No visit to this part of the world is complete without experiencing a desert safari. With its sweeping expanse of sand, rocky outcrops and mountains, the Eastern Desert at first glance appears barren and empty. With the help of a professional guide, however, you'll discover a surprising variety of wildlife and creatures living amidst the dunes, wadis (valleys or dry riverbeds) and lush oasis. Most safaris will also include a visit to a Bedouin camp where you'll enjoy renowned Bedouin hospitality, usually consisting of food, drink and a storyteller around a bonfire.
Safaga has become synonymous with watersports. Whether you want to sail, snorkel, surf, kayak or take a banana boat ride, this beautiful seaside resort has it all. With its large bay, ideal wind conditions and calm water, it's also a favorite with windsurfers. In fact, the Red Sea World Windsurfing Championship was held here in the '90's. And if that isn't enough, Safaga is also known for its spectacular SCUBA diving. Highlights include the coral garden at Sha'ab Saiman and great drop-offs at Panorama Reef, home to big game fish and stingrays.
Shopping for Bargains
Every town and village in Egypt has a souk, a local market or commercial quarter, and Safaga is no exception. The arcade is a collection of small shops, street vendors and kiosks. You'll find everything from pungent spices and fresh produce to handmade arts, crafts, rugs, jewelry, copper, brass, Egyptian artifacts, cotton clothing and much more. The exotic sights, scents and sounds alone are worth the trip.
Given that Safaga is a harbor town on the Red Sea, it's no surprise that seafood is a local favorite. Almost every restaurant and café offers a wide variety of fresh seafood, including jumbo prawns, lobster, salmon steaks and Red Sea delicacies like Bouri (Mullet Fish), delicious Barboni and boneless Eshr Bayad. Of course no trip to the Middle East would be complete without trying some grilled lamb or beef kabab, tehina (a sesame paste mixed with spices), baba ghanoug (grilled eggplant) salad or fresh falafel (meat or vegetables wrapped in pita bread) from a street vendor.
The Egyptian pound, known in Arabic as the gunaih, is the currency of Egypt. Many of the shops, hotels and restaurants take major credit cards.