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Egypt: Sphynx and Pyramids

Egypt is synonymous with Pharaohs, the pyramids, temples and antiquities from ancient civilizations. And at the centre of these great civilizations lies the Nile River that has influenced their economics, social life, politics and religion. It is the oldest travel destination on earth: Greek and Roman travelers came in 430 BC to wonder at some of the very sights that make it a modern travel destination today. The magnificence of the painted Valley of the Kings, exquisite temples and the pyramids were all sought-after subjects of admiration, and many were already 2,500 years old!

Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its estimated 82 million live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable agricultural land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with the majority spread across the densely-populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.

Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments, including the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx. The southern city of Luxor contains numerous ancient artifacts, such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Egypt is widely regarded as an important political and cultural nation of the Middle East.

Currency: The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), which is divided into 100 piastres

Land Code: +20. The city code for Cairo is (0)2

Language: Arabic is the official language although English and French are widely spoken, especially in the tourist areas

Weather: With the small exception of its strip of Mediterranean coastline, the whole of Egypt has an arid desert climate. The weather is constantly hot and dry, with blistering heat in the summer months. The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter, between December and February, when temperatures range between 20 to 26°C