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Whispers on the Nile
Three years after Revolution, Egypt is quiet, but still calling. As Egypt looks forward to a new era of democracy and stability, there’s never been a better time to see it.
Following the Arab Spring, no country took a harder hit to tourism than Egypt. Once North Africa’s golden child, home to the last surviving Wonder of the Ancient World and packed with tourists year round, occupancy rates at hotels and on Nile cruises have hovered at a paltry 15% since the revolution. While it’s good travel advice at any time to avoid political strife, foreigners have never been a target during Egypt’s revolution, and many reputable operators have continued to run at least some tours.
With protests subsided and elections slated for May, the mood in Egypt is one of hope, and savvy travellers are experiencing it first hand. With tourism still slow to recover, and visitor peace of mind a higher priority than ever, 2014 is an ideal year to see the land of the Pharaohs at its most authentic.
The Pyramids are a sight every globetrotter should see once in their lifetime. They’re also one of the most crowded attractions in the world – to say nothing of the local hawkers. A drop in tourism is good news for anyone wanting to experience their majesty unhindered by the usual parade of tour buses and snapping cameras. Such relative isolation can put amazing sights like the Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings in an all new light, even for the return visitor.
A classic Egyptian itinerary includes Cairo, the Giza Necropolis, and a journey into Upper Egypt including the Luxor and Karnak Temples. Another popular addition is a short flight to Abu Simbel to see the temples of Ramesses II and Nefertari.
One ancient tradition making a comeback is the Dahabiya, a traditional Nile river boat that captures the romance of this ancient land far more effectively than the Machine Ships that have dominated Nile cruises over the past century. The modern take on this classic concept is a boutique sailing boat with 6-8 cabins, often dubbed ‘Seven stars on the Nile.’
Besides an amazing holiday, visitors have a unique opportunity to make a big difference to Egypt’s economy and the livelihood of everyday people. 12% of the nation’s workforce depends on tourism, and all are ready and eager to help intrepid travellers discover a renewed Egypt at an ideal time to go.
At time of press, there are some very attractive offers to entice you to visit Egypt, such as Classic Egypt – 9 days from $1347. Visit www.goway.com or contact our Africa and Middle East Experts at 1-800-387-8850.
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