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Egypt - Birds & History

Tour Code: EGY01

An 11-day journey to the southern Sinai Desert and along the River Nile, combining the major sites of both archaeological and ornithological interest.

dates & prices to be confirmed Land Only Price: £ SRS: £


This exciting tour combines birdwatching with visits to Egypt’s most famous archaeological sites. In Cairo we visit the Pyramids at Giza, the Sphinx and the Egyptian Museum. From Sharm-el-Sheik we’ll snorkel on the Red Sea reefs and enjoy birding in nearby deserts and oases – especially at St. Catherine’s Monastery and on Mount Sinai, where we should find such local bird species as Sinai Rosefinch and Tristram's Grackle, as well as spectacular views! At Luxor we visit Karnak Temple, the Valley of the Kings (and Queens) and the Temple of Luxor, amongst other sites, and finally at Abu Simbel we’ll enjoy great birdwatching at Lake Nasser and the Aswan Dam, as well as the Temples of Abu Simbel.

  • Visit Cairo’s Museum, the Pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx
  • Enjoy snorkelling and swimming on the Red Sea reefs
  • Visit St. Catherine’s Monastery
  • Climb Mount Sinai – and enjoy its special birds and spectacular views
  • Explore the Valley of the Kings (and Queens)
  • Visit the Temples of Karnak, Luxor and Abu Simbel
  • Enjoy great birdwatching on the Nile, Red Sea and in the Sinai Desert
  • Learn from our expert guides and tour leader br />

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

Comfortable tourist hotels with private facilities.

Little Green Bee-eater (unknown)

Little Green Bee-eater (unknown)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Cairo

Day 2 Cairo; the Pyramids and museum

Day 3/6 Sharm-el-sheik; the Sinai and St. Catherine's

Day 7/8 Luxor; Valley of the Kings, Karnak, etc

Day 9/10 Abu Simbel and Aswan

Day 11 Fly London

A phenomenal 6,000 years of recorded history, and a prime position on the avian migration route between Africa and Europe, combine to make Egypt one of the most exciting destinations for birdwatchers with an appreciation of the past. Nurtured by the life-giving waters of the river, one of the greatest civilisations ever to inhabit the earth developed along the Nile Valley leaving, as monuments to their existence, countless temples, pyramids and artefacts which today are numbered among the greatest historical sites in the world. Three continents exert their respective influences on a remarkably diverse avifauna, which is enriched and enhanced by the seasonal movements of migrants using the country as a staging post for longer journeys. By late October, newly arrived winter visitors may be observed alongside the resident ‘specialities’s and with cooler weather conditions, this is an excellent time for birdwatching. As we travel in the Sinai Desert and along the River Nile we will be visiting many of the best birding localities in Egypt but this is a tour which also pays homage to world famous antiquities including the Pyramids, Abu Simbel, Aswan and Luxor.

We begin our tour in Cairo, the largest city in Africa. Here we will visit the Giza Pyramids and the nearby Sphinx, which epitomise the reign of the Pharaohs. A further glimpse of ancient Egypt is provided in the fabulous Egyptian Museum, a cornucopia of ancient artefacts which includes the astounding treasures of Tutankhamun and masterpieces of early Egyptian bird art. We will also visit a marshy area nearby where we have a good chance of finding such rare Western Palearctic species as Painted Snipe, Senegal Coucal and White-breasted Kingfisher, and typical birds of the region such as Graceful Prinia, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and Common Bulbul.

After this splendid introduction to Egypt, we will travel by road to Sharm-el-sheik and visit the surrounding desert and oases in search of some of the more elusive of the local bird specialities. Given favourable conditions, large numbers of raptors and other soaring birds, such as storks and cranes, use thermals to drift south across the Red Sea, providing an amazing spectacle, and the bushes are likely to be full of passerine migrants. Next, we visit Mount Sinai and the picturesque St. Catherine’s Monastery at the base of the mountain. We will climb Mount Sinai in the cool of the morning and, as we make our way up the zig-zag path, we will look for White-crowned Wheatear, Desert Lark, Tristram’s Grackle and Sinai Rosefinch. At the top we will be rewarded by fabulous views over the surrounding area, whilst Brown-necked Ravens circle noisily overhead. Descending from the summit, we visit the famous ancient monastery where, in the vegetation of its gardens, there is a good chance of seeing skulking Scrub Warblers, plus a few migrants as well. During our stay at the Red Sea, we will look for some of the area’s specialities such as Brown Booby, White-cheeked Tern, Sooty and White-eyed Gulls, plus the delightful little Sooty Falcon. In addition, there will be snorkelling opportunities for anyone wishing to admire the amazingly colourful underwater world of the coral reef.

We travel next to Luxor, in the Nile Valley, where an afternoon on Crocodile Island should produce such species as Senegal Thick-knee, Purple Gallinule, Nile Valley Sunbird and Lesser Pied Kingfisher. On our first evening in Luxor we will visit the beautifully illuminated Temple of Luxor and during our 2-day stay we will further enjoy the many spectacular sights of this former capital, steeped in six millennia of history. The Collosi of Memnon, Valleys of the Kings and Queens, and Karnak Temple will be unforgettable highlights to complement a fine selection of birds.

We travel next to Abu Simbel, Egypt’s most southerly settlement, situated on the shores of Lake Nasser. Here the African influences in the birdlife are evident in the appearance of such species as Egyptian Goose, African Pied Wagtail and Pink-headed Dove but there will also be Palearctic migrants to look for in the lake-side gardens. A boat ride on Lake Nasser will enable us to explore the secluded inlets and islands thronged with waterbirds and waders, amongst which we could see Pink-backed Pelicans and Yellow-billed Storks, two wanderers from Africa regularly occurring here. The magnificent Abu Simbel Temples, saved from the rising waters of the lake by being moved block by block to higher ground, will be the focus of an afternoon tour and, in the evening, we plan to attend a spectacular sound and light show.

We return to Cairo, for a connecting flight to London, to conclude a memorable holiday to a country where ancient and modern worlds are inextricably linked, providing a unique background for some superlative birdwatching.

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We will be running this tour in the near future but as yet have not finalised dates and prices. To register your interest and be added a waiting list to be informed when details are confirmed, please contact us or phone 01962 733051.

Visiting: Egypt

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Dan Free
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01962 733051

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