Egypt is incredibly beautiful. Dry deserts, barren landscapes and home to the world's longest river, The Nile. In my opinion sailing The Nile is the best way to see southern Egypt.
During my two week trip to Egypt in October 2014 I had the opportunity to sail south through Egypt. It was the best of both world's! I got to experience the slow paced, relaxed atmosphere of the south while enjoying the creature comforts of home onboard a five-star cruise ship with Topdeck.
Before boarding my luxury home for the next two nights I had the opportunity to sail the Nile River on a Felucca! The design of these classic sail boats hasn't changed much since the pharaoh's ruled Egypt so sit back, soak up the sun and enjoy your authentic Egyptian experience.
The Nile is incredibly clean. So clean in fact my local Egyptian tour guide proceeded to fill a bottle from the river and drink it! As the sun began to set we docked on the outskirts of a small Nubian Village. I spent the last moments of sunlight, on a blazing hot Egyptian day, swimming in the world's longest river while many in the group headed forward into the village on camel back. Regrouping in a modest Nubian home we learnt all about the traditions of the village and people who lived there. Would you believe they have baby crocodiles as pets?!
Sailing back the way we came, we made our journey by boat to the five-star cruise ship that awaited us. Belly dancing, buffet food banquets, roof top pools and lounge chairs. This was a little slice of heaven!
Starting the cruise in Aswan, travel south an estimated 320 kms to reach the small town of Nubia where the Abu Simbel temples can be found. Carved out of rock, the temple build for Ramses II is incredible! The hand carved colourful hieroglyphics lining the walls floor to ceiling is something I will never forget.
Continue your Nile journey to the city of Edfu. Discover one of Egypt's best preserved temples; Temple of Edfu. This temple is the largest temple dedicated to Horus, the god of the sun, sky and kingship. Once you've taken in yet another awe inspiring Egyptian monument, head back onboard to watch the sun set over the Nile while enjoying a Sakara.
As hard as it is to say goodbye to the Nile, Luxor is the perfect destination to complete your Egyptian Nile experience. It is here where the famous Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple are located. Trek through the shadows of the Valley of the Kings to visit King Tutankhamun's mummy or soak in the incredible views where Transformers was filmed!
For more information about Egyptian destinations and what you need to know when travelling there, check out my related article on the buzzing, cultural hub Cairo!
5. THE OKAVANGO DELTA
Officially the world’s 1000th heritage protected site, the Delta covers an incredible 15,000 square kilometres and is the only natural environment in Botswana where you can find free roaming rhinos. The Delta is home to not only an impressive variety of animals but also to the local Motswana people.
Continue your Safari experience in southern Africa at Kruger National Park in South Africa!
I've always had itchy feet! My weekends would always be filled with road trips, exploring new cities and too many airport trips to recall. It wasn't until August last year however that I decided to take my wanderlust to a new level. I packed my bags, let my city bachelor pad go and traded in my corporate career for a one way ticket to London! Since then I have hit the big FOUR ZERO countries visited and have added at least half that to my never ending bucket list!
Check out my favourite experiences on my around the world journey so far!
2. Spotting the Big 5 in Kruger National Park - South Africa
3. The Colosseum in Rome - Italy
4. Exploring Cape Town - South Africa
5. Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe
6. Relaxing in Honolulu - Hawaii
7. Gondola ride through Venice - Italy
8. Exploring London - England
9. Climbing Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh - Scotland
10. Photographing Lauterbrunnen - Switzerland
"Not all those who wander are lost" - J. R. R. Tolkien
Travelling south down the east coast of Australia? Check out Sydney’s top attractions!
Egypt is one of the world's oldest countries and with that comes incredible monuments, temples and pyramids dating back to as early as 2050BC! Discover below Egypt's top most astounding man made architectures that will leave you in awe!
1. PYRAMIDS OF GIZA
Located in Cairo, Egypt
2. THE SPHINX
Located in Cairo, Egypt
3. PYRAMID OF DJOSER (THE STEP PYRAMID)
Located in Cairo, Egypt
4. FORT QAITBEY
Located in Alexandra, Egypt
5. CATACOMBS OF KOM EL SHOQAFA
Located in Alexandra, Egpyt
6. ABU SIMBEL TEMPLES
Located in Nubia, Egypt
7. THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS
Located in Luxor, Egypt
8. THE VALLEY OF THE QUEENS
Located in Luxor, Egypt
9. LUXOR TEMPLE
Located in Luxor, Egypt
10. KARNAK TEMPLE
Located in Luxor, Egypt
START YOUR EGYPTIAN ADVENTURE IN THE BUZZING, CULTURAL FILLED CITY OF CAIRO!
With Sydney and Melbourne always top Australian destinations, the vibrant, innovative and fast evolving city of Brisbane is often forgotten. With near year round perfect weather there is no bad time to explore the capital of Australia's sunshine state and my home town!
Egypt is undoubtedly one of the most incredible countries I have been. Rich with history, venture through this ancient country to immerse yourself in culture unlike anywhere else in the world. Where else better to start your Egyptian tour then Cairo? This overcrowded, buzzing city is Egypt's capital and the heart of some of the world's most incredible artefacts.
Home to the world's oldest 7 ancient wonder, the Great Pyramid of Giza, a trip to Egypt wouldn't complete without first stopping here. I had always dreamed of visiting the pyramids ever since learning about them in school. I was surprised how close they were located to the centre of Cairo! Driving down the highway they are easily visible in the distance. Secondly on arrival the pyramids were much grander then I realised. You can actually climb about half way up the Great Pyramid before entering it which gives you a unique view of the city.
To truly grasp the culture of Egypt a trip to the Cairo Markets is a must! At first glance it is extremely overwhelming. However, with an array of colours and bargains to be found don't let the hustle and bustle overwhelm you. A hint to first timers - be sure to avoid entering stores unless you're committed to purchasing an item or else prepare to be harassed! When purchasing an item test our your bartering skills. It is best to decide on a price in your mind that you are willing to pay for something and stick to it! If the vendor won't settle on the price you're prepared to pay then it's simple, they aren't making money. You can find anything in the Cairo Markets from incredible scarfs, spices and hand painted hookahs.
One thing I noticed about Egyptians is how friendly they are. Sure there were plenty of times I got followed, hissed or yelled at by elderly men. I even received several marriage proposals. The most impressive offer I received was my hand in marriage in exchange for 30 million camels. Overall however Egyptians are gentle, caring people who seem truly fascinated by foreigners. Many simply wanted photos taken of westerners with their children. Other elderly men couldn't pass up a photo opportunity with a 20 something blonde nicknamed locally as 'Shakira', aka me. Hey, it rewarded me with bargaining power in the Cairo markets!
If history is your thing you can't skip a visit to The Egyptian Museum. This museum is the most comprehensive museum I have visited in all of my travels. The unique difference about this museum compared to several others is that it houses only Egyptian artefacts. During my recent visit in October last year I got to explore the King Tutankamun's display which was fascinating and unbelievable at the same time. I can't believe something over 3,000 years ago can be so perfectly preserved. Unfortunately photography is banned throughout the museum as well as the majority of other Egyptian monuments or tourist hot spots.
Spend the rest of your days smoking shisha to your hearts content for as little as 8 EGP. Visit the iconic Sphinx and other ancient wonders such as the world famous Step Pyramid. Located 30 kms south of Cairo, this incredible pyramid is unique in design and is the oldest pyramid discovered thus far! Shop until you drop at Cairo's 7 story shopping mall or simply enjoy a Sakara Gold larger while discovering local cuisines consisting of lots of lentils and rice.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
LANGUAGE - The primary language is Arabic. Try saying 'Salam' which is a shortened version of hello. To say thank you, you would say 'Shukran'. Luckily for me most people spoke English!
RELIGION - The primary religion in Egypt is Muslim. Around 10% are Catholic in Cairo.
CURRENCY - The currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound. At the moment you can expect to get close to 6 EGP per 1 AUD.
COST - For 2 weeks in Egypt including all accommodation, activities, spending money, accommodation and food I paid around $1,500 USD.
SAFETY - Egypt has a long history of internal conflict which you need to be aware of. I would advise travelling through a tour company such as Topdeck as their guides are local and are aware of any potential dangers. As a foreign female I would never travel alone in any part of Egypt.
CUSTOMS - In Cairo in particular you need to respect the Muslim culture by dressing appropriately; long pants and a long shirt for females. The same goes when visiting any temples or sacred sites throughout Egypt. Further south in Egypt I found the dress code to be more lax.
For other African adventures consider adding Cape Town, South Africa to your trip!
Looking for other Australian destinations? You can't go past Adelaide in South Australia!
Queenstown, New Zealand is an adult's playground! Every year hundred of thousands of seasoned skiers hit the slopes making this quant town a soon buzzing, vibrant hotspot. With postcard perfect views, an abundance of snow sports on offer and world renowned runs, it is easy to understand why!
Ski season in NZ typically runs from early June to late October. It can vary slightly depending on weather conditions and snow fall. With opposite seasons to Europe and North America, NZ is a perfect ski spot when the rest of the world's best slopes are heading into warmer months.
New to skiing? Coronets Peak should be your first pit stop! Having never attempted snow boarding prior to my NZ ski week in August 2012, I found this majestic mountain has runs to suit all levels of experience. With a large beginners section you can practise to your hearts content without the fear of breaking a leg or colliding with a pro! Ski/Snowboarding lessons can also be purchased on the mountain for around $99 per person for a full day class. My advice is to splurge on one or two private lessons as I found the group lessons lacking sufficient one on one time. My only regret is skipping out the afternoon session where practise runs on the ski lift was on the agenda! For anyone on the slopes that humiliating day... Yes it was me who did an anything but graceful exit and caused the lift to be temporarily stopped. Sorry!
For experienced skiers you can't pass up the chance to ski incredible terrain at The Remarkables. With over 220 skiable hectares, 70% is dedicated to intimidate and advanced skiers! If you get easily sidetracked like me and have an ever hungry appetite, keep a look out for the outdoor BBQ as you exit the ski lift! If you've hit the slopes for a few days and your muscles can't take any more, The Remarkables offers a snow tubbing park with incredible views!
My top recommendation when booking your winter getaway is to keep an eye out 3-6 months in advance for early bird sales on season passes! Multi passes are available to The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt.
As for clothing and gear hire I would recommend organising this in your own country to lower rental costs. If you are like me and leave the smaller details to the last minute, wander through town where there is an abundance of ski shops lining the streets.
For more information check out SKI NZ before booking your next trip!
Welcome to Australian Abroad! This website was created to share my love of travelling with fellow nomads.