Eco-Travel in Egypt’s Red Sea and Sahara Desert Regions
As one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations Egypt does have its fair share of high rise hotels and luxury resorts but it’s also a country that has embraced eco-tourism. Going green in locations such as the South Sinai and the far corners of the Sahara Desert, will provide a travel experience unlike those available at the five star hotels.
If you’re looking to unplug, unwind and get away from the tourist-heavy resorts then the Egyptian eco-lodges will be ideal.
A serene escape
The Sinai Peninsula is home to those glitzy Sharm el Sheikh resorts, but it’s also a place where eco-tourism has existed for almost a quarter of a century. Basata is Egypt’s first eco-lodge located between Taba and Nuweiba, and the concept is all about the simplicity of life within an eco-friendly environment. Visitors have a choice of accommodation, ranging from beach side bamboo huts to mud brick chalets, and even tents (you can bring your own). The absence of computers, cell phones and televisions means that guests take the time to make friends, socialize and enjoy candlelit dinners together.
Visitors have easy access to a beautiful white sand beach with magnificent coral reefs, which are the perfect place to snorkel each day – diving is not permitted in order to protect the coral reef. Sightseeing from the resort can include the ancient Pharaoh’s Island, dating back to the 12th century, as well as the always popular hike to the summit of Mount Sinai to watch the sun rise.
Sahara Desert adventure
If you’re looking to seek out the Egypt less traveled by tourists, then the long journey from Cairo to the eco-lodges at Siwa, will provide an authentic adventure. Located close to the Libyan Border within the Sahara Desert, Siwa is not easy to reach but the unique natural environment is worth the trip. The Siwa Oasis, located at the foot of the White Mountain, features earth buildings that blend naturally with the environment, with rooms that overlook the Great Sea of Sand and Lake Siwa.
Guests can spend days swimming in the salt lakes, take jeep safaris deep into the Sahara, or even try their hand at sand-boarding down the huge dunes. Overnight camping to watch the sun rising over the desert will be an unforgettable experience, as will taking dips in the hot or cold springs.
First-time visitors to Egypt will no doubt have a ‘wish list’ of attractions to tick off, and if you’re heading to locations such as the Siwa Oasis, you will begin your journey from Cairo. This means you can spend some time exploring this bustling city’s bazars, museums and ancient sites, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Trips to Cairo are also available from Sharm el Sheikh but other excursions from the Red Sea resorts can include the fascinating Colored Canyon, Mount Sinai and St Catherine’s Monastery, as well as the opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s most thrilling diving spots.
Low cost vacations
Cheap holidays to Egypt are available throughout the year, and are a popular destination of choice for those looking to escape to somewhere exotic. Be sure to avoid the peak summer season to obtain large discounts on accommodation. The Egyptian climate is hot and dry all year round; August temperatures in Sharm will be 91°F although January does dip down to 64°F. The year round good weather means that there is no real low season, but travel outside of the school holidays periods including Easter, June through August and October will see prices significantly reduced.
Egypt is definitely a country with much to offer the traveller in terms of sightseeing, activities and cultural experiences. Going green and responsible travel is available and will provide an altogether more authentic and unique Egyptian vacation experience.