Egypt is a vast desert plateau, interrupted by the Nile valley and delta. The highest point in Egypt is Mount Catherine, at 2,629 meters. Natural hazards in Egypt include periodic droughts, frequent earthquakes, flash floods, landslides, and hot, driving windstorms called khamsin, which occur in the springtime, as well as dust storms and sandstorms. Otherwise, the climate is arid, with hot, dry summers and moderate winters.
Environmental issues in Egypt include agricultural land being lost to urbanization, and windblown sands, increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam, and desertification. In Egypt, oil pollution is threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats. There is also other water pollution, from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents. Away from the Nile, the only perennial water source, there are limited natural freshwater resources. The rapid growth in population is over-straining the Nile and other natural resources. In terms of tourism impacts, there is marked over-development on both Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts. In particular development along the Red Sea Riviera is threatening coral reefs. Wikipedia includes an extensive write up on Environmental issues in Egypt, noting air pollution in Cairo. The Egyptian Green Party maintains an active Facebook presence.
One of the better known eco-lodges in Egypt is located at Wadi El Natrun, called El-Hammra Eco-Lodge, owned and operated by the family of ex-General Hany El Kamouny. In terms of protected areas, Wikipedia lists 23 Egyptian Protectorates, with four called national parks….
- Ras Muhammad National Park
- Gebel Elba (National Park)
- Saint Katherine Protectorate (National Park)
- Wadi el-Gemal National Park
- Arab Network for Environment and Development
- Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe
- Academy of Scientific Research and Technology
- El Maktab El Arabi Lei Shabab Wal Biah
- Nature Conservation Egypt
The overwhelming majority of the population of Egypt lives within 20 km of the Nile River and its delta. Vast areas of Egypt remain sparsely populated or uninhabited. The annual Nile River flood allowed for the development of one of the world’s great civilisations. 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. 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 rich archaeological heritage serves as an important tourism magnate for Egypt. Andrew Bayuk maintains a popular, independent website on Egyptology at guardians.net. The former “Supreme Council of Antiquities” is now the Ministry of Antiquities; however, the modern story of the Supreme Council of Antiquities is the story of famed Egyptologist Dr Zahi Hawass. More than a few tourists have been killed over the past two decades in Islamic terrorist incidents at tourism hot spots in Egypt (see Wikipedia for details, Terrorism in Egypt). Egypt has experienced a marked reduction in the ﬂow of tourists since the revolutionary wave of the Arab Spring (2011-2014).
The Coptic religion is an ancient form of Christianity native to Egypt. Today, there is significant Islamic persecution and discrimination of the Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt. Wikipedia maintains a comprehensive List of Coptic Monasteries in Egypt. The official website of the Egyptian Tourism Authority is available at egypt.travel. The Egyptian Dance Festival is a cultural festival with a long tradition in Egypt.
There are seven designated World Heritage sites in Egypt, one natural and six cultural. The Abu Mena World Heritage site is listed as in danger.
Natural World Heritage:
- Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley) (2005)
Cultural World Heritage:
- Abu Mena (1979)
- Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis (1979)
- Historic Cairo (1979)
- Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur (1979)
- Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae (1979)
- Saint Catherine Area (2002)
- Cairo University Faculty of Archaeology
- Center for Conservation & Preservation of Islamic Architectural Heritage
- Centro Italo-Egiziano per il Restauro e l’Archeologia
- Institut français d’archéologie orientale du Caire
- Université Léopold Senghor
- Architecture and Sustainable Cultural Tourism in Nineteenth Century Egypt: Cosmopolitanism and Decolonisation – ELA Marwa – 2017
- Exploiting Sustainable Managing Resources for Heritage Tourism in El Alamein, Egypt – H Soliman – 2017
- Potentiality Assessment for Ecotourism in Rural Communities: a Case of Fayoum Governorate, Egypt – S Khalil – 2017
- Slow Tourism Experience: an Innovative Approach for Sustainable Tourism Development in Egypt (the Case of Siwa) – N Kamel, R Orabi, S Taha – 2017
- Sustainable Upgrading for Informal Areas Towards Tourism Promotion: Case Study Fishermen’s Village in Egypt – S Ali, A Mamdouh, M Zabady – 2017
- What Are the Main Challenges Impeding Implementation of the Spatial Plans in Egypt Using Ecotourism Development as an Example? – E Kenawy, T Osman, A Alshamndy – 2017
- The Development of Foreign Direct Investment as a Tool for Sustainable Tourism in Fayoum, Egypt – FAH Attaallah, MM Hussein – 2016
- Collaborative Approach for Developing a More Effective Regional Planning Framework in Egypt: Ecotourism Development as Case Study – E Kenawy – 2015
- Demystifying Cultural and Ecotourism in the Vernacular Architecture of Siwa Oasis Egypt – M Elkaftangui, A Elnokaly, Y Awad, A Elseragy – 2015
- Enhancing Sustainable Heritage Tourism in Egypt: Challenges and Framework of Action – MM Ghanem, SK Saad – 2015
- Nubian Vernacular Architecture Technique to Enhance Eco-tourism in Egypt – WFO Moustafa – 2015
- Sustainable Tourism Development: Assessment of Egyptian Sustainable Resorts – RA Ragheb – 2015
- Developing a More Effective Regional Planning Framework in Egypt: the Case of Ecotourism – EH Kenawy, D Shaw – 2014
- Strengths and Weaknesses in the Assessment of Sustainable Tourism: a Case Study of the Nabq Protected Area in Egypt – MM Tolba – 2014
- Ecological Footprint as a Tool for Planning Towards Sustainable Tourism: a Case Study of Egypt – MF Abdelwarith – 2013
- Innovation Co-creation for Effective Sustainable Tourism Development Management in Egypt – MI Eraqi – 2013
- Intangible Heritage as a Tool of Promoting Sustainable Tourism: the Case of Hand Weaving in Akmim, Egypt – I Elgammal, H Refaat, ET Authority – 2013
- Opportunities and Challenges of Using GIS in Sustainable Tourism Development: the Case of Egypt – MM Abdel-Fadeel, SK Saad, S Omran – 2013
- Sustainable Tourism Development in Alfayoum Oasis, Egypt – YH Ramzy – 2013
- Creating a Tourism Destination Through Sustainable Development: Case Study Coastal Area of Abuqir, Alexandria, Egypt – A El Menshawy, SS Eldin, F Fekry – 2012
- Problems That Impede Sustainable Tourism Development in Egypt – EAS Gouda – 2012
- Sustainable Tourism Within an Eco-city Context: Analytical Study for the Master Plan of Siwa Ity, Egypt – MM Salem, H El-Shimy – 2012
- Egypt: Impacts and Concerns, Sustainability and Ecotourism, Industry Responsibilities, Tourism Planning – S Elmers – 2009
- The Index of Ecotourism Impacts the Case of Wadi El Gemal Protected Area in Egypt – C Khallaf – 2009
- An Approach to Sustainable Tourism Development in Coastal Area–egypt – M Metwally, S Soliman – 2008
- Ecotourism Economics: the Case of Egypt – MI Eraqi – 2008
- Sustainable Tourism: Exploring the Fragile Environment of Egypt – AM Salama – 2008
- The Residents’ Reactions to Sustainable Tourism Development in the Red Sea Coast of Egypt – MI Eraqi – 2008