Explore Egypt in Africa

Egypt
Country Guide

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Egypt with its capital Cairo is located in Africa (Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea). It covers some 1,001,451 square kilometres (slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico) with 81,713,000 citizens. Arabic, English and French are the official languages spoken in Egypt (consider regional differences). Libya, Sudan and Israel are bordering countries.

Egypt is in north-eastern Africa. Egypt is perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and pyramids. It is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations world-wide. Tourist attractions include Roman and Greek monuments, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Qa'edbay's Castle, and Qasr El Montaza (El Montaza Palace). Egypt can be a fantastic place to sample a unique range of food: not too spicy and well-flavoured with herbs. There is a full range of accommodation options, from basic backpacker hostels to five-star resorts. Egypt is a predominanty Muslim nation and alcoholic drinks are religiously forbidden (haram) - though not legally. Egypt is generally a safe and friendly country to travel. Egyptians on the whole are very friendly - if you are in need of assistance they will generally try to help you as much as they are able. Pickpocketing is a problem in Egypt's bigger cities, particularly Cairo. Many locals opt not to carry wallets at all, instead keeping their money in a clip in their pocket. Egypt is largely a desert, an extension of the great Sahara that bands North Africa. Save for the thin strip of watered land along the Nile River, very little could survive here.

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Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

The topography features vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta. The average density of population is about 82 per km². The climate in Egypt can be described as desert with hot, dry summers with moderate winters. Potential natural disasters are periodic droughts or frequent earthquakes, flash floods, landslides, hot, driving windstorm called khamsin occurs in spring, dust storms or sandstorms.

To reach someone in Egypt dial +20 prior to a number. There are 10,313,000 installed telephones. And there are 55,352,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".eg". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 220V - 50Hz.

Learn more on our Egyptian Facts page.

Description of the flag of Egypt

Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the national emblem (a gold Eagle of Saladin facing the hoist side with a shield superimposed on its chest above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white)
note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars in the white band, Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band, and Yemen, which has a plain white band.

National administrative regions of Egypt

Historical background information

The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 elevated Egypt as an important world transportation hub. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt''s government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty from Britain in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt''s population through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure. Inspired by the 2010 Tunisian revolution, Egyptian opposition groups led demonstrations and labor strikes countrywide, culminating in President Hosni MUBARAK''s ouster. Egypt''s military assumed national leadership until a new parliament was in place in early 2012. The same year Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed MURSI, won the presidential election and a new constitution was affirmed.

Learn more on our Egyptian Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.