From Pyramids to the Valley of the Kings, the Arab Republic of Egypt oozes history. If you are considering traveling to Egypt, you should know the following about the country.
Overview of Egypt for Travelers
Egypt has plenty of land, but much of it is sparsely inhabited. This leads to a situation where the vast majority lives within relatively compact urban places. As the most populous Arab nation, nearly all of people live along the Nile River, particularly in Cairo and Alexandria. Cairo in particular is one of the world’s most densely populated cities with a whopping 3,800 people per square mile and roughly 18 million in the extended city. Traffic jams are legendary to say the least.
Travelers to Egypt are almost always going to see the pyramids and various archeological remains of the Pharaohs. Just so you can sound like you know what you are talking about, here is a very brief history on the rule of the Pharaohs.
Around 3,100 BC, Mena united Egypt and became the first Pharaoh. 30 dynasties would follow and are categorized as the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and New Empire. In 525 BC, the last Pharaoh was overthrown by the invading Persians. The pyramids of Giza were built during the fourth dynasty. The Great Pyramid is the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu. The Valley of Kings you will visit is only partially an accurate representation. More than a few of the sites were actually moved to higher elevations to save them from flooding caused when the Nasser Dam went into operation.
As for modern times, Egypt covers an area of roughly 386,000 square miles. The capital is Cairo with a population between 16 and 18 million people. The climate is universally dry and hot. Life is sustained almost totally by the Nile.
The people of Egypt are known as “Egyptians.” The total population is over 77 million and growing at a rate of 1.78 percent per year. 94 percent claim to be Muslim. Arabic is the official language although English and French are also spoken. 57 percent of the people are literate and life expectancy is 71 years of age.
As this overview shows, the country is unique in that it is almost totally reliant upon the Nile River. Without the Nile, Egypt would be bereft of its heritage and modern state. Fortunately, it has learned to ride herd on the longest river in the world.