Dominated by a harsh, unforgiving but beautiful desert and divided by the world’s longest river, nature travel in Egypt is something beautiful to experience. Sustain Egyptian nature reserves; stay in eco-lodges, visit Egypt’s National Parks and look for other ways to help. Nature travel in Egypt helps ecotourism thrive and set sustainable standards so that generations to come can enjoy the same natural wonders.
The pace of life for over 6000 years of civilization depends on the Nile River which is the only source of water in Egypt. The river also deposits fertile soil from the heart of Africa along its banks, which keeps the land rich for farming. The combination of the Nile River, the Western and Sinai deserts and oases make Egypt a wonderful place to explore nature and see firsthand a delicate balancing act millions of years in the making.
The Perfect Places for Bird Watching:
Cairo Giza Zoo and Garden
There are plenty of bird watching opportunities in Cairo, especially in and around the Giza Zoo. Here you’ll find caged birds in the zoo and free roaming birds in the gardens such as Nile Valley Sunbirds and Cattle Egrets as well as many migrating songbird species.
Fayoum Oasis Bird Watching
Fayoum Oasis is a wonderful bird watching destination, well known for its delicious fruits and vegetables. Birds migrate to the oasis for the lush plants and the waters of Lake Quarun, the largest salt water lake in Egypt. Here you’ll find Grebes, coots, ducks and shorebirds during winter.
In its South-Western part, the Fayoum depression is also home to the Rayyan Valley, or Wadi Ar-Rayyan, which covers 11,450 hectares of lakes, 1,580 hectares of wetlands and 160,949 hectares of desert lands. The area has been declared as a protected area in 1989. Being near from Cairo, the area is visited yearly by Only hundreds or thousands of Egyptians and foreign tourists who enjoy the natural features of the protectorate.
Ain Sukhna Bird Watching
Located on the Egyptian Red Sea coast, within an hour and a half driving distance from Cairo, the touristic area of Ain Sukhna is known to be an important bottleneck for migratory birds.
The area is a great site for observing the spring migration.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Ain Sukhna at the right time, you have a big chance to spot migrating birds along the Galala Plateau, passerines among the scrubs and gardens, as well as seabirds such as White-eyed Gulls and Swift Terns along the coast.
Bird Watching on Lake Burullus
Located in the Nile Delta, Lake Burullus is a protected area that requires special permits to visit. The surrounding marches make it an ideal spot to spot Wigeons, Shovellers, Boots, Whiskered Terns and Pochards during the winter.
Wadi Natrun is a valley located along the desert road between Cairo and Alexandria that is close to a number of lakes and marshes.
Here you’ll find Sandplover, Rufous Bushchats and Blue-cheecked Bee-eaters.
While you’re in Wadi Natrun, do not forget to visit the ancient Coptic monasteries of Paromeos (also called Baramous) and Saint Bishoy and the biggest natural wonder of the valley, Ain el-Hamra, meaning “the red source”; a freshwater source pouring directly into a saltwater lagoon.
Wadi Natrun is located 100 km northwest of Cairo in the Western Desert.
Luxor Bird Watching
While visiting ancient Thebes, take the time to watch the birds of the Nile Valley and note which species influenced the art of the Ancient Egyptians. Here you’ll find Senegal Thicknee, Nile Valley Sunbirds, Purple Gallinule and if you are lucky the Painted Snipe.
Aswan Bird Watching
Sailing the Nile River on a felucca gives you great bird watching opportunities. You’ll be able to spot the Green Heron and migratory water birds such as the Egyptian Goose and hope for a chance encounter with Black Kites as they circle above the west bank of the Nile and you might also spot Egyptian Vultures.
Bird Watching on the Lake Nasser
The formation of Lake Nasser attracted many birds from the African hinterland. Along the shore of Lake Nasser you can find Yellow-Billed Storks, Pink-backed Pelicans, African Skimmers, African Pied Wagtails and Pink-headed Doves. A Lake Nasser cruise offers plenty of bird watching opportunities during spring.
Olive and Palm Groves
Surrounded by lakes that are too saline to support fishing, Siwa has been famous for its olive groves and palm gardens since ancient times. The oasis boasts more than 300,000 palm trees, 70,000 olive trees as well as many fruit orchards. The area has thus become very attractive to different sorts of birds, such as falcons and quails. Strolling through the rich palm groves, you will soon be convinced that Siwa’s main attraction is its serene ambiance.
Red Sea and Sinai
Sahrm El Sheikh
Ras Mohammed Bird Watching
While Ras Mohamed is known for its great diving site, there are plenty of opportunities to go for bird watching in this lush corner of Egypt. Located at the southern tip of the Sinai close to Sharm El-Sheikh, Ras Mohamed is a nesting ground for Soot Falcons and Osprey. During fall, white Storks migrate by the thousands over Ras Mohammed. There are also Herons, gulls, terns and many types of shorebirds to spot.
Suez Bird Watching
The Suez is a major concentration point for migratory birds of prey. While taking in the sight of the Suez Canal, you’ll spot shorebirds, White-eyed Gulls and Lesser Crested Terns.
Driving up to Suez from Cairo will take you about 2 hours.