors may choose to hire a camel to experience life in the desert or visit the Khan el Khalili bazaar nearby for some shopping. Furthermore, the Great Sphinx of Giza, which is a large structure shaped to look like a human-headed lion, may be viewed here.

The Valley of the Kings near the River Nile is another point of interest in Egypt that may attract visitors. This area is significant in Egypt’s history as a place where many pharaohs were buried during the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties. In this area there are many tombs and the valley is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is here that the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered and many treasures were recovered which may now be found in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Tombs are common in Egypt, and many have been found in other sites such as the Pyramids and the Old Kingdom city of Thebes.

Shopping in Cairo.Credit@derek.flickr.com

Shopping in Cairo.Credit@derek.flickr.com

Alternatively, many tourists may be lured to stay at the beachside resorts in the Sharm-El-Sheikh area rather than the historic cities of Luxor, Alexandria and Cairo. Here, there are opportunities for tourists to scuba dive in the Red Sea or kite surf. According to the official tourist board, tourists may visit the protected area of Nabq and explore the various coral reefs. In the most southern of reefs, experienced scuba divers may explore a shipwreck or dive towards the ‘shark amphitheatre’, — a bowl-like structure which is home to many sharks. However, there are also some areas of interest that are significant to Egypt’s history. For example, Mount Sinai located nearby has links to religious Christian and Islamic traditions. It is here that visitors may explore the Saint Catherine Monastery and village or climb to the summit.

There may be a variety of things to see and do in Egypt, the majority of which revolve around the country’s ancient heritage. Tourism may play an important role in Egypt’s economy, which may continue to attract tourists to Egypt due to its unique history.

 Where else in the world may ancient architectural structures be found?

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