By: Solomon Okila
Photo: (CC) by Jeremiah Blatz
Egypt and Kenya represent 2 very different sides of Africa in terms of travelers’ attractions. This is true in all aspects – history, culture and the people. On the one hand is Egypt, rich in history and archaeology and on the other hand is Kenya, famous for the Safari.
At tour of Africa combining the African wildlife Safari experience of Kenya and the sojourn into the ancient civilization of Egypt is a not so resistible to serious travelers.
Getting the right flow of Your Egypt and Kenya Tour program
You can never have enough time off your work schedule to see enough of Egypt. And to add an African Safari to it makes it appear like an impossible task to accomplish. But it can be done. To enjoy this combined tour, it is advisable to put aside at least 16 days – 14 days for your actual tours and the extra days for your flights into and out of Africa. It is of course possible to have shorter versions of the combination, but it might not work out so well.
Assuming your begin your tour at Cairo and not Nairobi, you will need at least 2 days in Cairo just for the antiquities in and around Cairo. This will include the Pyramids and the museums.
Next, dedicate at least 2 full days for Luxor to enough of the attractions in and around Luxor. Traveling from Cairo to Luxor can be either by bus, overnight train or air. The choice will depend on how much time you would like to save and also on your pocket. The bus journey can get very uncomfortable in the hot weather. The flight is fast, but might be expensive.
The Nile Cruise demands at least 3 days for meaningful sightseeing before your return to Cairo and take the flight from North Africa to East Africa.
It is recommended that you rest for a night in Nairobi, Kenya before starting your wildlife adventure. A fulfilling Safari in Kenya would take up at least 7 of your days. That would allow you to visit some of the famous national parks. If you choose to take your safari by road as a means of transport, beware of the road conditions into the parks. The distances might appear short but the drive could be grueling due to the nature of the roads. Transportation by air by save you time and enhance your experience too. If your flight out is not a late evening flight, try to spend your last night in Nairobi so that you have enough time on your side.
Places you must visit while in Egypt Traveling to Egypt is like turning back the clock. There are marvelous footprints of ancient man’s stroll on earth. Anyone interested in man’s ancient civilization thinks of Egypt. And this is with very good reasons. Because there are just too many intriguing and wonderfulthings in Egypt – the pyramids, the temples, the tombs, the Nile and many more.
The Great Pyramids of Giza are the last surviving members of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. It has been a tourist destination for centuries and continues to draw immense interest from all over the world. Each of the 3 main pyramids here is a tomb to a different Pharaoh. The Sphinx, a huge lion like sculpture lies in front of the pyramids, keeping guard.
Luxor is Egypt’s most impressive archeological spectacles. The Temple of Luxor was the center of one of the most important festivals celebrated by the people of Thebes. This important festival was known as the festival of Opet. Built largely by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, it appears that the temple s purpose was for a suitable setting for the rituals of the festival. The festival itself was to reconcile the human aspect of the ruler with the divine office. The temple of Luxor is worth touring while you are in Egypt.
The Temple of Karnak
One of the most impressive archaeological sites in Egypt is Karnak. Even though it is badly ruined, it stands as the largest temple complex ever built by man. The Temple of Karnak is actually made up of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples located about 3 kilometers north of Luxor. Karnak is actually the site’s modern name. Its ancient name was Ipet isut, meaning The Most Select (or Sacred) of Places .
The Valley of the Kings
The site today called the Valley of the Kings is a secluded dry gully were all the kings and occasionally other high officials of the 18th Dynasty were buried.
The Nile Cruise
In spite of the fact there are other means of transportation available for you while on your great historical and archaeological adventures, the Nile Cruise still remains an exciting way to enjoy your sight seeing in Egypt. The cruise starts from Luxor or Aswan. From Luxor, the tours cruise down the Nile to Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and end in Aswan.
You can also fly from Cairo direct to Aswan and then work your way northwards down the Nile to the same sights – Kom Ombo, Edfu, Esna and end up at Luxor.
For the Nile Cruise, there are many options to choose from depending on your budget and desire for comfort. Many of the cruise ships offer a considerable variety in form of entertainment on board. .
Other Interesting sights in Egypt
Depending on the number of days you have, and your budget of course, the other interesting areas you would want to include in your program are Abu Simbel – 3 hours away by road from Aswan. Great Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor are of interest.
Alexandria is just 2 hours 30 minutes by road or train from Cairo. The pace of life is much slower than Cairo.
The Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada are a big hit with divers. And travelers who enjoy nightlife will find their comfort zone here too, as it is filled with nightclubs. Those traveling with kids will also find the Red sea idea – the beaches.
What to include on your Kenya Safari portion of the tour Kenya is the wildlife safari’s paradise. For the African wildlife lovers, there are over 50 game reserves, parks and private game sanctuaries spread all around the country. And accommodation in the main cities and even in the parks provide services of international standards. You will find hotels run by top international companies like Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and Intercontinental.
Game viewing in Kenya is simply stunning. Some of the wonderful parks you are encouraged to visit are the Maasai Mara game reserve. At the Mara you will see the big five Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo. At Amboseli National park you are not likely to leave without seeing elephants living side by side with the most celebrated culture in the world, the Maasai people.
Samburu game reserve is home to the Samburu people and the Reticulated Giraffe and Beisa Oryx. Tsavo National park – for the Hippos and Lake Nakuru National park – for the flamingos and Rhinos.
If you include the famous Maasai Mara in your travel program, and you travel between June and October, you might witness the great animal migration. The wildebeest and zebra start their migration from Tanzania’s Serengeti in May and arrive Maasai Mara during July. They begin the return journey back into Tanzania towards the end of October.
This animal migration is an experience beyond belief. Many have described it as one of the most impressive wildlife spectacles. A hot air balloon flight over the dotted plains of the Maasai Mara will enhance your experience of seeing this great spectacle.
Author Resource: Solomon Okila is the Editor and Safari Consultant at African Voyages Tours and Travel. This is an African tour operator that specializes on Africa Travel and holidays. For more details on Tours of Egypt and Kenya Safari visit the African Voyages website at http://www.africanvoyages.com.
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