You should always include a trip to the Nile River and the Aswan High Dam which are called "Egypt's Lifeline" because about 95% of Egypt's population lives within twelve miles of the river. It is thought that were it not for the Nile River and its sediment, the great civilization of ancient Egypt probably would have never have been built.
The Nile River has a total length of about 4,160 miles. The two main tributaries of the Nile River are called the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The source of the White Nile is the Sobat River Bahr al-Jabal (The "Mountain Nile"). It and the Blue Nile begins in the Ethiopian Highlands. These two tributaries converge in Khartoum, which is the capital of Sudan where they become the Nile River.
Almost every year, Egypt experienced annual floods from the Nile River which deposited tons of nutrient-rich sediment along the shore, which enabled agricultural production. To control the flooding the first dam at Aswan was built in 1889. However this dam was insufficient to hold back the water of the Nile and the dam was raised two times in 1912 and 1933. However in 1946, the water in the reservoir peaked near the top of the dam and threatened to overflow.
In 1952, the interim Revolutionary Council government of Egypt decided to finially build a High Dam at Aswan, about four miles upstream of the old dam. In 1954, the Egyptian Government requested loans from the World Bank to help pay for the cost of the dam (which eventually added up to about US $1 billion). At first, the United States agreed to loan Egypt the money but then withdrew their offer. Finially the old Soviet Union offered to help and Egypt accepted.
Thus a large rockfill dam called the Aswan High Dam, and known as Saad el Aali in Arabic, was completed in 1970 after about ten years of construction. It captures the world's longest river, the Nile River, thus forming the world's third largest reservoir, Lake Nasser.
The shore along the Nile between Aswan and Abu Simbel was lined with temples. Therefor an international rescue operation was organized by UNESCO. This saved many of the temples that still attract tourists to Egypt.
However, at the time of our writing of this, there are still conflicts between the Nubians and Egyptian Government over this area.
The Cairo International Airport (IATA: CAI, ICAO: HECA) is the busiest airport in Egypt and is located to the north-east of the city around 15 km from the business area of the city.
Cairo International is the second busiest airport in Africa with over 65 airlines using the Cairo airport (including charter airlines) and 9 cargo airlines. With the assimilation of EgyptAir into Star Alliance in July 2008 the airport has the potential to be a major hub with its positioning between Africa, the Middle East and Europe. In 2008, the airport served 14,360,175 passengers and it is one of the top 100 airports in the world.
The airport handles both domestic and international flights, and is open 24 hours a day.
We suggest flying into Cairo and staying in one of their many fine hotels when touring the Egyptian Musium in Cairo and the ruins in the surrounding areas.
We have links on this page that will connect you with flights into Cairo and several of the best hotels in Cairo.
A second option is to fly directly to Aswan.
The Aswan International Airport (IATA: ASW, ICAO: HESN), also known as Daraw Airport, is the airport located in Aswan, Egypt. You can arrange flights directly to Aswan, If you wish.
After getting a flight and a hotel we suggest asking your hotel concierge to arrange either a car or a tour of Aswan or the Cairo area. If you call their Concierge Services ahead of your arrival, all of this can be pre-arranged for you.
We do this all the time, when traveling in Egypt. It is safe and it works!!! We have never experienced a problem, doing it this way!
Therefore, we have placed links to Priceline.com on this page so you can arrange your flights into and out of Cairo or Aswan; as well as your hotel, when visiting this area.
|The Aswan High Dam On The Nile River.|
Creates Lake Nassar Near Aswan Egypt.
|Lake Nassar Behind|
The 3,600m. Long,
40m. High Dam
Is 500km. Long
Capacity Of About
157 Billion Cu. Meters
Below The Dam
Below The Dam
|Water Flows About|
8km. To Old Dam
In January 1960
May 14, 1964 Waters
Were Diverted into Canal
1972 It Was Finished!