Africa is one of the largest continents on the planet. With 54 countries, about 2,000 languages, and several hundred ethnicities and cultures, its one of the most diverse continents. With so much to explore, we chose to start at the top! Egypt is a unique country, connecting Africa to the Middle East and sharing the food, culture and people of both places. It may be an intimidating part of Africa to visit, but don’t let the economy and possible dangers keep you from visiting. The people are welcoming and the history alone will tempt you to stay as long as possible!
Fellow traveler and business student Karla Tomaselli was in Egypt last April and visited Hurghada for one week. It was a great place to stay since it allowed her to visit several emblematic places in Egypt. She was hesitant to visit the country, but the trip exceeded her expectations. Hurghada was the perfect getaway in Egypt. It is a quiet and safe town, full of resorts and its extremely tourist-friendly.
Taxi’s are abundant (and cheap, budget travelers!) and the hotels are beautiful. Karla stayed at Grand Resort Hurghada, which has Moroccan inspired design and style. The food was memorable and it was a great place to relax after long days of touring Egypt! Sunrise Crystal Bay Resort was also unforgettable, with amazing pools looking over the beach.
Karla booked several tours while in Egypt (a safe bet is to book before you go!) and used the site Get Your Guide to book three different tours. The tours are affordable and they pick you up from your hotel. The first tour was to the ancient city of Luxor where Karla visited the ancient temples and took a boat ride through the iconic, north-flowing Nile River. The ancient Egyptians depended on the Nile River for water, food, fertile soil, trade, and other important reasons since rainfall in Egypt is sometimes non existent. Being one of the largest rivers in the world (next to the Amazon River), it is not to be missed!
Karla also visited the Valley of the Kings where you can walk into the tomb of Tutankhamun and other mummified nobles. For a period of 500 years, the Valley of the Kings was used to house mummified pharaohs by excavating rock cut tombs.
The second day trip was a tour to Giftun Island, also known as Paradise Island. The waters here are crystal clear and turquoise, similar to that of the Caribbean. This was an unexpected surprise, since you do no imagine beautiful waters in Egypt. If you are in Egypt and need a getaway on a beach, this is your trip! It’s perfect for relaxing or snorkeling.
On the third day trip, Karla spent 24 hours in Cairo. She visited the Pyramids of Giza, the Cairo Museum and the Sphinx. From Hurghada, its a 9 hour bus ride, but worth it in the end. You can’t go to Egypt without seeing the incredible pyramids and Sphinx!
Egypt was a trip to remember, with several amazing place to see, but there was one major issue Karla came across while visiting. The constant pressure to buy something from street vendors was sometimes unbearable and the unreasonable urge to give people your money was constant. Even to use the restroom in the airport, Karla had to give someone money. Going out for a simple errand, like buying water, could end up in an exhausting effort to avoid people who are trying to sell you something. If you’re good at ignoring and moving past this, you’re in the clear…just be warned!
“My experience in Egypt surpassed all of my expectations. I would go back 100%. It’s a very cheap country with amazing history and so much to do. I would recommend staying in Hughada and from there take day trips. Next time I would maybe do the desert safari and go back to Giftun Island!”