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Travel Basics

The Arab Republic of Egypt, home of the world famous Pyramids, is located in Northern Africa, and has a surface area of 1.002 million square kilometres. It has a population of about 82 million people (United Nations, 2011). The official language is Arabic, although English is widely used. The major cities are Cairo (capital city) and others include Alexandria, Giza, Port Saeed, Luxour and Aswan.

Cairo city

Cairo is the capital of Egypt. Cairo is associated with Ancient Egypt as it is close to the ancient cities of Memphis, Giza and Fustat which are near the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza. Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab world, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, al-Azhar University. Many international media, businesses, and organizations have regional headquarters in the city.

Cairo has an arid, desert climate which means that the day time temperatures are always warm and the nights are cool. There are two distinct seasons, a long hot summer from May until October and a mild winter from November to April. However there is very little differences in the weather between the seasons save for a change in the day time temperature and a directional change in the prevailing winds. During March and April there are periods of time when the hot ‘khamsin’ wind blows and brings dust and sandstorms to the city.

Electricity

The voltage in the Arab Republic of Egypt is 220 volts and plugs are two prong rounded, European style. Travellers are advised that adapters are needed for three-pin square plugs.